August 3, 2008

give 'em a swirlie

No, I'm kidding. Don't do it--those are cruel. So I've heard. I haven't ever been involved in one myself. Really. Would I lie to you?

(a totally inadvertent but perfect heart!)

Yes, while toilet swirlies are evil and mean-spirited, these swirlies--made from cream cheese added to rich, chocolate brownies--are beautiful and delicious. Nothing wrong with that, no sireebobber.

The chocolate I used for these bad boys was bar number two from my Amano stash. (If you'll recall, bar number one was used for some really sensational mint chocolate brownies.) This Amano bar was the Madagascar, described as having "strong fruity flavors including hints of citrus and berry." Surprisingly, my numb palate could actually pick up on those fruity undertones--this was some seriously delicious chocolate.


Also seriously delicious? The finished product. I love how the bites with more cream cheese than chocolate are tangy and smooth, while the bites with more brownie than swirl are sweet and decadent. It's a lovely combination. Lovely, I say.


Cream Cheese Swirlies
(adapted from a recipe originally found in Cook’s Illustrated--gasp!--but perfected by smitten kitchen and tweaked by me)

Cream Cheese Swirl:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Brownies:
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13" baking dish.
For the swirl, beat the cream cheese and butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until well blended. Beat in the egg and then mix in the flour. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk to combine the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave and when completely smooth, gradually whisk in sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Stir in the vanilla. Add flour mixture in two additions, mixing until the batter is completely smooth. Stir in the nuts.
Transfer half of the batter to prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Pour the cream cheese mixture over it, smoothing as you go, and then add the second half of the brownie batter on top. Swirl the batters together decoratively with the tip of a knife. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature if, in fact, it is humanly possible. (I have my doubts.)

55 comments:

Lucy said...

My word! Seriously delicious, a perfect description to a brownie w/cream cheese. An absolute favorite combo!

OhioMom said...

Can I have one with my morning java? Those look absolutely decadent and delish!

Lorraine E said...

They sound delectable, like black bottomed cupcakes but in a brownie form so even more luscious! Love the inadvertent heart too

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I've never seen a brownie like this and I immediately started salivating at the thought. My wife keeps asking me to make brownies--I'll have to give these a try, albeit with a less exciting chocolate ;-)

foodhoe said...

mmmm, so very lovely... I want it now!

noble pig said...

Wow the police might come after you since the recipe has now been changed at least two times!

Geez, it looks good Grace. Again when are you moving to California?

Cathy C said...

Here I am drinking coffee and wishing one of these was with my cup of Joe!! These look great any thing with cream cheese is so yummy.
Cheers
Cathy
www.wheresmydamnanswer.com

You moving to California??
If so the peeps here are waiting for ya!

jodycakes said...

I can't wait to get my stuff unpacked so I can make these little dandies!!! Yummy.
I love chocolate and I love cream cheese...great combo!

Melanie said...

So my question is - did you resist the urge to add cinnamon? They look fantastic!

Erinn said...

Oh geez, these looks so good! I'm off sugar these days, and Grace, you're killin' me! ;)
I clicked through to read the whole "interpreting" the recipe business! Who knew? Interesting bit of craziness, I guess something to keep in mind.
I'm just going to go back and drool over the swirlies some more.

April in CT said...

I think I just fainted and the only thing to revive me are those brownies waved under my nose. (Don't ask how I can type while in the midst of a fainting spell..it's an old family secret.)

Those are beautiful!

Lisa said...

So nice! You are doing some great things with that Amano chocolate while I am still looking at mine, thinking and wondering if I will make anything with it or simple savor it as is!

Jack said...

I'm someone who's not a huge fan of desserts (sacrilege!) but these really appeal to me because of the cunning combination of sweet and savoury. And they look great!

Tabby said...

Wow! My mouth is watering!

Jeena said...

Ooh lovely! They look so good!

S for Kitchen Confit said...

The chocolate swirlie looks spectacular. I'm not familiar with Amano chocolate, but will have to see if I can find some.

OhioMom said...

Grace

When you have time, please stop by my blog for your award :)

Leslie said...

Thoseare some seriously yummy looking brownines!
And yes..my migraine has slowly gone!

