Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

I’m quite possibly obviously having an identity crisis.

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies?

Or millet?

…Espresso Cheesecake Brownies?

…Or millet?

What a dilemma. I always plan to create lusciously healthy meals, yet I can’t resist the temptation to bake up some rich, creamy cheesecake or perfectly golden pound cake. I want to care about my carb intake, but not as badly as I want to bake cookies that make my apartment smell like brown butter. But maybe it’s not a dilemma? Maybe it’s the perfect culinary composition. Maybe it’s the ideal proportion of eating to live and living to eat.

Because I like to have my cake, and eat it too.

And because if there is one thing I have learned, it is to avoid that awful black and white thinking. Choose the middle path, Gordana, choose the middle path.

Fortunately for me, I have convinced myself that the middle path in this case is to have a little millet and a little cheesecake brownie. And being the key word. Little too. Hah.

I intended, this morning, not to vent to you, but to show you this.

I finally got you. My beautiful baking bible. Oh, Dorie. How happy you’ve made me.

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These are the kind of temptations I was talking about earlier. Beautiful books with pages upon pages of amazing recipes.

Now you see why I had to make these cheesecake brownies. Had to.IMG_2273

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These double bliss bars do require a bit extra time. Very, very worthy time. Dangerously rich, chock full of coffee, and creamy smooth.

I gave these away the morning after baking, because I just can’t resist a temptation like this.

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies
from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from my home to yours

Like the rest Dorie’s cookbook, these espresso cheesecake squares are the ideal combination of sophisticated and sweet. Unmistakable, deep espresso blends perfectly with rich, creamy cream cheese and fudgy brownie.

I suggest gathering all of your ingredients before you begin baking. Yes, I do think it is wise to do this all the time. But I distinctly remember a phase in my early baking wherein I failed to use mise en place, and I suspect my goods suffered as a result. This recipe is pretty much two recipes in one, so gathering the ingredients in the beginning will cut down on the busy-ness of the recipe.

Brownies

1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cut into one inch pieces
4 ounces chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cheesecake

1.5 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon flour

Topping
1 1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cu powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 x 9 pan. We’re going to make the brownie batter first, then the cheesecake batter, and later the topping.
2. In a double boiler, or over lowest heat in a saucepan, melt chocolate and butter.
3. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
4. Whisk together flour, salt, and powder together, and gently stir into chocolate batter.
5. Set aside and, in order to make the cheesecake, combine boiling water and espresso powder. Set this aside as well, and allow it to cool.
6. Beat cream cheese. Add sugar and continue beating 3 to 4 minutes.
7. Beat in espresso, and vanilla, and then eggs, one at a time. Mix for about one minute in between each addition.
8. Stir in the sour cream and tablespoon of flour.
9. Now, gather the brownie batter, give it a swirl, and pour about 3/4 of it into the pan. Smooth it out into a pretty thin layer.
10. Pour cheesecake on top, and then dollop remaining brownie batter back over cheesecake. To swirl mixture, gently insert a knife about 1/4 inch into mixture and spread in pan.
11. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. When it is ready, the sides will pull away from the pan and the cheesecake mixture will be a creamy, beige color, and the outside will be lightly browned.
12. Refrigerate for an hour. In the meantime, combine sour cream and powdered sugar.
13. When brownies are very cool and firm, spread cheesecake mixture on top and return to the refrigerator for another hour.

I usually freeze brownies if there are any left so I don’t devour them at once, but these have sour cream so they should stay in the refrigerator.

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