Baker at Heart ♥

Archive for March 2013

Here’s the recipe for the best cream cheese brownies ever. It’s adapted from Baking Illustrated, which I think is the ultimate baking bible.

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Cream Cheese Brownies

adapted from Baking Illustrated / makes 16 brownies (or depends on how you cut them) / bakes in 50-60 mins at 325F (160C)

For the brownies, you’ll need:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup unsalted butter, chopped

1 cup sugar

2 tsps vanilla extract

 3 eggs

For the cream cheese layer, you’ll need:

1 cup cream cheese, room temperature

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325F and butter an 8-inch square pan. Set aside.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Put the chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl. Microwave at 50% power in 30 second increments or until completely smooth and melted. Let mixture cool.

4. Mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture. Make sure to add eggs one at at time. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

5. Pour batter into the prepared pan but set aside 1/2 cup of the batter.

6. For the cream cheese layer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth and well-blended.

7. Pour the cream cheese batter evenly over the brownie batter. Spoon small dollops of the reserved brownie batter on top of the cream cheese filling. Run a knife or a skewer through the two batters to create a marbled effect.

8. Bake until the edges are puffy and the cream cheese filling is just starting to brown, around 50-60 minutes. Few, moist crumbs should stick when a skewer or cake tester is inserted in the middle. Remove from oven and let in cool in a wire rack for at least two hours. Refrigerate overnight then cut into squares.

These brownies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days.

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Last Wednesday, my mom asked me to bake some cream cheese brownies. Being a good daughter that I am, I decided to make a batch of blondies as well. I went to the grocery store (which is known for stocking eclectic and high-end/foreign-made stuff) looking for some butterscotch chips. I know that in this side of the world, butterscotch chips don’t exist, but that time, I was secretly hoping that I’d be able to find a bag.   I didn’t find one, but I saw some Reese’s peanut butter chips so I grabbed a bag (plus a small cup of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream!) and went home. Started baking and these came out from the oven –

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Totally awesome. Unfortunately, I only got to eat few pieces each since these were for my mom’s friends. Lucky them.

So back to the peanut butter chips. I don’t know what to to do with them, but I have already spied on some food blogs and peanut butter blondies seems to be the best thing to do next. I also have some cream cheese bricks here. I went to the grocery yesterday again and I saw that there was a buy-1-take-1 promo on them. These babies are going to expire on March 31st though, explaining the sale. I bought some cornmeal too, plus Oreos and pancake mixes. Ah, my love for grocery window shopping and the actual shopping is endless. Too bad I get broke afterwards.

I have peanut butter chips, cream cheese bars, cornmeal, Oreos and pancake mixes. Actually scratch that, I made wicked Oreos this morning (double-stuffed Oreos!!!) and this was the result –

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I just dipped them into the batter and fried them (not deep-fried, didn’t have enough oil at home). I don’t know how to make the batter stick to the cookies, though, that’s why they ended up looking like that.

Peanut butter chips for peanut butter blondies. Check. Cream cheese bars for individual cheesecake cups. Check. I just have to buy milk, eggs, sour cream and more butter. I love buying and stocking up on butter.

On another note, since I have been searching the Internet for recipes for the past few days, I occasionally stumble upon local food blogs talking about the local dining scene. From home-cooked meals, to fast-food dining and now to eclectic, specialized restaurants, it’s nice to know that the people here are becoming more adventurous and maybe mature when it comes to food. There are burger bars, ramen bars, all-day breakfast restaurants popping up all around the metro. And here I am, wishing that I can try them all. I don’t mind shelling out extra money to eat because in the end, it’s the experience that will make these things memorable. Actually as I type this down, I’m imagining myself sinking my teeth into some juicy burger patty (I hate buns, I just want to eat the meat).

Food. Food. Food. I’m posting recipes for the next entry. FOOD.