Cream cheese and chocolate.
Chocolate and cream cheese.
No matter how you say it, these brownies were irresistible.
While going through the fridge a few weekends ago, I found some cream cheese that I had forgotten about. I’m not even sure why I bought it in the first place so I decided to put it to good use instead of wasting it.
I’d had cream cheese brownies before, but they were always the kind from the box. I figured they couldn’t be too tough to make from scratch and I wanted something to take to small group anyway, so I grabbed my go-to brownie recipe and got started.
One of the best gifts I’ve ever received came from one of my best friends’ Sara’s mom. Before I left Arkansas to get married and transfer schools (yep, I got married before I finished college), she gave me a binder with some of her favorite recipes.
Her 5-minute brownie recipe was the inspiration for this pan of rich and gooey brownies.
Cream Cheese Brownies, adapted from Linda VanWinkle’s 5-Minute Brownie recipe
- 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 6 oz. softened cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In large bowl, mix together cocoa powder and baking soda.
- Blend in 1/3 cup of oil.
- Add boiling water to cocoa mixture and stir until mixture thickens.
- Stir in sugar, 2 eggs, and remaining 1/3 cup of oil. Stir until smooth.
- Add flour, 1 tsp vanilla, and salt and stir until combined.
- Pour into 9×13 baking dish.
- For cream cheese swirl, mix together cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1 egg.
- Drop by spoonful on brownie batter and swirl into batter.
- Bake 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Swirling the cream cheese and brownie batter together is the most fun part of this recipe. It feels like art class but better – because I get to eat the final outcome.
I love that some of the brownies have a ton of the cream cheese mixture and some are just deep, dark chocolate.
This is the easiest way to have a little bit of cheesecake without dragging out my springform pan, making a water bath, and needing pounds of cream cheese in my fridge.
I love cocoa.
I love cheesecake.
I love them together.
But what I love most is the fact that this recipe was born out of an old family recipe, passed on to me when I was starting my own family.
Recipes with memories already attached don’t come along very often, so keep them when you can.