Monday, May 1, 2017

Cream Cheese Brownies

 One of my favorite people on the planet is my friend, Anthony. I'm thoroughly convinced that he is the most positive person in the history of the world. If you ask "How are you?" He'll say "Never had a bad day in my life!" If you ask "Can you do that? He'll say "I can do anything!" I'm not even kidding. He's always challenging himself, and his glass is ALWAYS half full, if you know what I mean. Fun fact, in my phone, I have a note labeled "Anthony Quotes", and if ever I'm feeling a little down, I read them. (hmm... come to think of it, I can't remember if I've ever told him this. Well, I guess he knows now lol) He truly inspires me on a daily basis.
 So, of course, since he does so much for me, I decided to do something for him, for a change. His birthday was approaching, so I asked him what his favorite kind of cake is. He said he's not much of a cake guy. (I seriously don't understand this. But he's Superman, so I guess I'm not surprised that he eats healthy too) So I said "well, EVERYONE needs to have a treat on his birthday, so what is your favorite treat?" He said "How about cream cheese brownies?" Perfect! (especially, since I happened to have all the ingredients on hand.) Side note... he was surprised that I happened to have everything on hand, even the cream cheese. Is that an odd ingredient to just happen to have?? So I whipped up a batch, and they were a big hit! I'm so glad he liked them. They're very rich and chocolatey, and they're the perfect thing for a birthday treat for the world's most positive person.
So, Happy Birthday, Mr Man. Thank you for all that you do, and for always inspiring me. Hope you enjoyed your birthday treat!!

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces cream cheese, room-temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Butter paper, and set pan aside.
In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Place 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter and chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan. Add 1 1/4 cups sugar; mix to combine. Add 3 eggs, and mix to combine. Add flour and cocoa mixture; mix just until moistened (do not overmix).
Prepare cream-cheese mixture: Whisk cream cheese with 2 tablespoons room-temperature butter. Whisk in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Alternately spoon chocolate batter and cream-cheese mixture into pan; with the tip of a paring knife, swirl to marble.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper). On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares.

I know the recipe says to bake for 50-60 minutes, but that just seemed too long to me. I decided to check it at 40 minutes, and they were already quite done. This is a Martha Stewart recipe, so you'd think it would be spot on, but that's not how it went for me. Honestly, I don't like the cream cheese part to be so brown, so I think next time I'll check it at 35!

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