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Yummmm. I can't wait to try these!!!

sliceofsueshe said...

These look delicious. I'm going to have to try them out with my cocoa powder brownie recipe.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Yum, I wish I could have some. Cream cheese swirls in chocolate are so freakin' awesome!

giz said...

Now that's what I'm talking about. These little yummies would be welcome on one of my plates anytime.

Indigo said...

I. Want.

Give.
Now.

Lore said...

Seriously, are you trying to make me grow a sweet tooth? That chocolate bar description must have combined forces with the pic and I can now feel a new tooth growing :)

KJ said...

Yum. I've made something similar in the past, but I added some dried apricots. They were delicious.

Albany Jane said...

I think I had a dream about these last night, I really do.

Dawn said...

My stars those look divine. I have to say these are a keeper--I want to try these out.

RecipeGirl said...

I can't believe you dared to use a CI recipe. Wonder if SK got her hand slapped for messing with perfection :)

They look good enough to eat at least 5.

Sandie said...

Just discovered your blog through a link at Cathy's Noble Pig site...and obviously with good timing. I'm experiencing a serious chocolate craving today and these brownies sound like the perfect cure!

Janna said...

OH GRACE! Bestill my heart~these look wonderful!! Like really wonderful. Sinful, eat half a pan with a huge glass of milk wonderful. Great job!

Brittany said...

I'll take a cream cheese swirlie any day!

I've never had the toilet kind either- maybe it's a boy thing.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

These brownies should be outlawed! ;)

The Blonde Duck said...

I've got to add this to my list. I love the cream cheese swirls in the middle!

Vera said...

Grace, this is the dessert I never can cay "no" to. And you are absolutely right, it's not possible to wait until they reach room temperature. They look fantastic, so fudgy!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

I would definitely take a swirling like this!

Kevin said...

Those cream cheese swirls look really good!

Kim said...

You had me hooked till you said CI, but then got me back when you said your tweaked the recipe. God bless you making it right Grace. I still have a bar of my Amano stash saved. Great choice for using it. They look good.

Robin Sue said...

I just love these kind of brownies. The chocolate you mention, I have never had, I will have to hunt some down for sure.

Elle said...

Oh my gosh...my brownie craving just kicked into high gear! Oooh, they look decadent!

Lori said...

noogies, swirlies. Man all I have got to say is glad you have some delicious brownies to amke up for the pain.

ovenhaven said...

Ooof, I think the mister would've loved this swirlie!

Haley said...

oh wow these look delish! i'm thinking i'll add a scoop of ice cream to this and settle in for a movie.

Gigi said...

Holy brownie! They look sensational!

Oakley Rhodes said...

Yum. I want one!

Katie B. said...

Would it be so wrong to make that second photo my computer's wallpaper??!?!? Gorgeous swirlies, Grace! Kind of you to share - but now we're all obsessed! :)

white on rice couple said...

Grace, you've got me on this one. Cream cheese and chocolate, I just love. Believe it or not, I've spread cream cheese on my chocolate bar before!

Another lovely dessert to add to my list!

LyB said...

I can't believe I've never tried cream cheese brownies before. Especially your cream cheese brownies! Those swirls are gorgeous!

una donna dolce said...

That's funny because I'd never heard of a swirly before two days ago! My boyfriend couldn't believe it, even though I tried to tell him that girls don't do those mean things to each other...they'd rather steal your boyfriend and talk about you behind your back! Much more civilized!

Just kidding of course but these do look great!

eatme_delicious said...

Oh delicious! I made cream cheese brownies a long time ago and they weren't quite what I was hoping for but these ones look like they could be!

kimberleyblue said...

These look like little pieces of heaven. Oh yum!

Deborah said...

I'll take this kind of swirlie any day!!

sara angel said...

i want to try these!

bakingblonde said...

Better watch out or the blog police will be after you!! ha ha.

Those do look and sound amazing, like all of your pictures of food on here!! Love the blog!

Jeanne said...

Wow - those look incredible. I'm going to have to try them...

Anonymous said...

I had to put most of these in the freezer or I wouldn't be fitting into my jeans next week. These are amazing and I used ghirardelli chocolate. Good call on upping the amount of cream cheese!