Saturday, December 1, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies - made November 29, 2012 from Sweet Pea's Kitchen

I had my holiday dessert party last night and had a few friends over.  I think I've given up on sticking to tried and true recipes during the holidays.  There are just too many great recipes out there to try and having people over gives me an excuse to not only try out new recipes but to provide them with new ones to sample. I still made a couple of stand-by recipes but I also compromised to work in a few new recipes. I did mini-taste tests of some new recipes before the party and if they passed muster before the big day, I kept them in.  And if a picture was alluring enough to persuade me to take a risk on it, I did.  This recipe falls into that category.  It's hard to go wrong with brownies and 'tis the season for red velvet.  I'm not a cheesecake fan but I have friends who are so they could taste test these with me.

Mine didn't turn out quite as alluring-looking as the picture that drew me in from Sweet Pea's Kitchen.  In the time it took to bake the red velvet brownie part, the cheesecake part started to turn a little brown.  It looks better when it isn't browned but I didn't want the brownie part to be raw as opposed to fudgy.  Still I thought it tasted pretty good.  This is about the only way I'll eat "cheesecake" - when it's marbled or swirled into a brownie and this is also a seasonal-appropriate option for Christmas or Valentine's Day.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8" pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir until combined and very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Add flour and salt and stir until just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
  5. To prepare cheesecake mixture, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until smooth. Distribute the cheesecake mixture in 8 dollops over batter in the pan. Swirl in with a knife or spatula.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
  7. Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack before lifting out the foil to remove the brownies.

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