I’m becoming acutely aware that I’m abusing my Smitten Kitchen privileges just a touch, so I’ll start right off the top by saying if you really want to dig into some ultra-tasty recipes and see glorious pictures of well-made food from a woman who’s been doing it a hell of a lot longer than I have, Smitten Kitchen should be your first stop.
I’m sure that new-mom Deb doesn’t actually mind that I’m trying out so many of her recipes and posting the results to my own blog – that is, after all, why she’s sharing them in the first place.
Yeah, ok, guilt be gone. I stole this recipe from her too. I haven’t experimented too much with brownie recipes in the past, and I don’t think I’ll need to anytime soon because these are AMAZING! Cake-like but not too heavy, sweet but not too sweet, almost fudgy, but not quite. A single brownie is satisfying and leaves enough sweetness on the tongue to remind you that there are more one room away. The combination of brownie batter and cheesecake produces a tug-of-war on your tongue, and you’ll be thankful that it’s never won.
Here’s what you need:
For the brownie batter…
- 1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I changed if from 3 ounces because I’m a little piggy. If you could see me right now, I’d be hiding my little curlty tail)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
For the cheesecake batter…
- 8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks to top the combined batter once mixed
Place the chopped chocolate and the butter into a pan and simmer, stirring regularly to keep it from burning. Be sure to take several inhales of the wonderful aromatic combination that reults.
Once melted, remove from the stove, and whisk in the eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar. Once combined, whisk in the flour and once combined again, pour into a well-greased 8″ by 8″ pan. It’s important to hang as close to these dimensions as you can. Much bigger and your combined cheesecake and brownie batter won’t be enough to cover the pan, and as a result, you’ll get zero rise out of it once cooked. I found out the hard way (yes, these are Gary’s cheescake marbled brownies 2.0)
Look! I bought my first whisk!
Over to the cheesecake batter. Decidedly easier. Whisk together all the cheesecake ingredients until well-combined. THE CREAM CHEESE must be very softened or it will just stick to the whisk in giant clumps and go absolutely nowhere (as Gary’s cheesecake marbled brownies 1.0 proved). Once combined… the real fun begins!
Paul and Stevie live togeter in perfect harmony, side by side on my kitchen counter.
Bring them both together.
Another brilliant suggestion from Deb… a small butter knife used to blend the two together to achieve the marbled look that makes these puppies so much fun to take pictures of. Then, top them off with your chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks. Put into an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees and cook for 30-35 minutes. I used the standard “dipping in a toothpick” method to see when they were done. Just a tiny touch of batter coming out on the toothpick is when I pull them out to cool.
Good with milk, good with martinis, good with a String of Pearls, even goes good with a documentary about Armenian genocide on your local public television station (or the show of your choice – that’s just what we were watching).