Want something beyond the ordinary brownie? Try these Cream Cheese Swirl versions. Not only do they look gorgeous with that swirl effect, but every bite awards you a taste of tangy cream cheese flavor to complement the rich chocolatey brownie. Furthermore, not only will you impress with the flavor combo, but you will impress with the attractive swirl design. And you know what? It’s really a simple technique!
Cream Cheese Brownies
Cream Cheese Filling
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (3 1/3 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and set oven rack to middle position. Make foil sling for 8-inch square baking pan by pulling off two 14-inch pieces of aluminum foil from roll and folding each to 8-inch widths. Lay sheets perpendicularly in pan, with extra foil hanging over edges. Smooth foil against pan. Finally, grease the foil in the pan.
- Cream Cheese Filling: In a small bowl, whisk together softened cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and flour until combined.
- Brownie Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter. Do this by microwaving in 1 minute increments, stirring occasionally. (Alternatively, you can use the double boiler method, if preferred.)
- In medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add melted chocolate/butter (do not clean bowl yet); whisk until combined. Add flour mixture and fold to combine.
- Transfer 1/2 cup of brownie batter to bowl that had melted chocolate in it. With remaining batter, spread it into the 8”x8” pan.
- Spread cream cheese filling evenly over batter in pan.
- Microwave bowl of reserved batter until warm and pourable, 10-20 seconds. Using spoon, place 6-9 dollops of softened batter over cream cheese filling, spacing them evenly. Use a knife to swirl the brownie batter through the cream cheese filling, creating a marbled pattern, about 10-12 strokes. Leave a 1/2-inch border around the edges.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached (test in brownie portion rather than cream cheese portion), 35-40 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through baking.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Use foil overhang to lift brownies from pan, returning to wire rack until completely cool, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares. Refrigerate leftover brownies, but allow to come to room temperature for 1 hour before serving. The brownies also freeze well when wrapped in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag.
SOURCE: Cook’s Illustrated, July/August 2014 issue