Sunday, January 24, 2010

SMS - Black Bottom Brownies

This week's Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe, Black Bottom Brownies, was chosen by Cynthia of Bakingtherapist's Blog. This recipe combines two favorites: brownies and cheesecake. I love both so I figured I'd like them even better together.

I never had or made Cheesecake Brownies before so this was certainly exciting. However, the thought of making a plain vanilla cheesecake batter to pour on top of the brownie batter didn't sound that exciting to me. What could I change to spruce things up? What goes with chocolate? Hmmm... pretty much anything. Looked in my fridge and there was my answer. Raspberries it is then!

Spread the brownie batter evenly in the pan.

Pour the raspberry cheesecake batter on top, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, and in the oven it goes.

About 45 minutes later, it looked like this. Now it has to cool completely.

I made half a batch and after 45 minutes, I removed the brownies from the oven and set them outside in 30 degree F weather to cool for about 4 hours. Then it was tasting-time. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, I cut the brownies into cute little hearts. Mmmm... the creamy raspberry cheesecake complimented the dense and fudgy brownie beautifully. My only criticism would be that the brownie edges were overbaked and very dry. I expect some of that, but in this case, you could easily cut off a whole inch on all sides to get to the fudgy part. Next time I'll use cake strips.

Used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make it look extra special :o)

If you'd like to give these a try, pick up a copy of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book or go to Cynthia's blog for the recipe. Thanks for such a great recipe pick, Cynthia!!

Bon appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:
  • Hubby and I enjoyed these brownies a lot. The cheesecake part was perfectly creamy and the raspberries gave it a nice fruitiness with a little tang. The brownie part was dense and fudgy, and very chocolaty. I liked the combination of both. Would definitely make this again.
  • Made only half a recipe and used a metal 8" square pan.
  • Instead of using all granulated sugar, I used half granulated sugar, half brown sugar. The latter helps in creating moist and fudgy brownies.
  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of eggs. I wasn't too worried about the 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk in the brownie batter. However, the cheesecake batter required 3 whole eggs for 8 oz of cream cheese. That's a very high ratio of cream cheese to eggs and I don't like desserts to taste "eggy". So I used 2 eggs instead.
  • Instead of regular cream cheese I used a 8 oz tub of raspberry cream cheese bagel spread from my favorite bakery, Panera Bread. I added about 1/4 cup of thawed out raspberries to the batter.
  • The batter looked pretty runny to me so I added 1 Tbsp of flour to it. As a general rule of thumb, it's always good to add 1 Tbsp of flour to cheesecake batter to prevent it from cracking or sinking because the flour acts as a stabilizer.
  • Sprinkled about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips on top of the raspberry cheesecake batter.
  • Baked it in a 300F oven with convection ON for 45 minutes.
  • Don't forget to check out what the other SMS bakers thought of this week's recipe.


  1. So many changes, but they look good! The raspberries seem like such a good addition! Also, I loved the idea of cutting it with a heart shaped cutter...perfect for valentines day!

  2. Yum, raspberry cheesecake! Great idea Hanaa. I also love that you cut them into heart shapes - so cute :) I thought the cheesecake batter seemed a little runny too - glad I wasn't the only one! They still turned out well, but it definitely made me nervous. I liked these but not among my favorites.

  3. You are BRILLIANT! You used Raspberry cream cheese spread from Panera Bread. We have a Panera Bread and I have not been there yet. After reading how this is your favorite place, I am going to have to go check Panera out.

    I did not know about the 1 T. of flour being a stabilizer. I do now, thanks to you. This is why I just love having baking blogger friends. A wealth of knowledge shared amongst us all.

    Raspberries look beautiful and the heart shape is precious. What a great idea for Valentines Day too. I am emailing you. I have missed catching up and saying hello, Shandy

  4. Your heart shaped brownies are beautiful! Im glad you enjoyed them!

  5. Love all the changes you made, and the heart-shaped brownies are darling! I love Panera's raspberry cream cheese spread!

  6. What a wonderful idea! Thanks for the great tutorial!


  7. Raspberries and chocolate, yum! I love the heart shape treat. I thought the cheesecake batter seemed very thin, good move to add some flour.

  8. these look absolutely delicious! I love how you cut into heart shape! So pretty!!

  9. The brownies look super cute. what a brilliant idea of you using a heart shape cookie cutter. I can't wait to taste them if I'm lucky.
    Do you have any leftovers:):)??

  10. You're SO creative! They are so cute, and they look and sound delicious.

  11. Your little raspberry hearts look adorable. Great job as usual!

  12. mmmm raspberrrrryyy, wish I'd thought of that! Looks so cute in the heart shape! :)

  13. What beautiful brownies! I love the improvements you made by using brown sugar, the raspberry cream cheese, adding the tbsp of flour (great tip!) and using one less egg -- I don't like "eggy" either. The mini chocolate chips really make your brownies adorable, I really enjoyed reading your post and the pictures :)

  14. I love your raspberry cheesecake and your heart shaped brownies are lovely!

  15. wow, that's a thick brownie! thanks for the tip about gelatin. I'm going to give that a try next time

  16. Hanaa, thank you for checking out my cocoa-nana bread. I just have to go back to baking along with SMS and TWD several times a month instead of every week because the goodies are mounting up and I honestly am getting a sweets overload in the house =). Hope you are going to have a great weekend!


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