Cream Cheese–Hazelnut Brownies
These chewy brownies have a slightly tangy filling to offset the rich chocolate.
Yield: makes 16
FOR THE FILLING:
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 cup finely ground roasted hazelnuts
FOR THE BATTER:
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 3⁄4 cup flour
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
- 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄4 tsp. salt
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped roasted hazelnuts
- For the filling: Put cream cheese and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice, and vanilla and continue beating until well mixed. Fold in hazelnuts with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- For the batter: Melt chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water over medium heat. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
- Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Beat in melted-chocolate mixture, then add flour mixture and continue beating until mixture is smooth. Fold in hazelnuts with a rubber spatula.
- Spread half the batter into a greased and floured 8" square cake pan. Spread filling over batter. Gently spread remaining batter over filling. Pull a rubber spatula through layers to create a marbled effect. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out nearly clean, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into 2" squares.