I feel like whenever I'm searching for a way to give whatever I happen to be baking an inspired twist, I turn to the Almond Joy. That kind of makes her my muse, right? I use the feminine pronoun because I've decided that an appropriate name for this muse must be Joya. Joya d'Almond.
Too silly? Nah. Regardless of what she's called, or if she's ever called anything at all, she does good work. This latest creation began as a simple batch of cream cheese brownies, but ended up as almond brownies with a coconut cream cheese swirl.
|That's what I call gooey.|
Lots of different textures (I used both shredded coconut and coconut extract to flavor the cream cheese filling) and lots of delicious flavors join forces to create a decadent and relatively easy and quick dessert!
Joya d'Almond Brownies
6 tablespoons butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup almonds, sliced
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg yolk
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square pan with non-stick spray or grease lightly.
Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave or over low heat, stirring until smooth. Beat in the sugar and eggs. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt, then add in the vanilla. Stir in the almonds. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, and coconut extract until smooth. Stir in the shredded coconut. Distribute the cream cheese mixture in eight dollops across the top of the brownie mixture, then take a dull knife or spatula and swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the batter in the center of the pan feels just set. Let cool, then cut the brownies into squares, rectangles, hearts, what-have-you.