Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

I’m convinced that there are two types of people in the world – those that love the combination of chocolate and fruit flavors, and those who absolutely despise it. I fall somewhere in the middle. (Does that make me half a person? Hmmm.) I adore chocolate-covered strawberries, as well as chocolate paired with banana anything, but that’s usually where my chocolate/fruit fascination ends. I’ve never been over the moon about chocolate with berries or orange or anything like that. As a result, this recipe was sort of a challenge to myself, to see what I thought about the marriage of raspberry and chocolate. It was a good starting point, as the raspberry flavors in this brownie are somewhat subtle, so it was a perfect way to get my feet wet and to see what I thought. Turns out, I rather like the raspberry-infused chocolate flavor. A nice undertone – distinct yet not overpowering, and very complementary. Of course, a little cheesecake filling never hurts anything!

The raspberry flavor is derived by using raspberry jam – a little of which is mixed right into the brownie batter, and a little more is swirled on top of the cream cheese layer in the middle of the brownies. Mixing the raspberry jam into the actual brownies gives them just a hint of reddish hue – so lovely!

I think the best part of this recipe is its ability to be completely adaptable to your preferred tastes. Maybe you love chocolate and strawberry together? By all means, just substitute strawberry jam for the raspberry. I imagine you could use just about any flavor you like, and mix it up for some variety. I’m so happy I gave this recipe a try; I’m sure it will be a gateway drug to more chocolate and fruit experimentation!

How do you feel about chocolate and fruit flavors together? Yay or Nay?

One year ago: Best Buttermilk Pancakes
Two years ago: Creme Brulee
Four years ago: Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

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Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1½ cups granulated sugar, divided

1 egg yolk

2¼ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

½ cup raspberry jam, divided

3 eggs


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing excess to hand over the pan edges. Grease foil; set aside.


2. Process the cream cheese, ¼ cup granulated sugar, egg yolk, and ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract in a food processor until smooth; set aside.


3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Microwave the butter and chocolate in a large bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk in ¼ cup of the raspberry jam and cool slightly. Add the remaining 1¼ cups sugar, the eggs, and remaining 1½ teaspoons vanilla to the chocolate mixture, stirring until combined. Add the flour mixture and stir until incorporated.


4. Microwave the remaining ¼ cup raspberry jam until warm, about 30 seconds; stir until smooth. Scrape half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Dollop the cream cheese filling over the batter and spread into and even layer. Dollop the warm jam evenly over the filling and swirl to partially combine. Spread the remaining brownie batter evenly over the filling. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Using the foil overhang, life the brownies from the pan and cut into squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


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(Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Cookies)


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