Guys these are REALLY good. Like, drop what you’re doing and make these to bring into the office tomorrow because everyone will love you good.
Today is my husband’s birthday! He’s not nearly as much of a sweet foods person as me, but when he does want dessert, his favorites are brownies and cheesecake. Well now, I thought, how about if I combine those into one birthday treat?
For the brownie batter, I basically used the Smitten Kitchen cocoa brownies recipe that I’ve made a lot of times. It’s a great recipe on its own, but with my fancy alterations, it’s like BAM I’M DELICIOUS.
The cocoa brownies are very dark and intense, and the sweet, lighter flavor from the cheesecake is a great complement. To make the swirly pattern on these, you just pour the cheesecake mixture over the brownie batter and then use a knife to pull up some of the batter onto the top.
They didn’t turn out THAT pretty, but they taste so good, so it’s fine.
I used cupcake liners for these, but I would recommend just spraying the pan with nonstick spray, or coating it with butter, because it required a bit more effort than usual to get the paper liner off of the brownie for the following headshot:
For the brownie batter:
5 tablespoons of salted butter
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
a splash of vanilla
1/4 cup of flour
For the cheesecake topping:
1 8-oz package of cream cheese
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
another splash of vanilla
makes 8 regular-sized cupcakes (with a little bit of leftover cheesecake topping which you can bake in its own liner and it’s pretty delicious on its own)
For the brownies, combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a pan, and melt together over medium heat, stirring every so often. Once it’s all melted, it’s time to turn off the stove and pour the mixture into a bowl. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. It should be warm, but not so hot that it cooks the egg when you crack it in. It’s very grainy, but now you add the vanilla and egg and the batter turns smooth. Finally, mix in the flour, and pour the batter into your muffin tins. You could also make this in a cake pan, but I would recommend a loaf pan since I only made 8 brownies with this.
For the cheesecake topping, you literally just mix the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in another bowl until it’s smooth (or as smooth as you can get it). I don’t have an electric mixer right now, so I just used a fork. The mixture was still a little lumpy when I was done, but after they’re baked, you can’t tell at all. You’re too busy exclaiming at the success of your semi-experimental baking adventure.
Now, you pour the cheesecake mixture over the brownie batter in the cupcake tins and use a butter knife to pull bits of batter over the top of the cheesecake. Bake at 325 (F) for about 20 minutes, but keep checking. Don’t wait until the top gets golden brown, because I think that’s what made mine so sticky that I couldn’t peel the paper liner off cleanly. A knife inserted into the top should come out clean though.
THEN, super important. You really should let them set completely in the fridge before serving. Or at least until photographing. Warm brownies are wonderful but warm cheesecake is a little weird. It’s okay, because you can refrigerate them overnight so they’re ready to go when you leave for work tomorrow morning to wow your co-workers.
Until next time,