And then making it even better with an amazing, rich and creamy cream cheese topping.
Par-tay in your mouth, folks. Taste buds totally pumping the jam.
I created this recipe by combining -and slightly altering- two separate ones from a cookbook my Mom gave me a few years ago. Let's start with the brownies...
Amazing Homemade Brownies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups + 1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder*
1 cup all-purpose (unbleached) flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
* using the 2 different types of cocoa adds a rich, chocolatey flavor, but you can use just 3/4 cup regular cocoa powder if you like
While you are preparing the brownie batter, place an 8 oz brick of cream cheese & 3 Tbsp butter on the counter to soften; preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease 13x9x2 baking pan or dish.
Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl in 30 second intervals for 1-2 minutes or until melted. Stir in sugar and vanilla extract. Add eggs, one at a time, and stir or whisk after adding each egg. Add cocoa and stir or whisk until blended. Next, add the flour, baking powder and salt, stirring again until completely mixed. Pour batter into greased or buttered pan.
Do not put the brownies into the oven just yet...now it's time to prepare the cream cheese topping.
Cream Cheese Topping
1 8-oz brick cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 generous Tbsp cornstarch
1 14-oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
If you've made the brownie batter and it's already in a greased 13x9 pan, then keep going; otherwise, go back to the beginning and whip up that batter.
In a large mixing bowl (I used my Kitchen-Aid mixer), beat together the cream cheese, butter and cornstarch until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the sweetened condensed milk, then add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth. Very carefully pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter; use a spatula to help spread the mixture without disturbing the brownie layer underneath.
Place the brownie pan in the oven and bake approximately 45 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Cool for several minutes before cutting and serving. These taste fantastic warm or after being stored in the fridge. Not that I have much experience eating them cool. They don't last too long around here. =)
Sometimes the brownie layer pops up a bit and makes an appearance in the cream cheese topping. It's all good.
If cream cheese topping isn't your thing, well, then we can't be friends. Just kidding. These brownies taste amazing all on their own, but I would recommend adding 1/2 - 3/4 cup walnuts to the brownie batter if you omit the cream cheese topping.
Interested in more dessert recipes?
Click HERE for my Homemade Whoopie Pies with real Creme Filling
Or HERE for easy, One-Bowl Blondies