It’s a cheesecake! No, it’s a brownie! No, it’s Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies!
When is a cheesecake not a cheesecake? When it’s a brownie of course! And when is a brownie not a brownie? When it’s a cheesecake. Obviously. I’ve combined two of my favorite desserts into these magical Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies. You know those times when you can’t settle on what you want for dessert? Well these cheesecake brownies solve that problem!
So we’re almost 1/4 of the way through 2016. Wait. Doesn’t it seem like New Years Day was just a couple weeks ago? Sure enough, time flies. Or as the Pope likes to say, tempus fugit. Back at the end of last year, I stumbled across a New York Times article titled ’15 Ways to be a Better Person in 2016′. Ok, bait accepted. We all want to be better people, right?
Among my favorite tips on the list: #2. Drink coffee (duh!), #5. Be nice to babies (why are you crying?!) and most importantly #13. Be the boss of your electronic devices (oh.). For a while there, my wife and I fell into that habit of laying in bed playing on our phones before we went to sleep each night. She’d peruse Facebook. I’d play games. 10 minutes turned into 30 minutes turned into an hour. And I know we aren’t the only ones that do this! I saw a Valentine’s Day card this year that said “There’s no-one else I’d rather lay next to in bed while we play on our phones.”
We used to read every night before bed, and I’ve recently tried making an effort to go back to reading each night. Of course, with Robbie around, we usually pass the heck out as soon as we have the opportunity…but the point still remains. It’s ok to detach from the social world for a bit.
And for the record, I appreciate the irony of a blogger saying it’s important to detach from the social world. As bloggers, we’re expected to live our lives 100% connected to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other network you’ve heard about…and some you haven’t. But it’s ok to put the phone down and pick up a book. Anyways, enough of my rambling on smart phones, smart watches, smart refrigerators, smart cars, etc. etc. I just want my dumb book.
Back to these Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies…that’s why you stopped by in the first place, right? My go-to brownie recipe got down on one knee and proposed to my go-to cheesecake recipe. Somewhere along the way, a couple of strawberries joined the party, and the result was these Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies. Warning: this isn’t the quickest recipe to make. You pretty much have to mix both a cheesecake batter and a brownie batter. But the result is so worth it! I cut the edges off of these cheesecake brownies before taking the pictures, and then I couldn’t drag myself away from the cutting board full of scraps. These bad boys are that good.
Cheesecake or brownies? Or both?
Smart phone or dumb book?
Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies
For the Strawberry Cheesecake Layer
- 1½ cups strawberries, chopped
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 16 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 Tbsp sour cream
- ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
For the Brownies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 1¾ cups semisweet chocolate chips divided
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
For the Strawberry Cheesecake Layer
- Using a small food processor or mini-chopper, add the strawberries and cornstarch. Puree until smooth.
- Transfer strawberries into a small sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Set strawberry sauce aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth (~3 minutes).
- Add the sugar and mix well. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to fully incorporate the sugar.)
- Add flour and mix well.
- Whisk the eggs and egg yolk together and add to the bowl in 2 additions, mixing fully after each addition.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix until fully combined. (Tip: Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the filling is fully mixed.)
For the Brownies
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour a 9”x13” baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; set pan aside.
- Using a medium saucepan, add the butter, unsweetened chocolate and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Place over medium-low heat, stirring often, until butter and chocolate have fully melted; set pan aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Stir the egg mixture into the warm (not hot!) chocolate mixture.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture.
- Stir the remaining ¾ cup of chocolate chips into the batter.
- Remove ½ cup of brownie batter; set aside. Pour remaining batter into prepared baking pan. Pour cheesecake mixture over brownie batter. Make 5-6 alternating lines of strawberry sauce and brownie batter on top of cheesecake layer. Use a toothpick or skewer to gently swirl the lines together.
- Bake at 325°F for 50-60 minutes, or until top of brownies is just set and a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
- Let cool before slicing. (Tip: If you refrigerate these brownies, they’ll be easier to slice.)