Monday, January 25, 2010

Magazine Mondays: Brownies

I finally have some time to participate in Magazine Mondays!  I want to thank Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice for coming up with the idea - I'm hoping to whittle down my stacks and stacks of magazine recipes this year (and make some great food in the process).

Last weekend we had a party and I decided to work on some sweet recipes I have stacked up.  It's better to share the love when you're making things like brownies instead of having a whole pan for you and your husband to tackle.  So I decided to make these Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Brownies from Bon Appetit.

The recipe instructed to make them in squares like traditional brownies, but since it was a party I wanted them to look a little special and so I used a mini muffin pan instead.  It worked out well I think.  The only real problem I had is that the cheesecake layer and the brownie layer tended to separate (the tops kept coming off!) but I think it's because I didn't give them enough time to cool before I took them out of the pan.

Overall it ended up being a lot more work than I anticipated and while they did taste really good, I'm not sure if it was worth the effort.  Maybe in the pan form it would have been easier.  Also, I used crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy because that's all I had, and it made the texture a little weird.  I would definitely suggest going with the creamy peanut butter for these.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
From Bon Appetit, January 2009 
Brownie Layer
nonstick vegetable oil spray
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Cheesecake Layer
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp. flour
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Brownie Layer
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray 9 inch square metal baking pan with 2 inch high sides with nonstick spray and line bottom with parchment paper.  Stir chocolate and butter in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth; cool 10 minutes.  Using electric mixer, beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla in medium bowl until very fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in chocolate mixture on low speed, then beat in flour and salt.  Spread batter in pan.

Cheesecake Layer
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth.  Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time.  Beat in cream, then flour.  Transfer 1/3 cup cheesecake batter to a small bowl and reserve.  Spread remaining cheesecake batter over brownie layer.  Place chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 10 second intervals until chocolate is melted.  Mix into reserved cheesecake batter.  Drop chocolate batter by heaping teaspoonfulls on top of the cheesecake layer.  Using chopstick or skewer swirl chocolate batter in figure eights through white cheesecake layer.

Bake brownies until edges of cheesecake layer are puffed and center is set, about 40 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack.  Cover and chill at least an hour.  Cut into squares and serve cold.


creampuff said...

Nova, these look amazing! And I like that you made single serving for the party. Cupcakes are the best!

poppyseed said...

I love your quote of the week as well as your brownies.

The Food Hunter said...

These look delicious. Can't wait to try them out for myself.

Pierce said...

You just can't go wrong with a combo of cheesecake and brownie goodness. What a wonderful combo.

Thanks for checking out my mag Monday submission!

Nova Walsh: said...

Thanks everyone for the nice comments! Thanks again to Ivonne too for posting my site - I'll have to participate in Magazine Mondays again soon. It was definitely fun

Sarah said...

These look great Nova.