Cream Cheese Brownies

CreamCheeseBrownies_ByrdBitesThese brownies come with a disclaimer: After baking them, you need to quickly find a friend to share them with. Or else you’ll eat every. last. crumb. All by yourself. In your pajamas, when you’re husband isn’t looking. Not that I have ever done that, though.

I usually give myself a day or two to enjoy a few pieces, and then I’ll take the rest to the office. No one seems to complain, and the brownies tend to disappear quickly, so I’m guessing that’s a good sign.

Recipe adapted from the “At Home With Magnolia” cookbook by Allysa Torey

Ingredients:

For the cream cheese swirl

  • One 8-ounce package of cream cheese, semi-softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

For the brownie mixture

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp milk (I use 2%)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup pecans, broken into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup assorted candy bars, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a 9×13 baking dish. (I used the Pam Spray with the flour in it, because I felt lazy. I also used a glass baking dish, and it worked swimmingly).

For the cream cheese swirl: In small bowl, mix the cream cheese and 1/3 cup of sugar with a beater, and then add the egg and flour until mixed well. Set aside.

For the brownie mixture: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring often. Once melted, transfer the pan to a cool place and let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar; then beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix well.

Add half of the pecans and the candy bar pieces to the brownie mixture and stir. (The candy is super optional. The original recipe called for Heath bars, but I substituted them with a few snack-size Milky Way and Snickers the last time I made the recipe. But honestly, the brownies are sweet enough — the candy just eases you into that diabetic coma a little quicker).

Reserve about half a cup of the brownie batter, and spread the remaining batter into the greased dish. Then, dollop the cream cheese mixture on the brownie mixture. With the reserved brownie batter, fill in the spaces between the cream cheese mixture, and then swirl the two mixtures together with a knife. Top the batter with the rest of the pecans (and candy pieces), and press them lightly into the batter.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center has “moist crumbs” on it.

The recipe suggests to not overbake the brownies, and I heartily agree. It also says to allow the brownies to cool overnight, but I think Allysa was seriously kidding. Grab a glass of milk and enjoy a piece. Or 10. It’s up to you.

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