I haven’t bought a new cookbook in years. I’ve got a pretty good stash already, and there’s nothing like moving every 12 months to discourage the accumulation of hardcover tomes. Over the summers during my undergrad, though, I started hitting up the Ottawa Library and lugging glossy cookbooks home, where I would stake myself out in the sun with a stack of recipe cards and copy down recipes to use later. This is what I was doing two weeks ago when the Toronto library went on strike, which means I’ve been flipping through the same borrowed baking books for a month. Unsurprisingly, I’ve had sugar on the brain.
So when Katherine came by on Sunday, we put together these brownies. We ate them still warm from the oven, crumbling and messy and super decadent. The recipe, far more patient than I proved to be, recommends refrigerating them once cooled for the cleanest slicing, and if you eat them still chilled, it brings out the cheesecake flavour; eating them warmed or at room temperature brings out the brownie. They’re filled with butter and cheese, and Dave ate them anyway.
Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
4 large eggs, divided, room temperature
3 tsp vanilla, divided
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 pint of raspberries, fresh or frozen
1. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan (or what you have) with enough aluminum foil that it folds over the edges. Butter lightly.
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate while stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
3. Use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese with 1/4 cup of sugar until combined. Beat in 1 egg & vanilla. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, beat butter with remaining sugar. Beating after each addition, add: remaining eggs, one at a time; remaining vanilla; melted chocolate; flour and salt. Stop when flour is just combined.
5. Reserve 1 cup of chocolate batter; scoop & smooth the rest into the prepared pan. Scoop & smooth the sugar-cream cheese overtop. Sprinkle raspberries over this layer & press in to maintain a level surface. Top with remaining chocolate batter & smooth. If desired, use a knife to drag through the brownies, zig-zagging, to marble the surface.
6. Baking @ 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack before slicing.