The high temperatures have been in the 40′s for the past couple of days, and it’s finally beginning to feel a little more like Spring around here. I know that may not sound very warm to some of you, but after a very long Winter that consisted of near-record breaking snowfall and freezing cold temperatures, 40 degrees feels pretty good.
There’s still a bit of a chill in the air though, so I decided to warm up my kitchen by baking these Strawberry Cream Cheese Brownies. I honestly had no idea what I wanted to bake today, so I began looking through my refrigerator and a package of cream cheese and a jar of strawberry jam caught my eye. Several ideas ran through my mind on how to use these two ingredients, but I finally settled on brownies.
The strawberry/cream cheese layer that tops these rich, thick, chocolaty brownies is really delicious. I’m glad a made a big pan, because I have a feeling they’re going to disappear in the blink of an eye.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Cream Cheese layer:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
Add butter mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, stirring until smooth after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Spoon batter into prepared baking pan.
For strawberry cream cheese layer: place cream cheese, flour, sugar, egg and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, mix on medium speed until well combined.
Spread the cream cheese mixture in an even layer on top of brownie batter.
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat strawberry jam for 20 seconds; stir until smooth. Spoon the jam on top of the cream cheese layer and swirl it with a knife.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.