Around this time of year, I suffer from decision fatigue. With the year winding down and the holidays in full swing, I don't want to make any unnecessary decisions.
Especially when the decision is whether to have cheesecake or a brownie. (Ah, if all choices were this rough, right?) Happily, this recipe doesn't ask you to chose; it combines the two.
When I first made these brownies, I swirled a cheesecake topping through the brownie batter. While the result was good, some of the brownie squares had little or no cheesecake and others contained a generous amount. All of the brownies need cheesecake, right? In the second pan, I increased the amount of cheesecake swirl.
But this didn't work. Increasing the amount of cheesecake swirl overwhelmed the brownies, leaving them too fudgy and almost batter-like.
On the next attempt, I reduced the amount of cheesecake swirl back to its original amount but didn't swirl it through the brownie batter. I simply spread it over the entire pan instead of swirling it through the batter. This worked! Each brownie square had a bit of cheesecake and the texture was moist but not unpleasantly wet.
Along the way during testing, I added a little raspberry jam. (Why not?)
Like most recipes, this one welcomes tinkering. Here are a few ideas (please jump in with your own!):
- Make it as written but swap the raspberry jam for strawberry or sour cherry.
- Leave out the jam for simple but rich cheesecake brownies.
- Omit the jam and cheesecake altogether. Without the moist topping, the brownies are a wee bit more cake-like.
- Add chopped, toasted nuts, about 1/2 cup of chopped nuts sprinkled over the batter.