Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cheesecake Brownies

We continue to deal with the aftermath of Lady Snow's attempt at flight last week at the dog park. She seems to be handling it better than we are. She still seems determined to get up on her favorite nap spot on the sofa or to lie in the recliner gazing out the window. It's a constant job to make sure she's not hopping up onto something and further aggravating her injury. She has an appointment with her vet on Thursday and after that a date will be set for the surgery to repair her torn ligament. I don't think she minds all the attention she's getting and she's certainly not complaining about the peanut butter treat she's getting when she has to take medicine or the new toys. I can't help it, I'm that much like my Mama, when someone isn't feeling well you baby them and give them good food!

Speaking of which, I did get around to doing some middle of the night baking while Snow and I watched TV. I decided to do a Cheesecake Brownie. This is a nice fudgy brownie with a topping layer of Neufchatel cheese (or plain cream cheese if you prefer). The layers are marbled together and create a beautiful and tasty brownie. This is a nice change from plain chocolate with walnuts or pecans!

The recipe is very easy to do, the most tiresome part is the mixing of the sugar into the melted butter and chocolate. You really have to make sure you do that step while the mixture is still hot and use a little elbow grease to keep your brownies from being gritty when done. If you prefer to use an electric mixer you might find it somewhat easier. I also find that stirring the mixture then letting it rest a few minutes then stirring again 3-4 times creates a nice smooth texture. Remember when adding the eggs that if your mixture has not cooled you'll need to add a little bit to the bowl with your eggs and give it a good stir before pouring the whole thing into the main bowl. Otherwise, your eggs might cook just a bit. However, if you're doing this by hand it won't be a problem as you'll have plenty of time for the mixture to cool down some before getting to the eggs.

Note: I'm going to be trying out a system that provides nutritional information for recipes over the next few weeks. The system is based on standard nutritional values for recipe components then calculates calories, fat, sodium, etc. Please let me know if you find the information helpful or whether it's just a distraction.

: Cheesecake Brownies
: A great substitute for chocolate cheesecake!
  • 4 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tbs. instant coffee or espresso granules
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. Neufchatel Cheese (or Cream Cheese)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350° (or 325° for dark or non-stick pans). Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-3 inch overhang on sides to create a sling. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In large microwave safe bowl, combine butter and chocolate and heat at 80% power for 2-3 minutes or until butter is completely melted. Stir until chocolate has melted and is incorporated with the butter. Stir in instant coffee granules and add 2 cups of sugar and stir well until mixture is smooth. Add 4 eggs and mix well. Add 1 cup of flour and fold into mixture until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
For Topping:
  1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat together Neufchatel cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla and flour until smooth. Spoon over brownie batter in pan. Using the edge of a butter knife or icing spatula, swirl together the topping and brownie batter to create a marble effect.
  2. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few fudge crumbs adhering. Be careful not to over bake or your brownies will be dry! Cool completely on a wire rack then use foil sling to remove brownies from pan and slice to serve.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 14
Meal type: snack
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
Calories: 369.7
Fat: 19.7 grams
Sodium: 93 mg
Fiber: 1.7 grams
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