Ingredients

How to make it

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch pan and line with parchment paper, allowing enough overhang on the long side to lift up the brownies.
  • To make the cream cheese layer:
  • Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until smooth.
  • Add the egg yolk, sugar, flour, and vanilla, at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl, transfer to another bowl, and set aside.
  • Clean the mixer.
  • To make the brownie layer:
  • Place the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over the lowest possible heat and cook, stirring, until almost all the chocolate has melted.
  • Off heat, stir until smooth.
  • Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until lemon-colored and thick.
  • Add the cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl, mix well, and add to the chocolate mixture.
  • If desired, add the chocolate chips and beat until well combined.
  • Place half the chocolate mixture in the prepared pan, then dollop the cream cheese mixture over it and don't worry if the cream cheese doesn't cover the chocolate: it won't.
  • Top with the remaining chocolate mixture.
  • Take a table knife and gently draw it from east to west and then from north to south, making a checkerboard pattern.
  • Do not allow the mixtures to combine too much.
  • Sprinkle with the nuts, if desired.
  • Transfer to the oven and bake until the sides, but not the top, are just beginning to brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Do not wait until a tester comes out clean: they will be over-baked at that point.
  • Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes, then cut into 32 bars.
  • Cover and refrigerate.
  • Reprinted with permission from Cookies for Kids' Cancer:
  • Best Bake Sale Cookbook, by Gretchen Holt-Witt, copyright (c) 2011.
  • Published by Wiley.

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