Could there possibly be four other perfect words uttered in the english language. Well maybe if they were in Korean....hahaha j/k :P These brownies were sooooo nummy - and quite pretty might I add!! Then again, how could they be bad when you have all those flavors in one dish...LUV IT!!! Moist, dense and fudgey! You can really taste all the flavors individually. The chocolate, the peanut butter, and when you eat them straight from the fridge the cheesecake flavor really comes through - so please resist the urge to eat them straight from the oven (like someone did) b/c they will not taste the same. Thank goodness I'm taking most of them to a friend's for dinner b/c I imagine they won't last very long in our house.
When it comes to brownies everyone has their own personal preference. Some like 'em chewy, cakey, fudgey...or cakey and fudgey....chewy and fudgey...ok, I digress. I personally enjoy a chewy brownie. My only complaint with these brownies are that they're more cakey then chewy. So next time I'll try substituting brown sugar for the white sugar in the brownie layer. Regardless of the texture, these brownies tasted lovely and were a nice change from your standard chocolatey brownie. You can really taste the peanut butter in them so if you love the sweet and salty combo, this one's another winner, winner...brownies for dinner :)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Adapted from here
7-ounces bittersweet, semisweet or milk chocolate, (or a combo of two or all three), finely chopped (if using chocolate chips 7oz = 1 cup plus 1/3 cup)
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl
8-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
**1 whole, large egg OR 1 egg yolk if you want a really dense cheesecake batter
DIRECTIONS FOR THE BROWNIE LAYER:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil or parchment paper, making sure it goes up all four sides. Use two sheets if necessary. Mist with non-stick spray or grease lightly.
2. Stir chocolate and butter in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth; cool 10 minutes. Using electric mixer on low speed, or stir in with a wooden spoon – sugar, eggs, and vanilla into cooled chocolate mixture, until uniform. Stir/beat in flour, cocoa and salt.
DIRECTIONS FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE SWIRL:
1. In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter, whole egg or egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. DO NOT OVER BEAT!
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE:
1. Spread half the brownie mixture in the pan. Drop large spoonfuls of the peanut butter cheesecake batter across the top of the first layer of brownie batter. Don’t swirl them together. Cover the peanut butter dollops with the remaining brownie batter and the remaining peanut butter cheesecake batter in dollops, then take a knife, spatula, spoon handle, or whatever you have on hand that can ‘swirl’ well, and swirl the TOP layer of peanut butter cheesecake batter with the brownie mixture. Lift up some of the brownie batter to insure the brownie mixture swirls in as much as possible, since it can be little heavier than the peanut butter cheesecake batter, depending on whether you use a whole egg or just the yolk. As mentioned above, it’s ok if some of the first layer of both batters swirl also, just not too much.
2. Bake for 35-37 minutes, or until the batter in the center of the pan feels just set, or a skewer contains a few moist brownie crumbs sticking to it (you would stick the skewer in a chocolate area).
3. Let cool, then lift the brownies up and out using the foil or parchment paper and peel it away/off. Cut the brownies into equal squares. Store in air-tight container in refrigerator so cheescake can set up overnight.
***These brownies taste best when made a day before
Makes about 16 brownies, depending on how large or small you cut them.
* I actually used Ralphs Creamy Roasted Peanuts and Honey Peanut Butter. Sounds totally shady but I enjoyed the flavor just as much as my other fancy shmancy PB I lugged back from a NY trip.
Although I didn’t use it, I think Natural and/or Organic peanut butter would give you a better texture and pure peanut butter flavor, minus all those additives in your basic (rhymes with Blippy, Bif or Beter Ban) supermarket PB. Just pour off the oil.
***My brownies were done at 32 minutes in a standard size oven baked in my baker's edge brownie pan