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 tablespoon all purpose flour
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
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.)