09 January 2011

Part of my Christmas Tradition is to make plate fulls of cookies and candies to share with my neighbors, friends and family.  My neighbor Sara returned the gift in the form of cream of onion soup and bread on that was in my kitchen when I arrived home from work on Monday.  I couldn't return the dish empty so that gave me an excuse to try a decadent sounding brownie I found on Annie's Eats.  I'm not a big brownie fan, these could change that!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Yield: 30-36 brownies

For the brownies:
14 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup cocoa powder 
2 cups sugar
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the peanut butter cheesecake swirl:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tbsp. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  To make the brownie batter, combine the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.  Remove the bowl from the heat.  Whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, eggs and cream cheese until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the vanilla and salt.  Add the flour to the bowl and whisk just until incorporated.  Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula.

To make the peanut butter cheesecake portion, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until completely smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the egg and vanilla until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Drop spoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture over the brownie batter in the pan, creating a cobblestone appearance.  Use a knife or wooden skewer to gently swirl together the peanut butter mixture and brownie batter.  Bake 30-35 minutes, until the center is just set.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before slicing and serving.

Source:  Annie's Eats

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