Friday, December 31, 2010

Strawberry-Cheesecake Brownies

I bought two gigantic bars of Hershey's Milk Chocolate right before Christmas. The large amount of chocolate was supposed to be shared among several people in a gingerbread house party. The chocolate never was used, so I was left with lots of chocolate with no purpose. Since New Years closely proceeds Christmas (obviously), I decided to bake a New Years dessert laden with chocolate. Yum. This is what my mind came up with:

(adapted from Nestle Classic Recipes 2003, Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies)

-1 cup (6 oz.) chopped chocolate (I used milk chocolate, but semi-sweet or dark would be great)
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
-3 eggs
-1 1/4 cups King Arthur's white whole wheat flour**
-1 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda

-1/2 cup Trader Joe's Organic Strawberry Jam, at room temperature
-1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
-1/4 cup sugar

**White whole wheat flour contains a different variety of wheat than conventional flours do. White whole wheat flour still is considered 100% whole wheat flour. Its flavor and texture is just more pleasant than typical whole wheat flour. I use white whole wheat flour in almost all of my baking recipes because this flour has the fiber and nutrients of whole wheat flour, but has similar properties to regular white flour.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 13" x 9" jelly roll pan.

In a medium metal pot over low heat, slowly melt chocolate and butter. Stir the mixture occasionally. Remove from heat when smooth and luscious. Stir in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract and mix. Gradually stir in flour, 1 cup sugar, and baking soda. Mix well until batter is glossy and consistent.

Spread brownie batter into greased pan with a spatula. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar. Evenly dollop cream cheese mixture and strawberry jam over batter. Artistically feather the dollops into the batter with the tip of a sharp knife.

Bake brownies for 18-22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool brownies to room temperature on a wire rack (DO NOT REMOVE BROWNIES FROM PAN). Cut and serve cold or room temperature. Enjoy!

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