cream-cheese-swirl-brownies

I believe in cream cheese.  Brownies are fine on their own, but I usually have the will power to pass them up.  Adding this cheese-cakey swirl on top makes these difficult to resist.

These are so easy; you only need two bowls, and you don’t need a mixer.

fudgy cream cheese swirl brownies

For the brownie part:
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons or 110g) unsalted butter
1 12 ounce (340g) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like Guittard or Ghriadelli)
1 1/4 cups (275g) sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (110g) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the cream cheese part:
1 8 ounce (225g) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (110g) sugar
1 large egg
pinch salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (165 degrees Celsius). Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Place butter and 1 1/2 cups (255g) chocolate chips in a medium microwave safe bowl.  (Reserve the other 1/2 cup [85g] chips for later.)  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir.  Microwave for thirty second intervals, stirring after each, until completely melted.

3. Whisk in sugar and salt until smooth; whisk in eggs and vanilla. Gently fold in flour just until smooth (do not over mix). Fold in remaining 1/2 cup (85g) chocolate chips

4. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.  Set aside.

5. Microwave cream cheese in a small bowl for 30 seconds.  Whisk in sugar, egg, salt, vanilla, and flour.  Pour over chocolate mixture.  Take a spoon and pull chocolate mixture up from the bottom of the pan in about 4 or 5 different places and then, with a spoon or knife, create a swirled effect.

6. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.  Allow to cool completely in pan.  (After about 45 minutes, I toss mine in the freezer for 30 minutes to help it along.  This will also help solidify the chocolate chips, giving the brownies a nice crunch.)

7. Use parchment paper to lift from pan; peel off and discard. Cut into 16 squares.