These bars combine the best of two worlds--brownies and
cheesecake. They aren't difficult to make, but they're
perfect for almost any type of gathering (they make a
nice gift, too--wrap them individually in plastic wrap,
then place in a fancy tin or basket). Because these freeze
perfectly, they're ideal for dessert when unexpected guests
drop by. Some people (like me) don't even bother to defrost
them before serving, as they seem equally satisfying to
eat whether chilled or frozen. If you must, you can add
some chopped walnuts or pecans to the brownie batter,
but if you do you might want to omit the chocolate chips
from the cream cheese layer, unless you like a lot of
crunch to your brownies (the chips will be crunchy when
- 12 ounces cream cheese,
- 2/3 cup granulated
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 eggs, graded "large"
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1-1/2 cups semisweet
- 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp.)
unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 7 squares (7 ounces)
unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 5 squares (5 ounces)
semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 eggs, graded "large"
- 2 cups plus 3 Tbsp.
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Pinch salt
- 2/3 cup all-purpose
Line a 13
by 9 by 2 inch pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny
side up, leaving some overhang and folding it back over
the outside of the pan. Grease the bottom only lightly
with vegetable shortening. Set aside. Adjust rack to center
Cheese Mixture: In small bowl of electric stand mixer
(or use a medium bowl and a powerful hand-held mixer),
combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat
at low speed until mixed, then increase speed to medium
and beat just until perfectly smooth (you don't want a
lot of air in this mixture). Scrape bowl and beater(s)
frequently with rubber spatula. At low speed, add eggs,
one at a time, beating after each only until smooth and
incorporated. Remove from mixer; by hand, fold in sour
cream. Set aside at room temperature.
Batter: In medium heatproof bowl, combine butter and
chopped chocolates. Place over simmering water on low
heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir often
until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water;
allow to cool at least 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350
bowl, combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt. With large
spoon, beat until well-mixed and slightly foamy, about
1 minute. Add chocolate mixture, which may still be slightly
warm, and beat in until combined. Stir in flour just until
incorporated. Batter will be on the thin side--OK.
2-1/4 cups of the brownie batter (reserve remainder).
Turn into prepared pan. Spread level, then run batter
slightly higher along the pan edges and in the corners.
Slowly pour cream cheese mixture over brownie layer and
spread level. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over cream
cheese, keeping them about one-half inch away from all
edges. Using back of clean spoon or spatula, gently tamp
chips down into cream cheese layer just slightly.
brownie batter to loosen; place by small spoonfuls all
over top of cream cheese layer. The spoonfuls of brownie
batter will not entirely cover the cream cheese layer--OK.
If you wish, with a toothpick or cake tester, cut through
the brownie batter spoonfuls and just into the cream cheese
layer five or six times, first parallel to the long edges
of the pan, then parallel to the short edges. The brownie
batter spoonfuls will have set somewhat after coming into
contact with the colder cream cheese layer, so they may
provide a bit of resistance to the toothpick/cake tester.
This step is optional, but it creates a nice marbling
in preheated oven. Bake 33 to 40 minutes, or until a cake
tester inserted into a brownie patch in the center of
the pan emerges with only a few moist crumbs clinging
to it. Do not overbake. Note that the brownies will come
away from the sides of the pan only as they cool, and
that the sides will take on a golden color (the top doesn't
brown). Let cool to room temperature, then cover and chill
at least 6 hours before cutting.
To cut, remove
brownies, still in foil, from pan. Peel back foil from
sides. With long, sharp, heavy knife, trim away and discard
about one-half inch from each edge. Try using a straight-
edged knife and a serrated knife to see what works best
for you here. I cut these into 32 bars; however you cut
them, you'll need to rinse the knife blade under hot water
and dry it frequently. Wrap each brownie in plastic wrap;
store in refrigerator or freezer and serve cold or frozen.
Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone,
but retains copyright on all text. This means that you
may not: distribute the text to others without the express
written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror"
or include this information on your own server or documents
without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this
system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your
own personal use; store the files on your own computer
for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents
on this server from your own documents.