Thursday, March 15, 2012

Oreo Cheesecake Brownies

Once upon a time my sister-in-law threw me a baby shower, and another sister-in-law brought these delectable cheesecake brownie squares that I couldn't get enough of.   When I asked for the recipe I was floored when she told me it was just a boxed German Chocolate Cake swirled with a 3-ingredient cheesecake mixture. 

Fast forward a couple of years. When I received last month's Food Network Magazine, there was an entire insert devoted to 50 (yes, FIFTY) brownie recipes.  Well, they had a recipe for a cheesecake brownie that brought back happy thoughts of those brownies served at my baby shower.  Of course, I had to make them.  Lately, however, I like chunky things in my desserts.  I keep lacing my desserts and baked goods with things like toasted coconut, chocolate chips, toffee bits, toasted nuts, etc.  This led to a frantic searching of my cupboards for something to put into these brownies.  Girl Scout Cookies?  I can't justify rationing any part of my limited supply of these delights for anything other than straight consumption.  Reese's eggs?  Same thing.  These seasonal sweets are best when eaten straight up.  Then I saw a half-eaten package of Oreos.  They're available year-round.  They're a delicious way to fancy up a dessert.  Done and done.  Some days my genius astounds even me.  These brownies are rich and decadent, but not overly sweet.  They. Are. Perfection.

Oreo Cheesecake Brownies
Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine, February 2012

For the brownie:
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour

For the Oreo cheesecake swirl
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
10 double-stuf Oreos, crushed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with either parchment paper or foil, and spray with cooking spray.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate chips over low heat. 

While the chocolate mixture is melting, whip the cream cheese, sugar, and egg.  When it is well combined, fold in the crushed Oreos.  Set aside.

When the chocolate mixture is melted, remove it from the heat and add the sugars.  Whisk to combine.  Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.  Add salt and flour, and mix until combined.  Pour the batter into your prepared pan.  Drop large spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the batter and swirl.  Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  Cool completely before cutting. 

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