Brownies are definitely one of the most popular desserts out there, but everyone has their own definition of the "perfect brownie." For me, I prefer a rich, chocolatey, dense and fudgy brownie over a cake-like one. And while it's hard to beat a classic chocolate brownie, I still love trying out different flavors and variations.
This particular version is one of my favorite combos - raspberry + cream cheese. The brownies get a double-dose of raspberry - jam is first mixed into the brownie batter, then more is swirled into the cream cheese layer. The brownie layer is just the way I like it - rich, dense, and super chocolatey. And the cream cheese/raspberry layer adds the right amount of sweetness without being cloyingly so.
While these do have a few more steps than a typical brownie, nothing is terribly difficult or time-consuming. And after test-tasting a few - you know, for quality control purposes - I had to send the rest of the pan to work with Joey. I can usually handle baked goods in the house, but I was powerless to these brownies. I'm pretty sure you will be too.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies
Cook's Illustrated, Summer Entertaining
- 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla. Set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Microwave the chocolate and butter in a large bowl, stirring after every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.
Whisk in 1/4 cup jam and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla to the chocolate mixture, and stir until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until just incorporated.
Microwave the remaining 1/4 cup jam until warm, about 30 seconds, and stir until smooth.
Scrape half the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish. Dollop the cream cheese by the spoonful over the batter, and spread into an even layer. Drop spoonfuls of warm jam over the cream cheese, and use the tip of a knife to swirl jam through the filling. Spread the remaining batter evenly over the filling.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few dry crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 2 hours. Using the foil overhang, lift the brownies from the pan and cut into squares.