Lindsay Ann Bakes: Cheesecake Brownie Bars

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cheesecake Brownie Bars

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A perfect way to combine two of my favorite desserts! A buttery, brown sugar graham crust, beneath fudgy brownies, swirled with a cool, creamy cheesecake mixture... sinfully decadent! I prefer these cold, straight from the fridge, so you get a nice cool chocolatey cheesecake texture!
 

Cheesecake Brownie Bars

Yield: 16 brownies (For a smaller batch, cut recipe in half and bake in an 8x4 inch loaf pan. For a larger batch, double recipe and bake in a 9x13 inch pan)

Ingredients 

Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Brownie layer:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz.) butter, melted (browned for maximum flavor)
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (48g) packed brown sugar
  • 6oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (1 cup chocolate chips)
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (90g) flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    Cheesecake swirl:
    • 1 (8oz. package) cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg, room temperature

    Directions

    Prepare crust:
    In a small bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan.

    Prepare brownie layer: 
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.

    Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. To brown the butter, continue to cook, stirring constantly, until brown specks start to appear at the bottom of the pan and butter has turned a light amber color, giving off a nutty aroma (about 5-7 minutes).

    Reduce heat to low and add the sugars, chocolate, and cocoa, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Remove from heat and stir for about a minute to cool mixture. Mix in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir vigorously for about 1-2 minutes until batter becomes thick, smooth and shiny. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, until just incorporated. Pour batter over crust, reserving about 1/2 cup of batter in a plastic sandwich bag for the swirl on top.

    Prepare cream cheese layer:
    Beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk and beat until incorporated. Spread evenly over brownie layer.

    Swirl:
    Snip corner of brownie batter filled bag, and pipe a vertical lines from one end of the pan to the other. Take a knife and drag it horizontally, from one end to the other, as shown.

    Bake:


    Bake for about 35-45 minutes. An inserted toothpick will come out with moist crumbs sticking to it. Do not over bake. Cool brownies completely in the pan on a cooling rack before cutting. Once completely cool, slice and serve.



    You can also try a layered effect, by simply layering the crust, followed by the cheesecake layer, and brownie layer, and bake as directed.


      
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