A Basic With a Twist

What’s better than a fudgy brownie at the end of a long day? A fudgy cream cheese brownie!  So easy and so delicious!

I’ve had cheesecake on my mind because my mom and I had a conversation a couple weeks ago.  My mom made a comment that she went to a big chain restaurant out on Long Island, where apparently you have to display calorie counts on the menu.  She noticed that the cheesecake on the dessert menu was fewer calories than the other cake options.  This surprised me because I’ve always considered cheesecake to be an extra indulgent treat. But hey, I’ll take it!

Rather than making a full blown cheesecake, I had a meeting for school earlier this week, so I decided to make cream cheese brownies.  And since we’re so close to Valentine’s Day, why not make them pink!  (or at least pink, plus a little golden brown tint from the oven)

One of my friends made cream cheese brownie cupcakes for a team meeting a couple months ago, so I took that inspiration along with a recipe from the old reliable Smitten Kitchen.  At the end of the day, all you need for great cream cheese brownies is a box brownie mix (I don’t make brownies from scratch), cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  So worth it!

Cream Cheese Brownies

Yields 16 2 inch squares, Adapted from recipe on Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • Your favorite brownie mix (plus all of the ingredients needed for that)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 -1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • red food coloring gel (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350, and prep an 8×8 pan with spray and/or parchment.
  2. Prepare the brownie batter according to the directions on the box. I usually make the “cakey” version rather than the “fudgy” version, which typically just takes an extra egg.winning combination
  3. In a separate bowl use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Add the food coloring if you want it to be pink.  Fold in the mini chocolate chips.blobs of goodness
  4. Pour the brownie batter into the pan. Put the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in blobs.  You can swirl it a little to even out the top.looking good
  5. Bake for 25-50 minutes until just lightly golden brown.  Allow to cool and enjoy!cute little hearts
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