Greetings from the North! For those of you who missed my earlier post, I am on vacation this weekend at my family’s home in Northern Michigan, or “Up North” as we like to call it. The house sits on beautiful Lake Charlevoix, with easy access to Lake Michigan (Literally…they call it “Charlevoix the Beautiful“).
Yesterday morning it was cold and rainy, which provided a perfect opportunity to whip up these Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies I spotted in my mom’s issue of Summer Entertaining 2011 from Cook’s Illustrated.
Danger Alert! These brownies are delicious, but between the chocolate and the cream cheese, they are incredibly rich. If you want to, serve them with vanilla ice cream or light sorbet to cut the richness. Yes, this is an official direction to eat ice cream. If anyone asks, feel free to blame it on me.
Now, Assemble your ingredients!
Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Use two pieces of aluminum foil to line your 8×8 square baking pan, letting the excess hang over the pan. Grease with cooking spray.
To make the cream cheese filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla in a food processor or with an electric mixer. Set aside.
In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Microwave the butter and chocolate in a large bowl for about a minute, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Whisk 1/4 cup jam or preserves and let cool slightly. Cooks Illustrated recommends either Smucker’s Red Raspberry Preserves ($2.99 for 18 ounces) or Trappist Red Raspberry Jam ($3.49 for 12 ounces). I used the Smuckers Preserves because they have a good flavor with an “appropriate amount of seeds.”
Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla to the chocolate mixture, stirring until incorporated.
Whisk in the flour mixture and stir until incorporated.
Microwave the remaining 1/4 cup of jam until warm, about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Move half of the chocolate batter into the prepared squared pan, smoothing with a spatula. Dolllop the cream cheese filling over the chocolate layer and spread into an even layer.
Dollop the warm jam over the filling and using the tip of a knife, swirl the jam through the filling.
Spread the remaining chocolate batter over the cream cheese filling and spread evenly with a spatula.
Bake between 50 and 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a few dry crumbs attached. Cool the brownies in a pan on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.
Using foil overhang, lift the brownies from pan and cut into 16 squares. Remember, these are VERY rich, so you really only need a few mouthfuls to get a serious chocolate fix….
OK, I’m off to go play in the lake – see ya!
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Makes 25 Brownies
Store the brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days
Original Recipe, Cooks Illustrated Summer Entertaining 2011