Attention all cheesecake lovers: you’re going to love these brownies. Attention all brownie lovers: you’re going to love these cheesecake bars. Attention all chocolate chip lovers: hellooooo, wonderful vehicle for your chocolate chips. You’re gonna love ’em.
This dessert is for all my peeps. There is something in here for everyone.
Confession: I have never made a cheesecake. Ever. Not even half of a time. This, to me, seems a travesty. It’s definitely on my list, but I just haven’t gotten the courage to make one yet. Perhaps it’s because there are just too many options– do I go basic? Do I use fruit? CHOCOLATE? Oreos? Nutella?! PEANUT BUTTER? I’m overwhelmed. It’s too much (<–Phoebe totally gets me)!! Also, cheesecake is not a dessert that just comes together super quickly. Therefore… I’m currently swirling (or rolling) my cheesecake into other desserts, preferably ones that are simple and quick. Enter: my basic scratch brownies.
Umm, yes, I realize I have not shared a basic scratch brownie directly yet, but one day I will… And until then, you’ll just have to settle for me jazzing up scratch brownies with other fun things. Because jazzy brownies are the best brownies, yeah?
If you’ve never made brownies from scratch, you are seriously seriously missing out. I am telling you right here, right now that scratch brownies will change your life. And I say that a lot, but this time I mean it. You will never make brownies from a box ever again once you see how simple it is to make them from scratch.
Now, I know there are a ton of different ways folks enjoy their brownies. I could dedicate an entire blog to brownies and still not please everyone. You’ve got your standard “must be cakey” camp, then there’s your “must be fudgy” camp, and throw in the people who like a mix of both, and then there’s the question of edge piece or middle or corner (umm, corner ALL THE WAY)… It’s just a lot to take in. Brownies are overwhelming.
Because this is my blog, I would say the majority of the brownie recipes I’ll ever share with you will be dense, fudgy, and quite decadent. I don’t do cakey brownies over here, so if you DO, here’s a chocolate cake for ya! 😉
Basic brownies start with butter and chocolate, and lots of both. One stick of butter for 8 ounces of semi-sweet bar chocolate (not chips). Once you have cooled your chocolate butter a bit, you’ll whisk in sugar (a little white and a lot of brown = chew city) and eggs (3 to be exact for density!). Just a tiny bit of flour gives this ultra fudgy chocolatey mixture a little lift, but be sure to measure your flour properly otherwise you will be leaning toward cakey brownies. And we all know how I feel about that.
After your brownie batter is ready, a simple chocolate chip cheesecake gets dolloped on top and then swirled ALLLLL around. Like so:
And don’t worry, this does not need to be pretty. Pretty desserts taste just as good as not so pretty ones. Fact.
After 35 minutes of anxiously awaiting your beloved cheesecake swirl brownies, you’ll… Have to wat for them to cool before you can enjoy them. PURE TORTURE! I promise you, this is the hardest part about scratch brownies.
Oh, and a word of advice… Cover your brownies with foil after about 20 minutes to prevent the top from browning too much. I totally forgot. Oops. But remember what I said– pretty or not so pretty– it ALL tastes great.
Dense bites of brownie made a little lighter with swirls of sweet chocolate chip cheesecake are the perfect treat when you can’t decide if you want a brownie or cheesecake. Similarly, do you want a brownie or a cookie? I’m all about efficiency when it comes to dessert.
We took these chocolate chip cheesecake swirly twirly brownies to a party where I was asked to leave the extra before we went home. I love sharing my desserts with people, especially ones who ask for the leftovers! This was the same party we brought my adorable little peppers to, and both of these cookies, so I’m pretty sure everyone at that party now thinks I am amazing and that all I do is bake/cook delightful little treats for my friends.
…that’s mostly true.
Give scratch brownies a try and I think you’ll be surprised at how easy they are. Plus– WORLDS better than that box mix. Trust me. I wouldn’t steer you wrong!
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6-8 slices
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature preferred*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ¼/ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (regular is ok, increase to ½ cup)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently until completely smooth. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir gently until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- In a medium size bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese, sugar, and egg yolk until completely smooth. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the prepared brownie batter. Use a knife to create swirls by dragging it through the batter. Sprinkle with more mini chips, if desired.
- Bake brownies for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. If you would like, you can cover the brownies after about 20 minutes to prevent the top from browning too quickly. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares. Store brownies covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 2 months.