I often end up with half a block of cream cheese after making frosting or another recipe that doesn't require a whole package (like these raspberry-goat cheese topped brownies). Since I don't enjoy cream cheese on bagels or toast, I have to get a little more creative in figuring out how to use it up before it goes bad. These cream cheese swirl brownies were a perfect solution - other than the cream cheese, all the ingredients are things I typically have on hand in the pantry, so I didn't have to make an extra shopping trip. Plus, the brownies are totally delicious! The brownie batter is moist and chocolate-y, although it doesn't have that super fudge-like texture and flavor that some brownies do. That's actually a good thing in this case, though, because the cream cheese swirl provides that more custard-y texture. Because of the cream cheese in the topping, I thought it was safest to store these in the fridge after they cooled, but the brownies really do taste best at room temperature. If (by some miracle) you have leftovers, I recommend pulling them out of the fridge an hour or so before you want to eat them (if you can wait!).
Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies (adapted from Miss in the Kitchen, original recipe here)
Makes one 9x9 pan of brownies
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 T canola oil
4 ounces cream cheese softened
2 T butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 eggs, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 T all purpose flour, dividced
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 T brewed coffee
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x9 baking pan with foil. Spray the pan with oil.
2. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each 30-second interval. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the oil. Set aside.
3. Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high speed until fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar. Beat in one of the eggs, followed by the flour and vanilla. Beat for another minute or two until smooth.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining two eggs for a few minutes until lightened in color. Briskly whisk in the sugars. Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and the baking powder, and beat with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until completely combined. Beat in the coffee and the melted chocolate mixture.
5. Scrape the chocolate batter into the pan and spread evenly. Drizzle the cream cheese mixture over and pull a knife through the batter to create a swirl. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the brownies.
6. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until just set in the middle.