It’s not magic, but sometimes baking feels that way.

Since childhood, I’ve been amazed at how simple it is combine ingredients and turn them into something fantastic.

Desserts are my favorite thing to bake, so I’m always trying new recipes. I recently came across a new one in the Detroit Free Press that combines two of my favorite ingredients: chocolate and cheesecake.

The flavors pair perfectly in this crowd-pleasing dessert. Try it at your next gathering and watch it disappear.


Makes: 25

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour (plus chilling time)


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg yolk (reserve white for filling)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans


  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 11-by-7-inch pan with foil, allowing foil to overhang on short sides of dish; grease the foil.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in egg yolk, vanilla and walnuts. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream, flour, orange peel and salt. Beat in egg, egg white and vanilla on low speed just until combined. Pour filling over warm crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.

Garnish with chocolate shavings or sprinkles if desired. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, lift out of pan and remove foil. Cut into 1-inch to 2-inch squares.

Adapted from by the Free Press Test Kitchen.

Nutrition per serving: 116 calories (64 percent from fat), 8 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 8 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 142 mg sodium, 37 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber.

Contact M. Clare Haefner at or (254) 501-7551.

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