Okay, just wow.
You know when you try a lot of different recipes from the internet, you get used to a certain kind of disappointment when something is labeled with a lot of words you love--you know the ones--"Nutella pumpkin snickerdoodle ice cream strudels" or "Fudgy creme brulee nut butterfinger cream sauce." These recipes are either trying too hard to be something they just aren't. Or combining way too many things into something that is distinctly subpar. Or maybe they're trying to hit search engine gold. Or maybe they're just pregnant and trying to cover all their cravings in one manic dessert (yup, it's usually a dessert).
I admit that I almost kind of expected that with these. I mean I love love love red velvet cake. And I love love love brownies. Not only that, but red velvet cake reminds me of Valentine's Day with my mother. And brownies were the first thing Kip ever gave me. And cheesecake, well, that's just something I love for myself. So not only am I bringing food expectation to this proverbial table, but I am also demanding some emotional fulfillment here. Let me just say yes, yes, and YES. This recipe was the most perfect red velvet brownie I can imagine. There was sufficient chocolate to make for a dense, delicious brownie. But there was still that distinct flavor and moist texture that make for perfect red velvet cake. Add some pretty swirls of cheesecake and we are on.
So, Ellie, from The Bitchin' Kitchen, let me just say that you have a new number one fan. I got Ellie this month for Secret Recipe Club and these brownies were such a hit that I cannot wait to try everything else I pinned from her site. Also, I really really enjoyed reading her blog. Her writing is fun and funny and not (like some people I might happen to know or maybe even be) too long.
Make these. Love these. And Happy Valentine's Day.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
from The Bitchin' Kitchen
Makes 8x8 inch pan of brownies (16 brownies)
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
Cost: $3.10 or about $.20/brownie
butter: .60, chocolate.50, sugar: .16, eggs: .10, food coloring: .50. flour .10, cream cheese: 1.00, sugar: .04, egg: .10
1/2 C butter
2 oz dark chocolate (I used 60% Ghiradelli chips)
1 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp red food coloring
2/3 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
For cheesecake top:
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and grease the foil. (Note: I did this, though I don't usually line my brownie pans because I am intensely lazy, but it really was nice when they were done and cool and I could just pull those brownies right out of the pan. However, if you just want to grease your pan, I think that would work too.)
Combine butter and dark chocolate in microwavable dish and microwave in 20 second intervals, mixing in between until all is melted and smooth. Let it sit while you prepare the rest.
In large bowl, beat together sugar, eggs, vanilla, and food coloring. Still beating, add chocolate/butter mixture. Add flour and salt. Don't overbeat the flour, okay. Just mix it until it's mixed in.
Spread this onto your pan. Then make the cheesecake part.
Beat together cream cheese and sugar. Add egg. Add vanilla. Beat until well combined. (Note: I did not use all my cheese cake batter--only about 2/3 of it. However, I could have for a thicker cheesecake part and would not have regretted it. If, however, you want less cheesecake than brownie, halve this part of the recipe or use whatever leftovers you've got as mini-cheesecakes in ramekins or muffin tins. I swirled a drop of food coloring in and got 2 pink swirly mini-cheesecakes. Bake these until 160 degrees in the middle.)
Once your cheesecake is ready, plop it onto your brownie batter (mine was a little runny since I softened my cream cheese too much, but it worked anyway). Then take a knife and use it to swirl the cheesecake into the brownie. Stick the knife deep into the brownie batter so that you get a good swirl.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until you can stick a knife into it and have it come out without brownie batter.
Cool before serving (warm cheesecake just isn't my thing).