Pumpkin Cheatercake Brownies

I always miss Summer when it's gone - I'm a former Vermonter who does NOT miss the cold, grey and snowy weather.  BUT...I also adore Fall.  The leaves, the sweaters, the knee high boots - sipping Pumpkin Spice Lattes and that smell in the air (you know what I'm talking about.  Fall TOTALLY has a smell and it is perfection).

Even though Charlotte is still seeing temps in the low to mid 80s, I decided it was time to put the smell of Fall into my kitchen.

Now, I know some of you are about to be weirded out by this combination, but I have always loved it.  Pumpkin and chocolate.  Don't close your computer yet - just trust me.  Pumpkin and chocolate is one of the lovely little pleasures of life and if you haven't tried it, you are totally missing out.

What's there not to love?  For the full and original recipe, please check out Confessions of a Foodie Bride.

Now, if you want the cheat version, see below.

Disclaimer: You all know (hopefully) by now that I love to bake.  Pre packaged, frozen, boxed mixes, or any other commercially prepared baked good is allowed to pass through my kitchen no more than 5 times a year. AT MOST.  I hate the stuff.  It tastes like chemicals to me.  But, hey we all need a few shortcuts here and there, and this was one of those days for me.

This is quick, easy and still produces a yummy and fall inspired treat!

1 box of brownie mix (I used Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate with chocolate chunks)
Oil/eggs/water and whatever else your box mix calls for
4 oz. cream cheese
2 Tblsp sugar 
1/2 c. pumpkin pie mix
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 baking dish.  Prepare your brownies according to the instructions on the back, and spread into dish.

Add cream cheese and 2 tblsp of sugar to a mixer and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add pumpkin pie mix, beat until smooth and then add vanilla.

You'll want to take the pumpkin mix and plop some good sized dollops right on top of your brownie batter.  Then, using a knife, swirl and fold the batter together so it makes a pretty little swirly pattern.  Yes, that's the technical term for it.

Once you have your brownies looking as pretty as you want them, pop them into the oven for 45-50 minutes.    Let cool and serve!

What's your favorite fall treat?