Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cream Cheese Brownies [Rich and Yummy but a bit on the fussy side]

I wanted to bring some baked goods to the big birthday celebration on the weekend, PLUS I sort of owed Andrew something sweet, because after the bike ride a few Sundays back, he drove me back to the starting line. And as we were driving around Richmond, caught like a mouse in a maze (I affectionately refer to Richmond as the Bermuda Triangle of Canada), T & A suggested that I make "those brownies with the cream cheese" - to which I replied "huh?", for I had never tasted such a thing. (At this point, The Mums is probably dialing my number to remind me that in fact, she DID make these for us back in the day. And if that's the case, I'm afraid I don't remember!!).

In any event, it seemed like a kind of genius notion: brownies and cream cheese? I found the recipe on The Joy of Baking site and whipped up a batch . I had lots of positive feedback - people loved the decadence of these.

These sure tasted good, but I have to say that I struggled with the part where you "lift them" out of the foil liner. Was it something I did? Probably. Next time, I'm going to try using that new fangled "non stick" tin foil.

Brownie Layer
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Layer
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) square baking pan with aluminum foil across the bottom and up two opposite sides of the pan. Set aside.

Place a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking gently after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt and whisk until the batter is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan (about one minute). Remove 1/2 cup of the the brownie batter and set aside. Place the remainder of the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.

In the food processor, blend the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and blend until creamy and smooth. Spread the cream cheese filling over the brownie layer. Spoon small dollops of the reserved brownie batter evenly on top of the cream cheese filling. Then with a table knife or wooden skewer, swirl the two batters without mixing them.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the edges of the brownies are just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate the brownies until they are firm enough to cut into squares (at least two hours). Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the foil and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares. It is a good idea to have a damp cloth nearby to wipe your knife between cuts. These brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Makes about 16 - 2 inch squares.


  1. If these taste anywhere near as good as they look - well - sell my clothes I'm going to heaven.


  2. I would have biked soooooo much faster if these cream cheese brownies were the destination! - Judy

  3. @bigsnit - they taste EXACTLY as you imagine!! (hope this doesn't mean you're walking around in heaven all nekked or anything)

    @dotorious - on the next ride, we're gonna have to figure out a way to bring along some "incentive" treats!

  4. EB says to tell you she used parchment paper and it work like a charm (no sticking).

    I am eating one right now.

    EB says she wants to kiss you they are so good. As for me, well, I'm having one more bite and then I'm going to turn out the lights and bite HER! (nicely)

  5. Tell EB she can plant a big smooch on me ANY OL' TIME!! I'm so essited she made 'em! And I hope they were the stuff of your brownie dreams......

    Parchment paper! Of COURSE that would work! [smacks forehead with palm of hand].

    Happy biting! Who knew that cream cheese brownies could function as an aphrodisiac? Yum......