Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cheesecake Brownies

Oh, brownies.  They make everything better.  Unless my husband is trying to steal mine, like he did as I finished the last one of these.  I was on the phone and cleaning up the kitchen.  After dinner there were two brownies left, of which Dave promptly ate one.  I decided to have the other, so I took a bite, set it back down in the open container and enjoyed it and my conversation while cleaning.  Suddenly, Dave appears and says, "Ooh, a brownie," and picks it up to his mouth.  Like a good doobie, he correctly interpreted the death glare he was sent and immediately put down the brownie.  And promptly left the room.

These yummy, nearly brawl-inducing treats we made as a thank you to another group I work with and were incredibly well received ( I suppose in Dave's defense it's worth noting that I gave away most of the pan and only left 4 brownies at home).  Much appreciation came my way, including a comment that, "That was so nice of you to bring us those.  And homemade no less."  Clearly this individual doesn't know me as well as others.  It's the basic brownie recipe that I've used before, but this time I added a cheesecake-like topping.  I would have liked a more swirled topping, integrating the cheesecake mix into the brownie a little more, but I think my brownie batter was too thick to accommodate a swirl.  A better option would have been to layer most of the brownie batter, then the cream cheese filling, then the rest of the batter and try to swirl that together.  Nonetheless they are delicious, pretty and will potentially start riots when you only have one left.

Cheesecake Brownies

2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 short cup flour (1 cup minus 1 Tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together butter and 2 cups of sugar.  Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and mix until smooth.  Add the 4 beaten eggs and mix well, scraping sides of bowl if necessary.

In a separate bowl, sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt.   Gradually add to the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Line a  9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.  Pour batter into pan and smooth evenly.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 3 Tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla on low until fluffy.

Dollop onto the brownie batter and swirl together.  Alternatively, pour 2/3 of the brownie batter into the pan, then layer in cream cheese filling, then top with remaining brownie batter before swirling with a knife or spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees F on the middle rack for about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and jiggle the pan; if the middle jiggles sloppily, put it back in the oven and bake for 2-4 minutes.  Keep doing this until cracks just start to appear and the middle JUST stops jiggling, about 40-44 minutes.

Remove brownies from oven and cool in pan on wire rack for 10-15 minutes.  Using foil edges, remove brownies from pan and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Makes 24 brownies.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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