These cream cheese brownies are one of my favorite brownies because they’re not too fudgy and not too cakey. Of course then you add the cream cheese, pecans, and Heath bars, and you have the perfect brownie.—Allysa Torey
For the cream cheese filling
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, not softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
For the brownies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (see Note)
2/3 cup chopped Heath bars (about two 1.4-ounce bars) or any chocolate-covered toffee bar
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease and lightly flour a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
Make the cream cheese filling
1. In a medium-size bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth. Add the egg and flour and beat well. Set aside.
Make the brownies
1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a medium-size saucepan over low heat, melt the butter with the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large bowl, and allow to cool to lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the sugar. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in half of the pecans and half of the Heath bars.
4. Reserve 1/2 cup of the brownie batter. Spread the rest of the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
5. Drop the cream cheese mixture by tablespoonfuls over the batter. Next, drop the reserved brownie batter by teaspoonfuls in between the cream cheese filling. Using a small knife, swirl the two batters together, forming a decorative pattern. Sprinkle the remaining pecans and Heath Bars over the top, and using a spatula, gently press into the batter. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the pan comes out with moist crumbs attached. Do not overbake. Allow the brownies to cool overnight before cutting and serving.
Note: To toast the pecans, place on a baking sheet in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.
Recipe © 2006 by Allysa Torey. All rights reserved.