Friday, November 17, 2017

Cream Cheese Chocolate Brownies

Cream Cheese Chocolate Brownies - made November 4, 2017, modified from Le Creme de la Crumb
Brownies to die for. Let's just start with that. First, you know I'm picky about my brownies. I've made so many over the years that most of them blur together in my memory. But I know what I like and that's a good, fudgy, rich brownie. Which these are.
Second, because I've made so many brownies over the years, there's very little that's new or different. Most brownie recipes are the same: chocolate in some form (solid baking chocolate or cocoa powder), sugar. flour, butter, salt. I don't hold with chemical leavening or beating too much air into my brownies because that'll make them cakey. Like I've always said, if I wanted something to be cakey, I'd make a cake, not brownies.
But this recipe has a unique little twist in that you make two separate batters which you then combine. You make a cream cheese batter then a brownie batter and mix together. This also has very little flour in it. The original recipe only called for 2 tablespoons in the cream cheese batter and none in the regular brownie batter. Some of the comments on the original blog I got the recipe from talked about how the consistency was like a "firm pudding". Hmm, I'm not down with puddings so I decided to increase the flour by 1/4 cup to add to the brownie batter before combining the two batters together.

The additional flour seemed to have worked well. It didn't cause any harm, at any rate. The brownie was still fudgy and had some structure to make it brownie-like instead of pudding-like and that's what I was going for. I omitted the chocolate chips as well since I just wanted a smooth, creamy-fudge (but not pudding) texture in the brownie without my teeth having to encounter a chocolate chip.
Loved how these turned out, even with the frosting. While I'm not normally a frosting person, the frosting gives it a nice sweetness and went well with the richness fudginess of the brownie itself. This one's a keeper.
Cream Cheese Batter
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 egg
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Brownie batter
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk chocolate chips, optional

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8" baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cream cheese batter: in a medium bowl, blend together melted chocolate chips, egg, cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Brownie batter: in a large bowl, mix melted butter and cocoa powder until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix until combined. Add cream cheese batter to brownies batter and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean. Cool completely.
  5. Frosting: beat melted chocolate and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and blend well. Gradually mix in powdered sugar, adding milk and beating until desired taste and consistency, Spread over cooled brownies. Allow frosting to set before cutting and serving.

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