Saturday, February 14, 2009
Happy Valentine's Day! Now this is definitely one of the most edible holidays. I'm tempted to go crazy and make a dozen desserts - pink, chocolaty, rich, impressive. But the truth is, all of those attributes sound good to me year round, so I'm going to try to maintain my composure and not get my panties in a bunch and stick to one recipe.
I made these cheesecake brownies for work on Friday and dyed the cheesecake part pink for, well, you know, love's sake. They turned out neat looking and tasted great. They're the fudgy type of brownie (as opposed to cakey), and if I could do one thing differently next time, I'd line the pan with foil and then grease the foil before pouring the batter in. That way I could easily lift the entire piece of foil out of the pan once they've baked and cooled, turn them over, and peel the foil off. Because they are so fudgy, it was a losing fight trying to cut the bars away from the pan. But as they say, love is a battlefield.
Valentine's Day Cheesecake Brownies
Recipe by Marcy Goldman in The Best of Betterbaking.com (though Marcy's name for the brownies is Yin-Yang Cream Cheese Brownies)
Makes about 20 brownies
Cream Cheese Layer
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 tablesoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 7 by 11-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
For the cream cheese layer, combine the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl. Blend well. Stir in the egg, vanilla, and flour until smooth. Set aside.
For the brownie layer, melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water or in a microwave. Stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
Put the chocolate mixture in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Gradually stir in the flour until smooth.
Spread three-fourths of the brownie batter in the prepared pan. Use a small spatula dipped in water to smooth the batter. Drop on dollops of the cream cheese batter. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, then top with the remaining brownie batter by placing small dollops on top of the cream cheese batter. Using a knife, cut through the batters to marbleize. Smooth the top with a wet knife or metal spatula.
Place the pan on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cream cheese swirl is set. It is hard to tell when these are done, so follow the time closely and make sure the cheesecake layer seems set. Let cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting.
Step-by-Step in Pictures
Combine the ingredients for the cheesecake layer...
Add red food coloring for Valentine's Day...
Make the brownie batter...
Have both mixtures ready to go for assembly...
Start with 3/4 of the brownie batter in the bottom of the pan...
Drop dollops of the cheesecake mixture on the brownie batter...
Top with dollops of remaining brownie batter...
Bake the brownies...
Chill the brownies before cutting them into squares...