Cream Cheese Brownies

22 Jul

These brownies make me want to cry.  I’m eating them right now, and I am going to eat all of them, because wow.  Wow.  I took them out of the oven just in time, so they’re soft without being dry, rich without having the consistency of pudding, firm on the edges and spongy on the inside, with not a charred crumb in sight.  Oh yeah.  It’s on.  Me, these brownies, and Newsroom.


I got this recipe, by the way, from a lovely book called Baking Illustrated, which one of my friends swears by.  I was at her house, and we were making an obscene amount of chocolate chip cookies, and she handed me the book and told me to look through it because it was her baking Bible.  I took pictures of some of the pages, including the page on which this recipe featured.  (Also cheesecake, so…  You know what to expect.)


For the brownies:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • (you could also just use 6 oz of bittersweet, which is what I did)
  • 1 stick butter, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

For the cream cheese:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk

The recipe makes about 16 brownies in an 8×8 pan.  The pan I used was slightly larger, so I apportioned the brownie and cream cheese a little differently.  But know that layering will be involved, so don’t use a pan that’s too much larger, or you won’t be able to properly layer.

Don’t spread yourself too thin, in other words.



I’m sorry.

Get it done:

For the brownies:

Stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Then, melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over low heat, or in two pots nested together if you don’t have one of those fancy contraptions.

Stir every once in a while to let it know you haven’t forgotten about it while you’re standing at the stove reading a book or watching a movie.

Remove the melted chocolate from the stove.


You don’t have to use a copper bowl, but I had one lying around and I like how it looks.



Add sugar:

Add vanilla:

Now whisk.  And while you’re at it, whisk in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before moving on to the next one.

Then, whisk in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.


It should not look like this, for example, when you’re done with it:

Now, for the cream cheese bit:  Throw all the ingredients for the cream cheese bit in one bowl.  Blend until blended.  The mixture should be nice and smooth.  I actually whipped the hell out of mine, but that is not necessary.  Just fun.

Now take your pan, which should be appropriately greased, and pour in about half your brownie batter.  Add dollops of cream cheese mixture on top.

Take the back of a spoon and marble that.

Just so.  Now add a layer or brownie.

Keep doing that until you run out of things to marble.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 50-60 minutes (according to the recipe), but as always, be vigilant!  It took mine maybe 40 minutes.

They will look like this (minus the crater on top that I created from sticking knives in the middle to check for doneness), and they will make you happy to be alive.

Look it’s me!

Okay, anyway.  My sister sent me these rad little plastic stencils that you can put on top of baked things to make patterns with sprinkles and sugar and whatnot, so I tested one out on these:

Maybe I went overboard, but who are you to tell me whether I can put sugar mountains on my brownies or not.



This is what the layering looks like on the inside.

And yes, in case you were wondering, I have little Batman symbols painted on my thumbnails in honor of The Dark Knight Rises.  Which brings me to your book recommendation of the week!

I don’t, um… have one.  Sorry, but I haven’t read anything new for the past few days.  BUT.  I want to recommend to you The Dark Knight Rises.  It is a beautiful movie, and a wonderful conclusion to a goddamn great trilogy.  That trilogy.  Has created the best superhero movies ever made.  Superhero movies that went mainstream and got people to pay attention to the superhero genre in a serious way.  Nolan’s Batman made superhero movies something worth pursuing.  Something that could be artistic and beautiful and full of grand potential to people other than comic book fans.  I’m sad to see it end, but pleased with how it did.













3 Responses to “Cream Cheese Brownies”

  1. mydearbakes 22/07/2012 at 4:15 am #

    What a wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing! =)

  2. Hedda 22/07/2012 at 4:12 pm #

    MMMM…if you eat them all we must make them again this week once we are in town:) !!!!!!

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