5.20.2014

Marbled Cheesecake Brownies



Who wouldn't want marbled cheesecake brownies for their birthday? Yep, it's my 20th birthday (: Unfortunately, it's the same day as my organic chemistry midterm in the evening. Buuut my friends and I have already made plans for this upcoming weekend to celebrate in a Chicago neighborhood called Wicker Park. Lots of food and shopping involved. In fact, after laying down the plans for the day, one of my friends commented on why there seems to be a disproportionate amount of dessert involved in the day's planned activities. Hmm...honestly, if you knew me, could you be surprised?



It's at this point now that I'm starting to realize that everyone who's on the semester system is already long done with school while I have like 3 more weeks to go thanks to Northwestern's quarter system. Last year, I remember feeling pretty jealous of all my friends who were free to enjoy the summer, but I don't really mind too much this year. Maybe it's because I've gotten used to it, or maybe the fact that I know I'm going to be coming back to Evanston anyway to take summer classes...and prep for the MCAT! (It feels kinda crazy just thinking about it.)

Originally, I super wanted to make a mini chocolate peanut butter cake (like, an actual, miniature-sized layered cake) to post on my birthday, but when I tried a chocolate cake recipe using a ramekin, thinking that it would actually work...Well, it didn't. The result was more like a chocolate souffle than an actual miniature chocolate cake, so I topped it with vanilla ice cream and served it to my brother and Dad. They loved it, of course.



What I made instead was Marbled Cheesecake Brownies! Pretty and classy. I've always been enamored by the marble effect. It's also surprising that Pass the Cocoa doesn't have a single true brownie recipe (unless you count this pie or this cake), yet dozens of cakes or cookies and fancy pastries.

I hope you all have a lovely day and give these brownies a try. They're moist and chocolate-y, with half-melted chocolate chips folded inside and a thick golden ribbon of cream cheese weaving through the middle. The combination is unbeatable, and it'll make anyone's day more fabulous. I'm going to be thinking of these when I'm taking my (last ever!) organic chemistry midterm later tonight. Maybe it'll bring me luck!

Cheers,
Monica

Marbled Cheesecake Brownies
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yield: 12 servings
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients
For the Brownie Layer:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips

For the Cheesecake Layer:
16 ounces cream cheese (two 8-ounce packages), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 eggs

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.

To make the brownie batter: In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in the sugar until mixture is smooth and shiny. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs and flour, stirring until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.

To make the cheesecake batter: Whip cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and flour, and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla and heavy cream, then eggs. Mix until combined.

Transfer half of the brownie mixture to the prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer. Top with cheesecake layer and spread evenly. Dollop remaining brownie mixture on top and swirl into the cheesecake layer using a knife. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until edges pull slightly away from pan and brownie center is no longer jiggly. Do not overbake. Cool to room temperature before slicing and serving. Enjoy!



10 comments:

  1. Happy birthday, and good luck on the MCATs, Monica! You will rock it!

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    1. Thank you, Eva! I appreciate the support (:

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  2. Happy 20th birthday, Monica! Here's to a great year ahead with lots of success and sweets! These brownies look divine and your weekend birthday plans will be a blast, I'm sure. Good luck with all your exams and school work! All the best. : )

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    1. Thank you, Monica! The weekend at Wicker Park was definitely a blast; we had so much good food and the weather was perfect. Thanks for your support; I really appreciate it! (:

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  3. Happy, happy, happy birthday!! I hope the rest of your day is as great as these brownies look :)

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    1. Thank you, Nora! Haha I did have a lovely day. Thanks so much for the happy wishes!

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  4. Happy 20th Birthday!!!!! These look like a pretty awesome way to celebrate! They in fact look mouth wateringly good!!! Good luck with the exams and enjoy your fun filled weekend! Beautiful photos!!!

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    1. Thank you, Emma! It was such a fun weekend in Wicker Park, and I couldn't have imagined a better way to celebrate after exams. I'm happy you like the brownies! (:

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  5. Happy belated birthday girl!! Oh to be that young again lol

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    1. Thank you, Ashley! I think what's most important is to stay youthful in the soul. That's the beautiful thing about life (:

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