Almond Cream Cheese Brownies

Cheesecake and brownies? Yes, please! Almond Cream Cheese Brownies have the best of both worlds! The homemade brownies are chocolatey, paired with the almond flavored cheesecake.
Photo by Gayle H.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

12

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

12

servings

Ingredients

  • BROWNIES

  • 4

    ounces unsweetened chocolate

  • 2

    sticks unsalted butter

  • 2

    teaspoons espresso powder

  • 1

    cup, minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose four

  • 3

    tablespoons black cocoa powder (you can substitute Dutch-process cocoa powder if you don't have black)

  • 3/4

    teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2

    cup light brown sugar

  • 1/2

    cup granulated sugar

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 1

    egg yolk

  • 1

    tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • ALMOND CREAM CHEESE SWIRL

  • 1

    (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1/3

    cup sugar

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1/4

    teaspoon almond extract

Directions

Make the almond cream cheese swirl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium high until smooth. Add the sugar, then the egg and extract, beating on medium until fully incorporated, and scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula, as needed. Do not worry if the mixture is a bit clumpy. Set aside. Make the brownies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9x2" pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside. Place a large heat-proof mixing bowl over a medium sauce pan with a couple of inches of water in it (ie: make a double boiler). The bottom of the mixing bowl should not touch the water. Place the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder in the mixing bowl and, over medium to medium-high heat, melt until smooth, stirring often with a whisk. Meanwhile, place the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk. Set aside. Once the chocolate and butter are melted, remove the bowl from your makeshift double boiler and add the light brown and granulated sugars. Whisk well (I recommend doing this while the chocolate mixture is still hot, as the sugar melts and it incorporates beautifully). Once combined, add the eggs, yolk, and vanilla all at once and very gently incorporate the eggs/yolk into the chocolate/sugar mixture. Do not over whisk! Gently, gently, gently is the key. Finally add the dry ingredients all at once. Switch to a rubber spatula and - again - very gently fold the dry into the wet - a few streaks of dry is okay. Pour half of the the batter into the prepared pan. top with spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture. Add the rest of the brownie batter, and using a long wooden skewer, make swirly patterns all over the top of the brownies, dragging the skewer through the pockets of cream cheese and swirling it into the pockets of batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes, rotating the pan after 10 minutes. begin checking the brownies with a toothpick at 18 minutes (just in case your oven is running hot). Try to stick the toothpick in a brownie section, as opposed to a cream cheese section. The toothpick should have moist-ish crumbs on it when the brownies are done. If the toothpick is clean or the crumbs are dry, you've over-baked the brownies and you will hate yourself. :) Let them come to room temperature on the counter. Refrigerate, and then slice and serve. Brownies will keep tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for 3 days, but I personally freeze any and all leftovers and eat them straight from the freezer whenever I feel the need.

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