Happy National Cream Cheese Brownie! Aren’t you glad you have me to remind you of important holidays such this one? I mean, where would we be without cream cheese brownies anyway? I, for one, would not be a very happy camper. I am a well-known brownie fanatic and love them even more when a thick swirl of cream cheese has been stirred into the batter. The brownies instantly get lift from ordinary to extraordinary. It’s almost like they become brownies with cheesecake swirled in – or cheesecake with brownies swirled! Either way, this technique is a delicious and fun way to dress up your brownies. To make them extra special for Valentine’s Day get our your heart shaped cookie cutters and make them into bite-sized love notes!
Perfect Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 c. sugar
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 T. cocoa powder
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
For the Swirl:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Melt butter and chocolate together. I use the microwave, heating it in short intervals so the butter doesn’t explode. Mix together until fully combined. Cool slightly.
3. Beat together eggs, vanilla, sugar and cocoa powder in a mixer until combined. Add the chocolate to the mixer and beat until just combined.
4. Finally, add the flour, baking powder and salt to the chocolate mixture and mix until the batter is totally incorporated. Remember to scrape 5. down the sides of the bowl and the bottom of the bowl to make sure it all comes together.
6. Pour batter into a buttered 13×9 baking pan.
7. To make the Cream Cheese Swirl put the cream cheese and sugar into a clean mixing bowl and beat until it is light and fluffy. Then add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat again until everything is completely smooth.
8. Dollop the thickened batter onto the tops of the brownies and drag a knife throughout the brownie batter, swirling it in as you go. Do not overmix, you want the cream cheese swirl to remain distinct.
9. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until knife inserted in the batter comes out clean.
*If you want to make this with boxed brownie mix simply choose the “Cake Like Consistency” option in the directions on the box and prepare the batter accordingly. Then swirl in the cream cheese as directed above.