I made three kinds of brownies for TWD this week, which was chosen by Melissa of Life in a Peanut Shell. Why did I make three? I suppose I like to torture myself. jk
I made the recipe as written by Dorie (Baking From My Home to Yours, pages 104-105). I was skeptical as I'd read the P&Q's earlier in the week and many talked about the brownie being kind of dry. (I left out the espresso in all of them. No coffee at our house.) I baked this in a 9 inch square pan at 325 degrees, but just because my pan is dark in color, so I like to turn the oven down 25 degrees. I thought the cheesecake to brownie ratio was a bit high for these, in fact, I thought I estimated saving 1/4 of the brownie batter for the top pretty nicely, but it was hardly enough to go around. This batch of brownies is a little dry, you can even tell in the photos. I also left the sour cream topping off all the brownies.
Cheesecake with brownie is not my favorite combination. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I made the recipe. But I decided to be a little more creative and made the recipe again, using an 8 inch square pan, but only making 1/2 the recipe for the cheesecake and making it peanut butter cheesecake. I used about 1/4 cup peanut butter and forgot the sour cream (accidentally). I liked the brownie to cheesecake ratio better, but the brownies were still kind of a dry/not very fudgy kind of brownie. I also layered some mini Nutter Butter cookies on top of the cheesecake before swirling in the rest of the brownie batter.
Looks pretty yummy. For these, I only put about half the brownie batter on the bottom, so there would be more to swirl in the top.
After baking, cooling and chilling the brownies, I cut some fun (but still a bit dry) slices of brownie. Look at the one on the top right--it looks like a fish!
The peanut butter flavor was pretty good, but I just wish the brownie had been better.
Oh, I could have called it good for TWD this week, but NO--I wanted some rather gooey, fudgy cheesecake brownies, so I turned to my newest favorite brownie and whipped up some of the Dorie--Tribute to Katharine Hepburn brownies. Didn't realize I was almost out of cocoa, so these have 1/4 cup regular cocoa and 1/4 cup Hershey's Dark cocoa--hence the DARK color. I made up another batch of the cheesecake for the brownies and swirled that in. But still thought it was too much cheesecake mixture, so I left out just a bit of it. I did half the brownie batter on the bottom again and saved half for the top, instead of 3/4 to 1/4.
Going in to the oven.
Ready to serve.
These were definitely much more fudgy. We all agreed this was more like cheesecake with brownie in it, instead of brownie with cheesecake. It's good and quite rich. Yes, that's a lot of brownie. I've already given a bunch of it away. Whew. Thanks to Melissa for a fun pick to try this week. You can get this recipe on her blog, linked above.
Oh, and remember that I saved a little of the cheesecake mixture. For kicks, I threw some mini Oreos in it and put it in six mini paper lined muffin tins. These may be the best thing I baked today. A great little bite of Oreo chocolaty goodness in a cheesecake. Yum!
Go check out what some of the other Tuesday's With Dorie bakers did with these brownies this week.