Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CTB 2014 - Fat Witch Brownies

I'm sorry, I made you two desserts in a row! Last Thursday was a fruity and summery cobbler. Today you get brownies. Brownies that are filled with cream cheese and hazelnuts.


That's right. Cream cheese and hazelnuts. I'm absolutely terrible.

So what if we are all still trying to maintain our cute bikini bodies? We all need a little bit of luxury every now and then. Besides, it's the middle of August. It's time to start getting ready for cooler temperatures.


To be honest with you... I baked this batch of brownies, photographed the 3x3-inch bars, and then cut the large bars into four smaller, bite-sized pieces. These brownies are so rich, there is no way you would even want to eat a big slab of brownie. Bite-sized is the way to go with these.

Just be sure to toast the hazelnuts.





One Year Ago: Peach Melba Linzer Bars
Two Years Ago: Homemade Mozzarella Cheese
Three Years Ago: Orange Cinnamon Bread
Four Years Ago: Chicken Piccatta

Hazelnut Cream Cheese Brownies
From Fat Witch Brownies

I highly recommend toasting the hazelnuts for the most amazing brownie flavor. Toasting the nuts really brings out all the aromatic aroma of the hazelnut oil. So. Good.

Filling

3 ounces room temperature cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Brownies

1/2 cup chocolate chips
5 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Grease an 8x8-inch pan with cooking spray. Dust with flour and tap out excess.

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat. Stir until smooth and remove from the heat. Let cool while you make the filling.

In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar until combined.  Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.  Add hazelnuts, stir. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge while you prepare the brownie dough.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Add cooled chocolate mixture and stir until all one even color. Add flour and salt and stir on low until flour is all incorporated. Stir in hazelnuts by hand.

Spread half of the brownie dough onto the bottom of the prepare pan. The dough is quite thick, so this may take two spatulas and your clean hands. Pour cream cheese filling evenly over the brownie dough. Place in the fridge for ten minutes. Drop remaining dough over the top of the cream cheese filling. Gently spread around the batter. Don't worry if it doesn't completely cover the cream cheese.

Bake brownies for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely on a wire rack. Run a butter knife around the edges of the brownies and flip pan over. Tap out the brownies onto a cutting board. Cut into either nine large brownies, or 16 small portions.
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