Some of my best creations are based on what I have on hand and what I've been craving. Today is a perfect example: I was bored, its the weekend, so why not bake some tasty treats, right? While my husband and daughter never ever get bored with chocolate chip cookies, I, however do. Brownies sounded good. But I'm out of my beloved black cocoa so I know they won't be as good and dark chocolate as I'd like. Cheesecake sounds delightful, but you really need to let it cool for a good 24 hours, and I didn't have patience for that.
Enter the hybrid of cheesecake and brownie. Not a swirled brownie that only hints of cheesecake, no, I'm looking for a dense brownie bottom with a cheesecake custard layer. Using my old standby brownie recipe was a no brainer, black cocoa or not, it makes awesome brownies. You can find the recipe here. The cheesecake layer was easy to assemble with ingredients that I had in my fridge, with in 20 minutes I had brownie cheesecake bars in my oven.
Creamy, tangy, sweet, chocolaty. Mmm...perfect with a tall glass of ice cold milk.
Brownie Cheesecake Bars
makes a 13x9 pan
1/2 + 2 T cocoa powder
1 cup + 2 T sugar
1 stick butter
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 c chocolate chips
2 packs cream cheese
1 T good vanilla extract
1/2 c sugar
Assemble the brownie layer first while cream cheese sits on counter to come to room temp.
in a microwave safe bowl melt the butter. Add sugar to melted butter, stir well and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds. Stir well.
In a small bowl mix cocoa powder and eggs into a very thick paste. Add the butter/sugar mix and stir well until smooth. Add dry ingredients, mix until it forms a thick batter. Add chocolate chips, stir to incorporate.
Press brownie batter into a greased 13x9 pan.
Using a mixer cream the cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar, beat about 1 minute. Scrap down sides, add vanilla and 1 egg. Mix very well, about 1 minute. Scrape sides again, add last egg and beat 1 minute until very smooth and thick.
Pour cheesecake over brownie layer. Bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes.