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  • Mary Kay

EASY VAL Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies

"14 Days of Angels Baking Valentine Memories!"

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a close friend, coffee and these easy to make dreamy creamy brownies from a box with a special swirled cream cheese filling added on top.

You’ll love these chewy brownies with chocolate chips and the cream cheese filling. Make them with a boxed brownie mix – you choose the brand - and swirl the cream cheese mixture into the top of the brownie mixture. Then make scratch coffee enhanced chocolate frosting and top it off with a nice hot cup of your favorite coffee.


This makes a big 9”x13” pan of brownies. If you want really thick brownies, double the entire brownie recipe shown below.


My frosting recipe covers half of the brownies very nicely. I like to frost half of the brownies with my fluffy chocolate coffee frosting, and leave the other half unfrosted so you can see the cream cheese swirls. When served on a platter it makes for a pretty assortment, especially if you add some Valentine candies on top.

If you want frosting on all of the brownies, it’s easy to double the frosting recipe. I like the variety of having some brownies frosted and some unfrosted in case some people don’t enjoy a lot of chocolate. But, why not splurge once in a while!


Recipe makes a 9”x13” pan for about 36 brownies, depending on how large you cut them.


Prepare your oven:

Heat oven to 350F degrees a few minutes before you're ready to bake.


Prep your pan:

Line a 9”x13” cake pan with parchment paper so you can lift the entire brownie out of the pan after it’s cooled. When fitting the parchment paper, allow the paper to overlap the upper edges of the pan by about 2 inches on all four side. Be sure to lightly butter the pan first, on all sides and bottom. This keeps the parchment paper in place when you pour the brownie batter into the pan and spread it around to even it out.

Brownie base Ingredients and Mixing:

(Double the Brownie base recipe if you want really thick brownies.)

1 – 16-18 oz Brownie basic boxed mix – use your favorite brand.

- Include all the ingredients (water, oil, egg, etc.) listed on the box.

- Mix the brownie mix according to the directions on the box.

- Add and mix in ½ C Chocolate chips, semi-sweet.

- Set aside.


Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients and Mixing:

(If you double the above brownie recipe, it’s not necessary to double this cream cheese filling recipe, but feel free to try it if you like.)

8 oz Cream cheese, softened

½ C Sugar

2 T Flour

1 Egg

1 t Vanilla extract

1 t Coffee extract (optional)

- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.

- Add the rest of the items and beat for 3-5 minutes until smooth.

- Pour the brownie mix into the 9”x13” parchment paper lined pan.

- Spoon dollops of the cream cheese mixture all over the top of the brownie mixture.

- Using a butter knife point, swirl the white mixture into the brownie mixture. Don’t over mix or you will lose the swirls as the brownies bake.

- Add a handful more of chocolate chips on top if you like.

- Bake at 350F degrees for 25-30 minutes. Check doneness with a clean toothpick. After poking the brownies, if the toothpick comes out free from dough crumbs, it's done. I usually check at the 25 minute mark and return it to the the oven if it needs more baking.

Homemade scratch chocolate coffee frosting:

(This frosting recipe covers about half of the brownies, leaving half of them to show off their cream cheese swirls. Of course, if you don’t want to frost the brownies, don’t. But this is a delicious recipe.)

This is a recipe I developed from scratch today. I don’t usually make frosting from a recipe, but decided to write it down this time. In fact, I don’t remember my Mother or either of my Grams ever using a recipe to make frosting.


For my frosting, it’s a matter of mixing the basic ingredients and then adding more dry or wet ingredients to get the consistency I want that particular day. If it’s humid and hot, I use a little more shortening and less butter since butter is more apt to melt the frosting on a hot day. If I use more butter than shortening on a hot day I’ll keep the cake or brownies refrigerated until I serve it. In some cases, I’ll add meringue powder, especially if I want the frosting to look and feel dried so I can frost and pipe frosting on cookies which need to be stacked in a box (usually as a gift) after the frosting dries overnight.


Ingredients:

3 C Powdered sugar, sifted

¼ C Dutch cocoa, sifted

¼ C Shortening

1 T Butter, softened

¼ C Coffee, strong brewed

1 t Vanilla extract

Beat the Frosting until fluffy:

(This makes enough frosting to cover about half of the brownies. It’s a nice variety to have some chocolate frosted brownies and leave half of them unfrosted to you can see the cream cheese swirls.)

- Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa together into a medium bowl.

- Carefully beat the shortening, butter, coffee and vanilla into the dry mixture with an electric mixer. I use a portable mixer. Beat on medium-high until fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.

- Add more coffee or powdered sugar (if you need to) to make the consistency firm but fluffy.

- If you like it more chocolatey, add 2 more tablespoons of sifted cocoa. Be sure to sift it into the bowl so the cocoa doesn’t stay in “chunks.”

- The frosting should spread very easily over the brownies.


Decorating ideas:

- For variety, like I do, frost some of the brownies and leave others plain to show off their cream cheese swirls.

- Place heart shaped chocolates on top of the frosting for Valentine's Day.

- Sprinkle red, pink and white sprinkles on top of the frosting.

- This is an easy recipe to turn into a mint flavored brownie. Add a teaspoon of mint extract in the brownie mix and another teaspoon into the chocolate frosting. Or, add mint flavored chocolate chips in the batter. For St. Patrick’s Day, add some green food coloring to the white cream cheese filling.


Enjoy making these brownies and the cream cheese filling. Experiment with different flavors and decorations depending on the family or public event. Don’t be afraid to taste a corner of the baked brownie if you’re trying a new flavor. Try new flavors and “Bake your own Memories.”


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