OK, so technically, these are Martha Stewart's Black-and-White Cheesecake Squares, but since I've probably made them more than her test kitchen, I've adopted them and renamed them Cheesecake Brownies, MY Cheesecake Brownies. They are the most impressive thing I have ever made, everyone loves them and me when I make them, and they are the only brownie recipe I will ever need. The lucky recipients of this batch are my husband's coworkers. He started a new job recently and I always like to butter up his bosses and colleagues :)
You can get the recipe from the link above; here are some tips that will make people fall in love you.
Don't bother preheating the oven before you begin. The batter needs to chill in the fridge for 30 min, so preheat once they have been in the fridge about 15 minutes.
This is the secret ingredient that my husband is NOT ALLOWED to tell anyone, but I'm sharing with you b.c this is what makes or breaks these brownies.
Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder. Not every store carries this, but it is so worth checking every store until you find it.
Don't forget to sift! See all those crumbs left? They stop the brownie from being silky smooth, just press them through with the back of a spoon.
Start creaming your butter and sugar on low, when it looks like this, take the speed to medium.
You are done when it looks like this.
Reserve about a cup of dough for the topping, cover it in cling wrap, and stick in the fridge.
Line your baking pan with parchment paper (not wax paper, they are NOT the same thing).
Cut off a sheet large enough to leave overhang on the long sides (this will make is so easy to get the brownies out of the pan).
I like to use 4 binder clips to hold the paper in place.
Spray the paper with baking spray, I like to use the one with flour in it
Take those clips off before you put the pan in the oven!
This is a good time to take your cream cheese and remaining egg out of the fridge to come to room temperature.
Take the pan out of the oven when the edges are puffed, a crust has formed, but the majority of the brownie still wiggles.
I like to turn off the oven at this point.
Let them cool while you make the cheesecake batter. Then pour the cheesecake batter on top. The puffed edges will stop the cheesecake from going all the way to the edge.
Heat the oven back up and dot the top of the cheesecake layer with the reserved brownie batter. I like to use my cookie scoop, but a spoon or your hands works great, too.
When you are done baking, let them cool on a wire rack for about an hour. Then stick them in the fridge for at least another hour, longer if you have the time.
When they are totally cool, lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper and slice. If you try to cut them warm, you will make a big mess.
If you ever need to win someone over, make them these brownies!