Brownies and Bars

Cheesecake Brownies

About a month ago, I realized just how appreciative I am for my blog. Oh sure, it’s “my space” and “my creative outlet” – but there’s a bigger, more important reason why.

Simply put, and I know I’ve said this before, it’s preservation of my/our favorite recipes.

I’m referring not only to safeguarding family recipes that could otherwise be lost without saving them here. I’m also referring to the fact the TWO cases of my baking books / cookbooks mysteriously disappeared during the move, along with recipes from those books that I haven’t had a chance to post yet.

And I’m still bitter about it.
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Since I have an incredible kitchen to work in, I’ve found myself saying, wow, this is a great time to work on my bagel making skills again, or maybe whip up that delicious cheese danish that I haven’t made in forever. But I can’t, because I DON’T HAVE THE BOOK and therefore don’t have the recipe.

Ugh.

Enough whining, I know. But I’ll tell you this – my birthday wish list is going to include lots of books from my Amazon page.

Cheesecake Brownies – adapted from Nick Malgieri

About these brownies: Everything from Nick Malgieri is perfect. Follow the directions precisely and don’t overbake them. Use a knife dipped in hot water between slices and you’ll be rewarded with picture perfect squares.

Brownie layer:

  • 8 tbs unsalted butter
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake layer:

  • 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs

To prepare oven, baking pan: Set rack in middle level of oven. Preheat to 350 degrees. Butter 9-by-13-inch pan. Line with buttered parchment or aluminum foil. Set aside.

To make brownie batter: Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. (Note: If all chocolate has not melted, return pan to very low heat and stir constantly to melt chocolate.) In large bowl, whisk together eggs, salt and vanilla until just mixed. Whisk in sugar in stream. Whisk in chocolate and butter mixture. Using rubber spatula, fold in flour. Set aside.

To make cheesecake batter: In bowl of standing electric mixture fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed for about 1 minute or until smooth. Add vanilla. Scrape bowl. Beat well. Beat in 1 egg. Scrape again. Add remaining egg. Beat until just incorporated.

To assemble brownies: Scrape brownie batter into prepared pan. Smooth top. Drop tablespoons of cheesecake batter over brownie batter to cover completely.

To bake brownies: Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely on rack.

To cut: Wrap pan. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) so cake solidifies completely. (Note: This also makes brownies easier to cut.) Transfer brownies to cutting board. Using long knife or spatula, slide it under to loosen paper or foil, then pull it away. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares.

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