Brownies. Has there ever been a more divisive treat? Fudgey vs. cakey. Dark vs. milk. Swirled vs. plain. Personally, I fall into the dark fudgey peanut butter swirl camp. But even Warren, who is firmly in the cakey, milk, plain jane camp loved these Extra Fudgey Berry Bliss Cheesecake Brownies. So don't worry, dark chocolate haters, these will go down the hatch just fine.
(Also, it took an inordinate amount of time to decide whether to use fudgy or fudgey. While fudgy felt right, fudgey looked right, if that makes any sense. Probably because it contains the word fudge. These are the things that keep me up at night, friends.)
But back to these brownies. They are ridiculous. I mean it. Like, knock you flat down with pure unadulterated joy. Because they have everything--a rich chocolatey base mingled with smooth cheesecake filling, all topped with fresh summer berries, a final note inspired by my favorite dessert of all time--Triple Berry Tarts.
And those chocolate chunks? Those hips don't lie. Just look at them. (Even buck naked--i.e., sans berries--these brownies tasted fabulous.)
But the berries really put them over the top to Awesome City. Note the berry juice beckoning to you in a come hither manner.
Yep, this is brownie seduction to the max. I'm not sorry.
EXTRA FUDGEY BERRY BLISS CHEESECAKE BARS
Makes 16 bars
For the Fudgey Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Adapted from Something Swanky
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. In another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in two batches. The batter will be extremely thick--so thick that it might be hard to stir. I switched from my blender to stirring by hand. Stir in chocolate chunks and scrape batter into the baking pan. Set aside.
For the Cheesecake Layer
Adapted from my favorite cheesecake recipe
- 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (2 bars)
- 12 oz. plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl mix all ingredients together until fully incorporated. Pour over the brownie layer and bake for 40-45 minutes, until cheesecake is set (it can still be a touch wobbly in the center). Cool then refrigerate for a few hours to make cutting easier. Cut into 16 bars and top with berry bliss (recipe below).
For the Berry Bliss Topping
Adapted from my favorite fruit tart recipe
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons instant tapioca (small pearls)
- 1/8 cup water
- 2 cups mixed berries. We used blackberries, blueberries, and chopped strawberries
Boil the blueberries, water, and tapioca for about 10 minutes, until tapioca is dissolved and the blueberries have thickened. You may need to add one more tablespoon of tapioca. Fold in mixed berries and spoon berries on top of cooled cheesecake brownies.