Your kids will be feeling pretty good about America when they learn that there’s a national Cream Cheese Brownie Day on February 10th. And as one of America’s favorite bar cookies, the brownie is in a class all by itself. This soft, moist cake-like dessert has been around since the 1800s, but was first documented in 1906 in The Boston Cooking School Cook Book. The first brownie recipes contained far less chocolate than the brownie we know and love today. [photo via flickr]
The modern brownie has many variations. Some interesting add-ins include peanut butter, walnuts, caramel, peppermint, banana, and of course, cream cheese. The cream cheese brownie is a favorite among most brownie fanatics. The combination of sweet chocolate and tangy cream cheese makes for a heavenly treat for the taste buds. There are hundreds of cream cheese brownie recipes, we’re sure this one will delight your entire family. Show some love for the cream cheese brownie and make a pan (or two!) in honor of this delectable sweet.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Have ready a 9-inch square baking pan lined with aluminum foil.
- In a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and stir or whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt and stir vigorously until the batter is smooth and glossy (about one minute). Remove 1/2 cup of the brownie batter and set it aside. Spread the remainder of the brownie batter evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Using a food processor (or with a hand mixer), process the cream cheese just until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and process just until creamy and smooth (do not over process). Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the brownie layer. Spoon 16 small dollops (4 rows with 4 dollops of brownie batter in each row) of the reserved brownie batter evenly on top of the cream cheese filling. Run a knife or wooden skewer back and forth through the two batters until you have a marble effect.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the brownies are set and the cream cheese is just beginning to brown. (A toothpick inserted into the brownie comes out with just a few moist crumbs.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Then cover and refrigerate the brownies until they are firm enough to cut into squares (several hours or even overnight). Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the foil and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares. Remember: It’s always a good idea to have a damp cloth nearby to wipe your knife between cuts. These brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Serve cold or at room temperature.