Monday, May 10, 2010

Cream Cheese Brownies

Mom would have liked these. I know I did.
This was my first Mother’s Day since the loss of my mother, and I asked myself, "Self, what's a little somethin' somethin' mom would have liked?" Well, that was a no-brainer. Something with bittersweet chocolate—her absolute favorite.

These may have been for her, but I couldn't think of a better pick-me-up than a fresh batch of cream cheese brownies from this wonderful David Lebovitz recipe. It's a combination of two of mom's favorite desserts—brownies and cheesecake. The recipe calls for three different forms of chocolate—chunks, chips and powder—and he says you can use bittersweet or semisweet interchangeably, as well as your choice of unsweetened or Dutch process cocoa powder. I used bittersweet chocolate chunks, semisweet chocolate chips and unsweetened cocoa powder—the perfect ingredients to chase away my Mother's Day blues. I remember making these for her once before, a couple of years ago, and she was in hog heaven. Here's to a repeat performance.

Oh, and mom, I'm putting a couple in a baggie for you in the freezer since I know that's what you'd want.



6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

4 ounces (115g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

2/3 cup (130g) sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup (70g) all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon (8g) unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (80g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Cheesecake Topping

8 ounces (225g) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 large egg yolk

5 tablespoons (75g) sugar

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175C).

2. Line a 9-inch (23cm) square pan with foil, making sure it goes up all four sides. Use two sheets if necessary. Mist with non-stick spray or grease lightly.

3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the 2/3 cup (130g) sugar, then the eggs.

4. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

5. In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, the yolk, 5 tablespoons (75g) of sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

6. Distribute the cream cheese mixture in eight dollops across the top of the brownie mixture, then take a dull knife or spatula and swirl the cream cheese mixture very slightly with the chocolate batter. Resist the urge to mix and swirl too much, as you'll just make the brownies muddy.

7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the batter in the center of the pan feels just set.

Let cool completely, then lift out the foil and peel it away. Cut the brownies into squares.

Storage: These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. They also freeze well, too.

David says they serve 9-12, but I cut them into 16 squares.


  1. These look so good and so pretty!!! I definitely will be making these :)

  2. What a beautiful and loving tribute to your mother. I can think of none better or more tasty.

    The first Mother's Day is so difficult, I know that even from the passing of my mother in law some year back. Be good to yourself ... and maybe have another brownie.

  3. Thanks, Diva. Another brownie it is!

  4. Hi I just wanted to take a moment and say hello! We'll be meeting at "Camp" on Friday. My name is GREG and I am Sippity Sup!