Today I’m bringing you another swirly twirly brownie recipe. A brownie that is all dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day, for spring, and would equally be just as fabulous around the holidays. This brownie will definitely get around.
Not too long ago I shared my Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies with you. Ever since I made them, I couldn’t get the cheesecake/brownie idea out of my head.
Brownies? Good. Cheesecake? GOOD. Naturally, I had to create a new version.
I have two homemade brownie recipes on my website and tried this recipe with both versions. One recipe uses melted chocolate and another recipe uses cocoa powder. Some may not agree here, but I truly don’t have a preference over cocoa powder or solid chocolate in homemade brownie recipes. I love them both!
I made these brownies with the Ultimate Fudge Brownie recipe first. Those brownies are so insanely fudgy, rich, thick, and dense. They are made with quite a lot of butter and cocoa powder. The batter itself is like melted fudge consistency – not runny or thin at all. While those brownies are fabulous on their own, swirling the cream cheese mixture into them was nearly impossible. The two just would NOT mix because the batter is so thick! Still, I baked them hoping they would turn out ok.
Well, they tasted fine but were not pretty. And you know me, I like a pretty dessert. I quickly came to the conclusion that my Ultimate Fudge Brownie recipe is perfect for regular brownies, but are not the best choice for swirling.
I tried these swirled brownies again with my other homemade brownie recipe. This brownie recipe makes a larger batch than the other brownies, but uses less butter. This recipe uses melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder and take a bit longer to mix together. They are much chewier than my other brownies as well, which I love.
I made the mint chocolate chip cheesecake brownies again using this brownie recipe. Yes, I had a lot of brownies in my apartment at one given time having made this recipe twice! Sure enough, I found the winner. The batter is thinner than the other brownie batter, so it made the swirling so much easier.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I prefer my brownies so chewy and so fudgy that they taste like a dense chocolate frosting you can eat with a fork. If I wanted a cake-like brownie, I would eat a piece of chocolate cake! The fudginess in today’s brownie recipe relates to the small amount of flour. More flour = a more cake-like brownie.
The homemade brownies are very easy to make. First, set out 1 package of cream cheese. You need softened cream cheese for the cheesecake filling, so I make sure to set it out before I begin everything else. 1 package of cream cheese = 8 ounces.
You’re going to melt 1 stick of butter and 8 ounces of coursely chopped chocolate together in a saucepan over medium-low heat. I use 1 package of Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate Squares. You may find this chocolate in the baking aisle. Truly, any baking chocolate will do here. I do not suggest chocolate chips.
Stir the chocolate and the butter together constantly until everything is completely melted and smooth. Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes while you set out the rest of your ingredients. Once the butter/chocolate is cool, stir in 1 and 1/4 cups of sugar. Stir until it is completely combined – the mixture will look gritty.
Using a whisk, add 3 eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. Then, add some vanilla extract. Your wet ingredients are now combined and it’s time to add the dry ingredients, which won’t be much at all. General rule of thumb: there are always more wet ingredients than dry ingredients in a fudgy homemade brownie recipe. That’s what makes them so fudgy.
Gently fold in 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour and a bit of salt. Do not overmix the batter; you want to only mix it until you no longer see any flour. Overmixing will lead to hard, dry brownies.
At this point, the brownie batter is ready for some cheesecake action.
The cheesecake swirl is beyond easy to make. Take your softened cream cheese, 1 egg yolk, 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 drops of green food coloring, and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract. With the extract, please remember: a little bit goes a long way! Beat everything together with a hand-mixer until smooth. Taste the mint cheesecake mixture – if it needs more peppermint flavor, add 1 more drop of peppermint extract. If you’d like it to be a brighter green, add more food coloring.
And finally, stir in 2/3 cup of mini chocolate chips to the cheesecake mixture.
Now it’s time to swirl! Pour brownie batter into a prepared baking pan, leaving 1/4 cup of batter behind. Dollop spoonfuls of the minty chocolate chip cheesecake mixture on top of the prepared brownie batter. Cover with the last few Tablespoons of brownie batter. Glide a knife through the layers, creating a swirl pattern. Sprinkle the top of it all with a few more mini chocolate chips. Told you, I’m not shy about adding more and more chocolate chips.
Bake the brownies for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I would check them at the 30 minute mark and test for doneness with the toothpick. Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares. Waiting for them to cool is pure torture! So… naturally… I stuck them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Patience? Yeah, I have none.
The cool mint cheesecake swirl is thick and sinks into the brownie batter as it bakes, leaving you with surprise cheesecake filling in every fudgy bite. If a Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie were a soft brownie, this would be it.
To me, swirling is much easier than layering so I was happy that this recipe wasn’t difficult at all to make. Much less fussy than most of the brownies I’ve made before. You will mix the brownie batter completely by hand, then whip out your hand-mixer for the cheesecake swirl.
The cool minty swirl is my favorite part. Look how thick it is!
Are you a fan of mint and chocolate? Good. You’re going to FLIP for these! I love a moist, fudgy homemade brownie recipe and this will forever be one of my very favorites. Pairing it with mint was only meant to happen soon.
PS: these disappeared in my apartment. And again at work. Sneaky little brownies, aren’t they?
*I strongly recommend a homemade brownie recipe for these. If you’re feeling lazy and short on time, use a box mix – but only in an emergency! My favorite boxed brownie mix is Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate boxed brownie mix. The chocolate flavor doesn’t necessary taste like “dark chocolate,” it is just very rich and fudgy.
Makes 24-30 squares, depending how large you slice them. Brownies stay fresh stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
- 8 ounces coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate (I used 1 Bakers Baking Bar)
- 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (or more, see note below)
- 2 drops green food coloring (or more, see note below)
- 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 11 x 7 inch baking pan (or 13 x 9 inch baking pan for thinner brownies) with cooking spray. Set aside. Set out 8 ounces of cream cheese for the cheesecake layer and allow to soften as you prepare the brownies.
- Make the brownies first: Melt butter and semi-sweet chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (about 15 minutes). You may also stick the chocolate/butter mixture into the refrigerator to cool to room temperature quicker.
- Stir sugar into cooled chocolate/butter mixture until combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour and salt. Pour batter into prepared pan, reserving 1/4 cup of batter.
- Make the cheesecake swirl: With a hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat the softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, egg yolk, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, and 2 drops of food coloring in a medium bowl until completely smooth - about 1 minute. Manually stir in the mini chocolate chips. Dollop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the prepared brownie batter. Cover with the last 1/4 cup of brownie batter. Glide a knife through the layers, creating a swirl pattern. Add more mini chocolate chips on top, if desired.
- Bake brownies for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Check them at the 30 minute mark to be sure. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares.
*Taste the mint cheesecake mixture after you mix it - if it needs more peppermint flavor, add 1 more drop of peppermint extract. If you'd like it to be a brighter green, add more food coloring.
Recipe source: sallysbakingaddiction.com
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Today’s recipe was inspired by my Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies. LOVE these.
Another inspiration? Why my Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies of course.
Are you a fan of mint and chocolate together? Let’s just say I *kinda* am.
Kinda = seriously.