Sunday, May 4, 2014

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

Saturday morning television is the best!  The air waves are filled with cooking, sewing, quilting, gardening and woodworking shows.  I failed to mention Book TV in this list.  The shows are filled with new recipes, plants, books, tips and ideas.  I have an endless list of favorites.  One cooking show I especially enjoy is America's Test Kitchen.  Christopher Kimball, the host of the show, is constantly testing new kitchen equipment and gadgets, tasting products on the grocery shelves and searching for the ultimate over the top recipe.  On a recent trip to the grocery store, I stopped in the magazine section and found Cook's Illustrated:  Comfort Food Favorites.  The magazine's founder and editor is Christopher Kimball.  This issue of the magazine takes basic comfort food like meatloaf and macaroni and kicks it up a notch.  The format of the magazine is similar to the television show:  testing, tasting, tips and techniques.

One of my favorite recipes from the magazine is Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies.  Cook's takes basic brownies, a comfort food, and takes them over the top.


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) of sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


2/3 cup (3 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup raspberry jam (Cook's recommends Smucker's Red Raspberry Preserves)
1 1/4 cups (3 1/4 ounces) sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat over to 350 degrees
  • For the filling:  Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds
  • For the brownies:  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Microwave butter and chocolate in large bowl stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 1 minute.  Whisk in 1/4 cup jam and let cool slightly.  Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla to chocolate mixture, stirring until combined.  Whisk in flour mixture until incorporated
  • Microwave remaining 1/4 cup jam in small bowl until warm, about 30 seconds, stir until smooth.  Scrape half of batter into prepared pan.  Dollop filling over batter and spread into even layer.  Dollop warm jam over filling and, using tip of a knife, swirl jam through filling.  Spread remaining batter evenly over filling.
  • Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few dry crumbs attached, 50 minutes to 1 hour.  Let Brownies cool in pan on wire rack for at least 2 hours.  Cut into small pieces and serve.
Cook's recommends making a foil sling to line the bottom and sides of the baking pan.  Make a foil sling for an 8-inch baking pan by folding 2 long sheet soy aluminum foil so each is 8 inches wide.  lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over the edges of the pan.  Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush in pan.  Using this aluminum foil sling helps remove the Brownies from the pan and they can be cut more evenly.

These Brownies are very rich so cut into small squares.  Yum Yum!  Comfort food Brownies kicked up a notch.  America's Test Kitchen or Cook's or Christopher Kimball have never heard of me, I'm just a girl who enjoys comfort food. (I am quiet confident this recipe is not recommended by the American Heart Association as heart healthy.)