December 12, 2010

Baileys Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies

Sweet & Savory Summer... or should I say Sweet & Savory winter break??

Regardless of the title, this little wahoo is almost back in the kitchen for good for the Christmas holidays and couldn't be happier. I say almost, though, because I came back just for the weekend to run another 1/2 marathon with my dad (after finishing the Richmond 1/2 in November I've become slightly fixated on running 13.1 and am now convinced it's the perfect racing distance). You could say that I'm crazy for running one during the middle of final exams in the cold and rain, but it was definitely worth it, especially to be able to come home after and whip up these babies.

I've always been a stickler for good, classic, chocolate brownies. My mom's recipe, passed down in her family for quite some time is simple, but delicious and is always a crowd pleaser... except for when my sister Jackie tried to make them once, we called those brownie crumbles. I stepped out of my comfort zone this summer though, and tried out a different recipe I immediately fell in love with...maybe a little more than moms (she agreed though, so it makes it alright). Gooey, chewy, intensely chocolately and when perfectly paired with a glass of milk they are now my ultimate go-to brownie recipe.

Even though I'm a stickler for the classics, I've always wanted to try cheesecake brownies. Always. And since we've stocked up the yummy cabinet for the Holidays I thought I've go for the gusto and throw in some Baileys, my dad's favorite, as a post-race recovery treat. Now I really don't want to go back and finish up finals...

Baileys Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Brownie Batter
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream*
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake Batter
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

Make Brownie Batter:
Pre-heat the oven to 350F and grease a 9x9 inch baking pan. Melt the butter and chocolate double-boiler style by placing a heat proof mixing bowl over a simmering pot of water. Upon melting, remove from heat. In the same bowl, whisk in the Baileys, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth, followed by the eggs. Stir in the flour until well combined and spread in baking pan.

Make Cheesecake Batter:
Whisk together the four ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Drop by heaping spoonful over the brownies, and then use a knife (I just used the edge of the spoon, it really got the cheesecake well incorporated into the batter for not only more generous, but prettier swirls) to swirl the cheesecake into the brownie mixture. Bake for 35 minutes or until the edges are slightly puffed and the center is set.

*Baileys Irish Cream is a traditional Irish Whiskey and cream based liquor. It's delicious served with cream, coffee, added into chocolate cake, cheesecake, or even drizzled over ice cream.

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