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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s Cream Cheese Brownie Day

February 10th is National Cream Cheese Brownie Day.

Why add cream cheese to brownie batter?

You might logically say, for more richness. Cream cheese makes a denser, fudgier brownie, and the tangy quality of the cream cheese is a nice counterpoint to both the deep chocolate flavor and the sweetness of the sugar.

Some cream cheese brownies simply incorporate the softened cream cheese into the batter; others create a marbled swirl in the batter, still others add a cream cheese layer on the top of the brownie, as shown in the top photo. The recipe is below

Then, there’s the full cheesecake topping that makes a half cheesecake, half brownie delight called the “zebra.” But that’s another holiday.
 
 
RECIPE: CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES

Ingredients For 16 Brownies

For The Brownie Mixture

  • Butter and flour for the pan
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar*
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark/bittersweet chocolate chips
  •  
    For The Cream Cheese Mixture

  • 3/4 cup cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar*
  • 1/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  


    [1] Cream cheese swirl brownies (photo © Lara Hata | iStock Photo).

    Chocolate Chips
    [2] If you want to use higher-quality chocolate than supermarket chips, you can chop up a quality chocolate bar (photo © King Arthur Flour).

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Butter lightly flour an 8 x 8-inch square cake pan. Combine the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

    2. MELT the butter in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan. Stir in the cocoa until thoroughly blended, and set aside.

    3. BEAT the eggs until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and stir in the chocolate mixture. Sift the flour and salt mixture over the top and fold it into the mixture. Add the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips.

    3. MAKE the cream cheese mixture. Whisk together or use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese, egg and sugar. Sift the self-rising flour over this mixture and fold in. Add the vanilla extract.

    4. POUR three-quarters of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan, and spread the cream cheese mixture over it. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining brownie mixture on top, making swirls with a knife.

    5. BAKE 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to over-bake.

    6. COOL the brownies in the pan, then cut into squares.
     
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    *You can make superfine sugar by pulsing regular granulated sugar in a food processor.

      




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