Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

My friend Chef Dan was at my house the other day and said he wanted to make us his legendary cheesecake brownies.  When we went to the store to get the ingredients, he led me to the boxed cake mix section of the grocery store, and I steered him right back into the car to come back home.  I don’t allow boxed mixes in my house.  They’re full of artificial flavors and chemical preservatives that NONE of us need to be eating.  We came back home and I dug out my brownie recipe and my cheesecake recipe and we made some from-scratch cheesecake brownies.  They’re so simple, it’s shocking.

6 oz dark chocolate chips, (or premium chocolate, chopped)
6 oz unsalted butter (1 and a half sticks)

Melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each cooking, until the chocolate is mostly melted.  Stir until smooth.  Add:

1 1/2 c sugar

Stir until mixed, then add:

3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt

Stir until thoroughly mixed.  It may look a little grainy.  Then add:

1 cup unbleached flour

Fold the flour into until there are no more lumps.  Pour all but 1/2 cup of the batter into a 13×9 glass pan that has been buttered and dusted with cocoa powder.  Smooth evenly and set aside, reserving the 1/2 cup of batter.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream:

2 packages (1 pound) cream cheese

When smooth, add:

3/4 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
3 eggs
1 T corn starch
1/2 t salt

Beat until totally smooth.  Pour on top of brownie layer.  Drop the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate batter in circles here and there on top of the cheesecake layer.  Drag a knife through the circles of batter to swirl it in with the cheesecake layer.  Bake on the center rack of a preheated 325F oven for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Cool completely before attempting to slice and remove from pan.

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