Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Cheesecake Swirl BrowniesI’m dog-sitting this week for my parents. Well, for my mom mostly, since it’s her little Maltipoo. Her name is Kiwi (the dog, not my mom) and she is a beady-eyed, fluffy doll. My dog, Jade, is not a big fan of Kiwi. Jade gets jealous very, very easily, so I have to distribute treats equally or in Jade’s favor at all times or else she mopes. I helped mom find and buy Kiwi, and now Kiwi is her baby. She’s so sweet that it’s hard not to spoil her, but Jade keeps a watchful eye! I love dogs, in case I forgot to mention that.
Cheesecake Swirl BrowniesI also love chocolate! I’m not as much of a sugar freak as I once was, but that doesn’t mean I never crave chocolate. I’m a human person, after all! I usually crave chocolate in the form of brownies, so I’ve tried a ton of recipes to find that perfect texture that’s in-between cake and fudge. Ah, brownies.

I combined a few recipes to create these beauties. One was a cheesecake brownie but it looked too dense and fudge-like for what I wanted, and the other was one of the best brownie recipes I’ve ever tried. I knew combining the two would result in something wonderful, and yes, it did! They are filled with chocolate flavor, offset by the tartness of cream cheese. The creamy-smooth texture of cheesecake perfectly compliments the soft, airy brownies. Feel free to add chocolate chips!

*Makes 12-16 brownies

11 T. butter
1 c. sugar
¾ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
½ c. flour
1 T. cornstarch
⅛ t. baking soda
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
⅓ c. sugar
½ t. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 F. Line 8×8 pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, add butter and sugar. Heat in microwave until butter’s melted, ~1 minute. Remove from microwave, stir, then mix in the vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix in eggs, then add in flour, cornstarch, and baking soda. Gently blend. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Make cheesecake batter by stirring together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth. Plop spoonfuls of the cheesecake batter over brownie batter, then swirl it with a knife or spatula. Bake for 35 minutes or until brownies look set and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 30-45 minutes before serving. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan and cut into 12 bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen and Cleobuttera

Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

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