Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blackberry Cream Cheese Brownies

A vampire ate my recipe! or I spilled the Jam.
Clearly my sweet tooth went WILD this week. Two desserts in a row, how COULD I. My only excuse is I made the cookies for Easter and the brownies for my last writing class. I finally figured out how to make sweets, for OTHER people. I will now be known as the girl who brings sweet treats. This way I can cook my yummy desserts, without having to eat them all. Perfect!

I must warn you about these brownies, DO NOT make them alone. They may be the best brownies I've ever had, and I am glad I made them for other people, because I could have eaten them all myself. More like fudge in consistency, they should be called crack brownies. 

The recipe said cut into small squares and it was right. Rich and creamy, a normal brownie size would probably be too much. Also cutting them into smaller pieces helps in restraint. 

Time wise, these guys are a commitment. Actual in the kitchen time is about 35 minutes, but they have to bake for an hour and then cool for about 2 hours, so these are not a whip up and eat dessert. But just like your virginity, its well worth the wait. 

Could look nicer, but couldn't taste better
Now, as usual, mine did not look like the picture. They tasted like heaven, but they were not as pretty as Cooks Illustrated. They were not hard to make, but again layering the filling can be tricky. Something one gets better with in time. 

Originally these brownies were made with raspberry jam, but I had blackberry jam so thats what I used. I think either would be good, just be sure its a high quality jam because it adds a fruity richness to the brownie and you wouldn't want the jam to taste cheap. 

Speaking of cheap, be sure you get UNSWEETENED chocolate. Even semi sweet has enough sugar added that it will change the flavor of the brownies. You want them sweet, but no sickly sweet. I found these brownies to be so good because they were not overly sweet. Don't get me wrong, they have plenty of sugar, but there is a difference in flavor between sweet and rich. These are rich. 

Honestly if you have a bake sale or need to impress, make these puppies and watch as people fall in love with you. 

The recipe is from Cooks Illustrated, a wonderful magazine with incredible recipes. I recently got an online subscription to the website and am loving all I'm learning. Enjoy everyone!
Blackberry Cream Cheese Brownies
Not the best picture, but da taste was DA BEST!
The Goods: Makes 25 small squares

1(8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons(1 stick) of butter, chopped into pieces or 4 tbsp butter 4 tbsp earth balance
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup blackberry or raspberry jam
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract. 

The Deal: 
1. Be sure oven rack is at the middle position and preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 inch baking pan with butter or spray. 

2. To prepare the filling process cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. 
Cream cheese mixture, try not to eat it!
3. To make the batter, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Microwave butter and chocolate in a large bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk in 1/4 cup jam and let cool slightly. 

4. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla to chocolate mixture, stirring until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until incorporated. 
Making your brownie batter
3. Now to layer the filling. Microwave remaining jam until warm, about 30 seconds, and stir until smooth. Scrape half the batter onto the prepared pan and smooth over. Then dollop cream cheese filling over the batter and spread and even layer. Next dollop warm jam over the filling and using the tip of a knife to swirl jam through the filling. Finally spread remaining batter evenly over filling. 
Dollop the cream cheese mixture then spread
Dolloping jam
Swirl the Jam, fun and pretty
4. Bake your brownies until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean with a few dry crumbs attached, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack for at least two hours. Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares  and serve. You can also refrigerate in an airtight container for two days. 

Grab a glass of milk, and BUNCH of people and enjoy these yummy treats!

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