Friday, August 5, 2011

Cream Cheese Brownies

We came back to DC at the beginning of August. August is when you can cross the street in the middle of the block at rush hour. No one is around in August. No one but our acupuncturist that is, who I was informed had a birthday last week, and was also trying to stop smoking. Brownies for said acupuncturist, who my son irreverently refers to as Dr. Pokey, were in order.
Naturally, I remembered the recipe for cream cheese brownies, and a half a package of cream cheese lurking in the refrigerator.
So on Friday, as soon as we got back from the very good vegan restaurant at the end of the earth, (actually Clarksville, Maryland, which has turned into a relatively nice suburb,) we got to work, melting, beating, and measuring. The cream cheese was thankfully free of mold, thus avoiding having to go back out to the store. We used to have a convenience store run by a very nice Korean man named Joe just two blocks away. About three years ago, Joe got sick of store keeping 7 days a week and sold out to another Korean couple. The new folks seem completely unable to run a store in which anyone would want to shop, so when we run out of something, we have to drive to Safeway.
These are marbled brownies, so you make the chocolate mixture and the cream cheese mixture separately, layer them in the pan and then swish a knife through them. Dr. Pokey said they were good.

Cream Cheese Brownies

1 four ounce bar German sweet chocolate (we used dark chocolate and a little extra sugar)
5 tablespoons butter at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt the chocolate with three tablespoons of the butter over boiling water. Remove from the heat and let cool.
3. Cream together the cream cheese, one quarter cup of the sugar and the remaining butter until light and fluffy. Beat in one of the eggs. Stir in one tablespoon of the flour, the lemon juice and one-half teaspoon of the vanilla. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, beat the remaining eggs until they are thick, gradually beat in the remaining sugar and continue beating until the mixture is thick.
5. Mix together the baking powder, salt and remaining flour and fold into the beaten egg mixture. Stir in the chocolate mixture, nuts almond extract and remaining vanilla.
6. Spread all but one cup of the chocolate batter in a greased 9 by 9 by 2 inch baking pan. Top with the reserved cream cheese mixture and then spoon remaining chocolate batter over the cheese mixture. Swirl through the batter with a spatula or knife to marble.
7 Bake twenty five to thirty minutes. Cool. Cut into bars or squares and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 20 brownies.

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