The very first thing that I ever learned how to bake was brownies. I remember one of us always was begging to make a batch at some point over the course of the weekend. It was so easy that we were able to do all the baking ourselves, minus the oven part. My younger sister, Laura, is following the trend and also knows how to make brownies on her own. One thing that always stepped the brownies up a notch was if we had cream cheese in the fridge and we were able to make the brownies with the cheesecake swirl. Those were definitely a special treat.
Many things that I make now don’t come from a box so it was only a matter of time that I would stumble upon a recipe for my beloved cheesecake swirl brownies. And you know what, it’s just as easy as the box! Brownies from scratch may seem like something that might not be much better, but trust me they are amazing. The most tedious step is chopping up your chocolate, but once that is done they come together fairly quickly. This could be dangerous because I pretty much always have the ingredients for these in my pantry. The brownie base is rich, but the cheesecake swirl gives it a nice balance. I had a tough time swirling my batter together and the result wasn’t quite what I was aiming for, but they were delicious all the same. They have made a daily appearance in my lunchbox and Blair has been enjoying them as well.
For the brownie base:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
For the cheesecake layer:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Line an 8×8 pan with foil, creating an overhang on two sides. Lightly coat with non-stick spray or grease lightly. Set aside and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Alternatively, melt the two in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each round. Remove from heat and beat in the 2/3 cup sugar, followed by the eggs. Whisk in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt, then the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, the yolk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Dollop the cream cheese mixture across the top of the brownie mixture, then take a knife and swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the batter is set in the center. Cool completely, then lift out the foil and peel it away. Cut the brownies into squares.