Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Mini Brownie Cheesecakes with Caramel Peanuts

Desserts, Races

A few weekends ago, I completed the Buzzard’s Bay Sprint Triathlon! This tri consisted of a 1/3 mile swim, 14.7 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run. My official time was 1:34:08, so my splits were almost exactly the same as the ones from the tri I did last year, but I felt so much stronger during this race! I definitely met my goals of really taking in every moment, enjoying the race, and not going out too fast.

The ocean swim was a little tough because it was pretty windy so there were a bunch of choppy waves. Luckily, I’m a confident swimmer, so I just went for it and finished in 10:43.

I usually swim sub-25 minute miles during practice, so this was actually a little on the slow side for me, but then again it’s hard to compare pool and open water swims. Along with the waves and chilly water (most people had on wetsuits, but I just toughed it out), the shore conditions also slowed us all down a bit because the beach was really rocky!

Next up was the bike section. The course was beautiful and although it was still a little windy, there were only a couple of hills and most of the course was pretty flat.

Since I’m a little uncoordinated, I’ve begun wearing a camelback when I ride, and I love it – no more fears of dropping my water bottles! I did much better on my passing this year too and averaged 17 miles per hour.

I felt nice and strong during the 5K run and even felt like I could have kept going! This was a huge contrast to my last tri so I was really happy about it. My feet were a little numb/cold during the first mile, but they warmed up quickly and I averaged 9:01 per mile. Yay, all done!

Races are so fun and I can’t wait to do another one next year! One of my favorite parts of racing is seeing how cute Apolinaras is about them. He takes a ton of pictures while he’s cheering and always rushes over with extra layers of clothes because he’s worried I’ll get too cold when I’m done. I also really love how supportive the women tend to be of each other. It’s not uncommon for us to encourage each other during the race!

Anyway, during high school, we usually headed to Dairy Queen after summer swim meets, where I always devoured a Peanut Buster Parfait. So, today’s recipe is a little twist on one of my favorite refueling treats. These little cups have a bottom brownie layer and middle cheesecake layer. Then I mixed caramel with some peanuts to top them off. So good!

Mini Brownie Cheesecakes with Caramel Peanuts
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Brownie Layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Layer:
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel Peanut Layer:
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup caramel sauce (this is my favorite recipe)

Directions:
To make the brownie layer, heat oven to 350˚F. Microwave the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a microwavable bowl at high power until the butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir until combined, then mix in the vanilla extract. Meanwhile, beat the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and then add in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in flour and salt. Spread the brownie mixture evenly into 12 cups of a muffin pan lined with paper cups. Bake at 350˚F for 12 minutes .

Meanwhile, make the cheesecake layer. Place cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl and mix with a mixer for 2 minutes or until well combined. Beat in two eggs and vanilla extract, scraping down bowl, until well combined.

Spread cheesecake mixture evenly over 12 partially baked brownie cups. Bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set on edges and center is almost set but just slightly wiggly. Cool 5 minutes in the muffin tin, then remove from the tin and cool 15 minutes at room temperature on a wire rack. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or until chilled.

To serve, remove paper muffin cups and place mini cheesecakes on serving plates. Place caramel sauce and roasted peanuts in a medium bowl and mix well. Spoon caramel coated nuts evenly over each mini brownie cheesecake. Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition: 385 calories, 25.6g fat, 1.0g fiber, 6.7g protein per cup
Cost: $0.73 per cup

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