black-bottom cheesecake brownies

Friday, April 5, 2013

{photo credit}

sometimes i get the strong, sudden urge to bake and before i ask my roommate if it would be a good idea to make a large pan of chocolatey/sugary/layered/fudgy dessert (because i know she'll say no), i find myself driving to the store for butter, sugar, and cream cheese.

i'm a firm believer in asking for forgiveness than permission. 

one fine day a couple of weeks back, this gorgeous photo from lulu the baker appeared in my inbox. {how can you look at that picture and not have impure thoughts about chocolate?}

i filed the recipe away in my brain, knowing that the perfect time to bake these brownies would present itself. that time came about 30 minutes later when i was still obsessively thinking about them. 

the recipe list doesn't mention it, but you'll also need 15 friends to help you eat these brownies. and at least half of those people need to be strong, burly men who alone could eat a large meat lovers pizza without blinking an eye. 

for the brownie layer:

6 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla

for the cheesecake layer:

2 8-oz bricks cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
12-oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips

begin by preheating the oven to 325°F. lightly spray a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray. line the pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough foil hanging out on each side to use when lifting the brownies out of the pan after they've cooled. spray foil well with nonstick cooking spray.

to make the brownie layer, combine unsweetened chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate and butter are melted. whisk until smooth. in a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. in a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. whisk in melted chocolate mixture. add flour mixture and stir until smooth. pour batter into prepared pan.

to make the cheesecake layer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. add eggs 2 at a time, beating and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. beat in vanilla. pour cheesecake batter over brownie batter. sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top, and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, until golden on top. remove the cheesecake brownies from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from pan and cutting. cut into 24 bars. refrigerate leftovers.

{photo credit: me}

my roommate and i didn't wait for the brownies to cool before we dug right in. they were ok straight from the oven but tasted way better after a night in the fridge. i guess that makes sense as they are cheesecake brownies and cheesecake is usually {read: always} served cold. 

ain't nobody got time for that. i can't help that part of my personality is to see dessert and immediately reach for a fork.

april mix

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

{photo credit}

spring has sprung. officially. pear blossoms are in full swing. our pool has been drained and refilled with crystal clear water. i wore shorts to the gym today instead of my winter standard: black yoga pants. 
and, aside from the fact that my legs were white enough to make casper gasp, my legs didn't look half bad. thank you, rpm class for literally kicking my butt into shape.

this is the time of year to cruise with your windows down and your tunes up before it gets stifling hot and you feel like you might fry like an egg on the sidewalk. 

here are a few jams that might just be the two tickets to paradise* you're looking for.

*april mix*

one lovely day : citizen cope

spiritus : lisa mitchell

arizona : kings of leon

love of an orchestra : noah and the whale

amsterdam : peter bjorn and john

old friend : sea wolf

ends of the earth : lord huron

over you : dose

stars (hold on) : youngblood hawk

brother : matt corby

noche nada : givers

frivolous life : yesyou

houseboat babies : reptar

cough syrup : young the giant

let's go : matt and kim

happy spring! now to pick some daffodils. 

*that song didn't actually make the cut. sorry, eddie money. it's not you. it's your awful song.

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