Good morning one and all. How was your weekends? Hope they were FABULOUS! Here in NJ our temperatures finally dropped…we went from 68 degrees on Thursday to 29 degrees this morning…a chill in the air and less then 2 weeks to Christmas! Being a part of a blogging event like Creating Christmas was wonderful and I made so many new wonderful friends…but today…back to regular programming (well almost) I decided to turn Meatless Monday into sweets for the next 2 weeks!
I had to share this recipe with you…it is an adaptation from the incredible BAKED cookbook written by the famed bakers Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. They also have an incredible Bakery called of course BAKED in Brooklyn NY! There creations are so sensational your have to give them a try…The Test Kitchen voted them their number 1 and they are even on Oprah’s list of favorite things! The book was on my wish list forever and now…a few pound later it is used for so much! I am not known for leaving things alone so this is slightly altered (my family is half dark chocolate…half milk) so instead of using 11 ounces of dark — I used 6 ounces of dark and 6 ounces of milk chocolate for a blend that is not too sweet but still has the creamy touch of milk chocolate. I also added my own cheesecake concoction that I swirled on the top…all I can say is you have to try this recipe…you do! It cuts so easily that you can actually cut tiny squares and use them at a party on a platter with pretty picks! Hope you give it a try…you won’t be sorry!
Yield: 24 brownies ( split my batch and did some in bars and some in large brownies for the photos…the picture brownie might be a little too much : ) These are truly decadent and RICH!!! but heavenly!
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped (this is where i put in 6 ounces of semi sweet and 6 ounces of milk) if you have little ones I strongly suggest you do this : )
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (I added 2 tablespoons in addition to the 1/2 cup)
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Cheese Cake swirled Topping (my addition)
2 bars of softened cream cheese
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup of sour cream
Place the cream cheese in your mixer and cream well. Add you 2 egg yolks and mix well. Pour your sugar in slowly and beat until totally creamy, add your vanilla and mix. Then take your sour cream and fold through the mixture (do not use the mixer for this : ) the mixture will be smooth and creamy and ready to dollop onto the brownies at the end.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 glass or light-colored metal baking pan. I lined the bottom with butter parchment which makes the bottom picture perfect.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cocoa powder and spices together.
Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Now place 8 large dollops of the cream cheese mixture on to of the brownie mixture and take a metal spatula or butter knife and swirl to create a pretty pattern and to have the cheese cake mixture blend with the top half of the brownies.
Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, (mine took 40 minutes with the cheese cake topping) rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them into squares and serve. (Like I said…you can choose the tradition square or bars or tiny bite size squares) prepare to enjoy the best brownie…I have made MANY a brownie recipe but none top this!
I hope to get to the “real” BAKED this Spring and when I do I will take plenty of pictures and share with you…I will have to go on a diet the whole week before : ) lol!!! ENJOY!
NOTE: You know your oven…check the brownies…you do not want them to over bake : )
Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or I might add that they keep for a week in the fridge and they freeze perfectly!