Sunday, March 2, 2008
I love cheesecake. I love brownies. I really love cheesecake brownies, which I was first introduced to in the college dining hall. My school had pretty heinous cafeteria food, but for some reason they had some outstanding desserts, including the chocolate death cake, the chocolate devil's food cake roll, and their cheesecake brownies, which were made with a pleasant looking swirl and were normally served on chicken finger day (which was also spring roll and hot and sour soup day, for some reason).
I was planning on making some brownies for the guys at work, since random acts of baked goods are always appreciated (and, uhm, it's review time) when I saw the 3-lb brick of cream cheese I bought at Costco a while back. Now, being somewhat devoted to responsible financial habits lately, I've restrained myself from buying a springform pan (even though the one I want is a mere $12) in lieu of going snowboarding, since the stuff is all going to melt soon with this warm weather we've been having. Anywho, soon-expiring 3-lbs of cream cheese and no springform pan? Cheesecake brownies. Gotta use it or else I'll lose it. Recipe: Joycomes to the rescue as always, except theirs doesn't include the happy swirl. I generally followed the recipe exactly, except I creamed the butter and sugar first, since that seems to give me a brownie density that I like.
Apparently, a lot of people have never had cheesecake brownies before. The work guys (I'm a programmer... I work with guys) were slightly befuddled, but like most people, they love cheesecake and they love brownies and consequently, they loved cheesecake brownies. Three-quarters of them were gone before lunch, and the rest disappeared shortly thereafter. They are extremely fudgey and chewy on the bottom, and the cheesecake is light and fluffy and a good contrast.
In experimentation news (aka "must use this damn cream cheese" news), these are also excellent if you substitute the vanilla extract in the cheesecake with some mint extract instead, making mint cheesecake brownies. They are kind of liked the baked-good equivalent of York Peppermint Patties.