Friday, May 18, 2012

Cream Cheese Brownies

There are always those things we remember from our childhood. Whether they are truly delicious, or just idealized, many times we never find out. Aunt so-and-so's cornbread that you haven't had since you were a kid. That spaghetti sauce your Mom used to make but she lost the recipe. Your Grandma's pancakes that she just doesn't make anymore.
Sometimes we have a chance to make those items again. Unfortunately, they are not always as delicious as we remember. As we grow and mature our taste buds develop more refined tastes, and we long for fresh basil, chiffonade into our pasta sauce instead of that jar of Prego you grew up with. It isn't often that I dig through a book for an old recipe I grew up with, I have most of them at my disposal, but I generally search for something new, challenging, and just different from what I consider the usual.
One recipe that is different is my Mom's cream cheese brownies. I am not a huge brownie fan, but I think they have their place. I was asked to help with an Open House barbeque that I will be unable to attend. I tried to think of a few things I could make ahead, potato salad, etc, that will stand up for a few days and still taste great. I racked my brain for an appropriate dessert and immediately settled on these brownies. Unbelievably, they taste fantastic after they have been in the fridge for a day. The smooth, chocolatey frosting is quick and easy, and the perfect complement to these rich, fudgey brownies. The cream cheese gives a rich texture without being too heavy. There is a tiny bit of whole wheat flour in these, giving them another dimension and increasing their density, adding a bit of a nutty quality.
This is how I remembered them. I made a batch, trying to see if my memory did them justice. They didn't disappoint. I have been making brownies that require a double boiler and melting 65% cocoa with butter. These are mixed simply, but turn out great!

Cream Cheese Brownies

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

6 Tablespoons softened butter
6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 2/3 cups powdered (confectioners' sugar)
1-2 Tablespoons milk

For the brownies:
Preheat the oven to 350. Cream butter and cream cheese together until mixed in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add sugar and beat until light. Add eggs, one at a time, blending until mixed in. Add vanilla and salt. In a separate bowl mix the flours, cocoa powder, and baking powder. With the mixer on low, sift in the dry mixture. Add nuts if desired.
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and scrape the brownie mixture in. Smooth out the top and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Once the brownies have cooled, make the frosting. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl with a hand mixer. Spread frosting on brownies. Don't hurt yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts