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Cream Cheese Brownies

by on September 23, 2010 · 18 comments

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 allrecipes.com 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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Published on September 23, 2010

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Camille September 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Oh. My. Gosh.
That is all.

Sue September 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm

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.

Chris Mower September 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Oooooo! These look delicious, and honestly, I’ve never even heard of cream cheese brownies. I’ll definitely have to give them a shot.

Judy September 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I’ve tried dozens of variations for brownies, and cream cheese brownies are one of the best. Yummmm!

Jaclyn September 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I generally don’t believe in trying to make dessert healthy, but this recipe is actually really delicious, I’ve had several people ask me for it after eating these cream cheese brownies: http://eatbetteramerica.com/recipes/desserts/healthified-cream-cheese-brownies.aspx
Have a great day!

Karen September 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm

My favorite cream cheese brownie is Maida Heatter’s Santa Fe Brownies, here is a link. It uses 12 oz cream cheese

http://thebrownieproject.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/maida-heatters-santa-fe-brownies/

ps How was the ice cream??

Anna September 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm

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.

vanillasugar September 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

dave lebovitz has a to die for version that i love. but these are just as good miss anna!

Laura September 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm

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!

x3Baking September 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I haven’t tried out cheesecake brownies before either. They look very, very good to eat. :)

Katrina September 23, 2010 at 7:45 pm

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.

Betty @ scrambled hen fruit September 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Yum…brownies and cheesecake are a classic combo. These look great!

Barbara September 24, 2010 at 5:09 am

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.

Jessica September 24, 2010 at 9:01 am

i never knew they had that ice cream flavor!

Madeline September 24, 2010 at 9:47 am

The best, best, best cheesecake brownies I’ve ever had (and made) are David Lebovitz’s. They are to die for and always get tons of compliments. I’ve made them with dark chocolate toblerone to change it up a bit and they were super yummy.

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/10/cheesecake-brownies/

Bill September 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm

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.

Sue September 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm

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!

Anna September 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm

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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