Cheesecake sounded so gross to me when I was a kid. The whole concept was confusing. How on earth could cheese and cake ever intersect without bringing disaster?
Oh, irony. Many years later, I tried cheesecake, and well, you probably know what happened. I realized that I am a prize idiot. Who would ever argue with magic? Not me, I can tell you. Since that bright and shining day, I’ve had a very hard time not having cheesecake whenever it happens to appear in front of me.
Plain cheesecake can be resisted with difficulty. But add anything in there, particularly chocolate, and I’m a goner. So I made these cheesecake brownies with the full realization that I was undergoing a mission of highly addictive proportions.
One way to mitigate the feeding frenzy that accompanies a cheesecake brownie is to cut them into tiny squares. I did that. People got confused and thought it was fudge until they tried them, since my brownies happen to be very dense and fudgy. That’s the only way. But I will say that the tinier size was really perfect, since these are incredibly rich.
You want to be careful not to open the oven while these are baking. If you do that, you risk cracking the top. It’s hard, I know. But just follow the timing on the recipe and you’ll be hunky dory!
It’s my last day of work before winter break, folks, so I will take this opportunity to wish you a very happy holiday season. Make sure your celebrations include at least one sweet treat (preferably several). Cheers!
3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 x 8 pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides. Coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the melted butter with the cocoa until smooth. Add the sugar and mix again. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Add the salt and flour, stirring until just combined.
- Pour 3/4 of the brownie batter into the prepared pan and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla, beating again. Beat in the egg until smooth.
- Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter. Take the remaining brownie batter and drop in dollops onto the cheesecake, swirling gently with a knife.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door, allowing the brownies to cool gradually.
- When the brownies are cool, refrigerate for anywhere from 3 hours to overnight.
- Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container, chilled if desired.