Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Coconut Cream Cheese Brownies

Cookie-Crumbed Coconut Fudge Squares (original name) - made October 1, 2011 from Chocolate Chocolate by Lisa Yockelson

If you like brownies and if you like chocolate, this book is a must have.  Run, don't walk, to get it.  Many of the recipes are very similar with only slight variations but they're pretty much all delicious.  Lisa Yockelson is to brownies what Rose Levy Berenbaum is to cakes.  Meaning complete expertise and unparalelled goodness.  Seriously.  Out of all my cookbooks, this is one of perhaps a dozen that I would never give up.  I have yet to make the same thing twice but I also have yet to make a bad recipe from it.

This particular brownie has an Oreo cookie crust and the chocolate brownie is meant to be swirled with a coconut cream cheese batter.  I didn't swirl the two very much because I didn't want to disturb the Oreo cookie layer underneath but also because I wanted the coconut cream cheese parts to stand out against the brownie.  I also put the mini chocolate chips into the cream cheese batter so they would also stand out there rather than blending in with the brownie batter. 

I almost don't have to say this turned out pretty well.  The brownie was fudgy, I liked the Oreo cookie crust, the cream cheese flavor wasn't overwhelming (I don't like cream cheese per se) and the coconut gave it a nice chewiness.  Again, I only had a taste test sliver since most of this was for the bake sale but it was a pretty darn good sliver.  As with all brownies, I lined the baking pan with foil and sprayed it with nonstick cooking spray so I could take the whole thing out intact when it was baked and cooled, I used "the good chocolate" and I baked only until I had moist crumbs in the toothpick test from the center of the brownie.

Chocolate Cookie Layer
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to tepid
1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (such as crumbs made from Oreo cookies)

Cream Cheese and Coconut Topping
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sweetened flaked coconut

Brownie batter
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to tepid
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.    Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Film the inside of a 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2.   Mix, bake and cool the cookie layer: Pour the melted butter into the prepared pan.  Spoon the cookie crumbs evenly on the bottom of the pan and press down lightly with the underside of a small offset metal spatula so that the crumbs absorb the butter.  Bake the cookie layer in the preheated oven for 4 minutes.  Place the baking pan on a rack.  Cool for 10 minutes.
3.   Increase the oven temperature to 350˚F.
4.   Mix the topping: Using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl on moderately low speed until smooth.  Blend in the egg yolks and vanilla extract.  Stir in the coconut.
5.   Mix the batter: Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.  In a small bowl, toss the chocolate chips with ½ teaspoon of the sifted mixture.
6.   In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk the melted butter and melted chocolate until smooth.  In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until blended, about 15 seconds.  Add the sugar and whisk until combined, about 30 seconds.  Blend in the vanilla extract and melted butter-chocolate mixture.  Sift the flour mixture over and stir to form a batter, mixing thoroughly until the particles of flour are absorbed, using a whisk or flat wooden paddle.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
7.   Spoon the batter in large dollops on the cookie crumb layer.  Carefully spread the batter over the cookie layer, using a flexible palette knife or spatula.
8.   Spoon the cream cheese and coconut topping on the top of the brownie batter.  Gently swirl together the cream cheese topping and brownie batter, using a round-edged table knife.  When swirling the two mixtures, move the knife gingerly so that it doesn’t touch (or dislodge) the cookie layer.
9.   Bake, cool and cut the squares: Bake the sweet in the preheated oven for 30 to 34 minutes, or until set.  Let the sweet stand in the pan on a cooling rack for 3 hours.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  With a small sharp knife, cut the sweet into quarters, then cut each quarter into 4 squares.
10.  Remove the squares from the baking pan, using a small offset metal spatula.
11.   Refrigerate all squares not served on baking day in an airtight container.

Bake and serve within 3 days

1 comment:

  1. This has all my favorite flavors. It looks like a fun, but different brownnie.
    Thanks for all of the helpful hints and information you give in your posts. I learn so much. My biggest challenge is that I live at 5000 feet. That is what I usually blame my failures on. Like flat cookies or cupcakes that don't have a nice dome etc!