A creamy, peppermint-flavor cheesecake layer adds holiday flair to classic chocolate brownies.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, allowing edges of foil to extend over the ends of the pan. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set pan aside. In a medium saucepan heat and stir butter and chocolate over low heat until smooth; set aside to cool slightly.
Stir the 1 cup sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the 2 eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon just until combined. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt just until combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and peppermint extract; beat until smooth. Add milk and beat until combined. Add 3 eggs and beat on low speed just until combined. Pour cream cheese mixture over brownie batter in pan; carefully spread evenly over brownie batter. Drop red food coloring in random spots over cream cheese mixture. Use a thin metal spatula or table knife to swirl the food coloring into the cream cheese mixture (be careful not to swirl too deeply into the brownie layer).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set (center no longer shakes). Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover loosely and chill for 2 to 4 hours. Use foil to lift uncut bars from pan to a cutting board. Cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1-inch wide sticks. Chill to store.