Cream Cheese Brownies

Not long ago, Fuzz surprised me by requesting a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cheesecake Brownie Ice Cream. While I fully support her adventurous flavor choices, I was surprised she’d chosen that particular one. When I asked her “Why cheesecake brownie ice cream?” she told me it was her favorite type brownie. Again, I was surprised. I hadn’t made those in ages, yet she remembered the flavor and that she liked them best. I decided right then that I’d make her some cheesecake brownies.

Cream Cheese Brownies

But I didn’t. I waited weeks and weeks. I’m not sure why I waited so long but today seemed like the perfect day for Fuzz’s cream cheese brownies, so I looked at dozens of recipes and ended up making these.

This is quite a popular recipe. You can find it in many places including and Recipezaar. And a years ago Smitten Kitchen made a Cooks illustrated version where the filling was the same. And it’s the filling that I don’t like. It’s kind of eggy, thick, and the butter buffers the tanginess of the cream cheese. So maybe this recipe is popular with people who don’t love the flavor of cream cheese? I don’t know. It’s not my favorite, but the brownies aren’t bad and hopefully Fuzz will approve. I kind of wish I’d made my The Red Hat Society recipe.

I’m going to chill these for 24 hours and share them with the neighbors tomorrow night to get some fresh opinions. Maybe I’m being too hard on the recipe.

Cream Cheese Brownies

Brownie Batter
3 tablespoons salted butter
4 ounces German sweet chocolate
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Cream Cheese Filling
2 tablespoons butter
1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil and spray foil with baking spray.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add the chocolate, stirring over low heat until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool. This is a good time to go ahead and make the filling (directions at bottom).

Beat eggs until thick. Slowly add sugar, beating well. Beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt. By hand, stir in the flour. Stir in melted chocolate mixture.

Pour about 3/4 of the batter into the pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the chocolate batter. Pour remaining chocolate batter over cream cheese mixture, leaving gaps so the cream cheese shows.
Bake on center rack of oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then chill brownies until firm. Remove from pan by lifting foil. Place on a cutting board and cut into 16 squares.

Filling: Beat butter and cream cheese. Gradually add sugar. Stir in egg, flour and vanilla. Set aside.

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  1. says

    I’ve never made a cream cheese brownie! Can you believe that!? No doubt I would love them. What’s not to love? Cream cheese – love it. Brownies – Love them. You’ll have to let us know how Fuzz likes these. She must be developing quite the palate, and taste memory.

  2. says

    Camille, thanks! I’m glad you liked the picture.

    Sue and Chris, I’m astounded that you two haven’t tried cream cheese brownies. Put them on your list!!! ;).

    Judy, thanks for the link to your blog.

    Jaclyn, I like lighter versions of recipes on occasion and might give this one a try.

    Karen, thanks for the link. Also, the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is pretty good. It’s a cheesecake based ice cream with chunks of brownie in it. The cheesecake flavored ice cream is very tart.

  3. Laura says

    I’ve made several different cream cheese brownie variations (peanut butter, mocha, etc.), crafted together from varoius sources, but I’ve actually never seen a recipe that called for butter in the filling!

  4. says

    The few recipes I’ve tried with cream cheese I didn’t love. Come to think of it, the one I’m thinking of was a Dorie recipe. 🙁
    1 lb.!! That’s a lot of cream cheese.

  5. Barbara says

    Anna, glad to hear that Fuzz is developing her taste buds. Cheesecake brownies are a favorite of mine but I do like to taste the cheesecake filling.

  6. Bill says

    I have to second another commenter and recommend David Lebovitz’s version from his latest book. I made his with a nice bittersweet chocolate that gave the brownies a nice strong chocolate flavor and the cheesecake portion had a great flavor that was not overly butter based.

  7. says

    I just came back to say I have the “Ready for Dessert” Cheesecake brownies in the oven and now I see the nice comments about them from others above. Unfortunately they call for a 9×9 inch pan and I only have 8×8.
    I can’t wait to hear about the brownies you mentioned in your giveaway post!

  8. says

    Hi Sue,

    I’m sad to say my brownies didn’t work out and I threw them away. I think I’m going to try the recipe from David Lebovitz next. I guess his recipe is the one you are making right now.

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