These cheesecake brownies were super easy to make once everything was at room temperature. I looked up the recipe on my favorite baking blogs and found that they were all pretty similar. So I decided to make my standard Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Baking Bar back-of-the-wrapper brownie recipe, which is a one bowl recipe, and then just add the cheesecake swirl on top. They turned out great, not too sweet at all. Nice savory cheesecake on top, with a nice dense brownie bottom. I still can’t believe that I had never made these before!
Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (optional, if you like dense brownies you can skip the baking powder)
8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.
(I also used parchment paper to make them easier to remove from the pan for cutting.)
Make brownie batter:
In a bowl large enough to add the rest of the ingredients later, heat butter and chocolate for 30 seconds in the microwave, then remove and stir. Keep heating in 30 second increments and whisk/stir every 30 seconds until mixture is smooth. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate and stop before everything is totally melted, you should have to stir/whisk everything until melted together. Whisk in brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Fold in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.
Make cheesecake batter:
Using a whisk or hand mixer, cream together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a butter knife or spatula. (It might seem like the cheesecake batter is overwhelming the brownie batter, but it will cook down a lot during baking!)
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares.