Today was all about experimenting in the kitchen with my fave yogurt, Stonyfield Farm. It’s the only yogurt I use, because it’s organic and because of the great taste and texture. And, FYI, their website (click on the link above) has coupons you can download. Stonyfield Farm makes Oikos Greek yogurt which I love, but for today’s recipe, I used the low-fat 6 oz. container of vanilla.
Those wonderful cream cheese people, Kraft, published a popular recipe back in the early 70’s for Marbled Cream Cheese Brownies. It was a cakey, milk chocolate brownie with swirled cheesecake batter sprinkled with chocolate chips. I tweaked the recipe, adding Kahlua; and for years, it was my signature dessert for many of our casual family/friend gatherings. People actually requested it. Everyone, but everyone loved this recipe.
But times change. Dark chocolate fudgy brownies are now in. So I decided to update my old fave for the new millenium. The old Kraft recipe is made in a 10x15 pan. For experimental purposes, I made half of the updated recipe in a 9x9 pan, and half as cupcakes. The 9x9 pan had a rocky road topping. Half the cupcakes were topped with a chocolate frosting and sprinkled with toasted walnuts; half were topped with mini marshmallows, then covered with chocolate frosting. I made some frosting with Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, and some with Hershey’s regular cocoa. I liked both.
This is one experiment that did not go awry. Everything, but everything, was good. Actually, not just good. More like over-the-top great! Most were given away, not just so I can stay on my diet, but also so I can sleep at night. I only ate one cupcake the afternoon I baked them, and I didn’t sleep well that night. Yes, I’m sensitive to chocolate, and these babies are loaded, not to mention the coffee (though I did use decaf). If there’s nothing else you try on this site, you must try this recipe.
Almost forty years later, I have a new signature dessert. And I’m already getting requests for more.
|CREAM CHEESE BROWNIE CUPCAKES OR SQUARES |
Adapted from Kraft Foods
Rating: 10 out of 10
8 oz. cream cheese or Neufchatel, very soft
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature, divided use
Dash of sea salt + 1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided use
1/2 cup butter or Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend
2/3 cup water
1-1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp. instant coffee
1-3/4 cup Ultra-Grain flour (30% wholewheat) or all-purpose, if preferred
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups light brown sugar
6 oz. low-fat vanilla yogurt (I used Stonyfield Farm)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 (11.5 oz.) bag of chocolate chips of choice (I used Hershey Special Dark)
3 cups mini-marshmallows (approx.)
Heat oven to 375F (350F for dark or coated pans). In small bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg and a dash of sea salt using low speed of electric mixer. Set aside.
In a large, covered microwaveable bowl, heat the butter and water on high till butter is melted. Stir in chocolate and coffee granules and let sit till chocolate dissolves. Add flour, cocoa, and brown sugar, beating on medium speed of mixer till well combined. (No need to clean beaters, either.)
Stir in remaining 2 eggs, yogurt, baking soda and 1/2 tsp. sea salt and mix on low speed just till combined.
For cupcakes: Line about 20-24 wells of muffin tins with paper liners. Using a scant 1/4 cup of batter, fill liners 3/4 full. Drop about 1 Tbsp. cream cheese batter onto each cupcake, swirling through with a knife to make a marbled pattern. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, trying to leave a spot in the center open so you can test for doneness. Bake about 17 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near center returns almost clean. (If you hit chocolate chips, reinsert toothpick.) Cool cupcakes on wire racks. When completely cool, frost with chocolate frosting and sprinkle with toasted walnuts or pecans. Or, first place about 6 mini marshmallows on top of cupcake, then spread chocolate frosting over, sealing marshmallows in.
For Rocky Road Brownie Squares: Grease and flour a 10x15 (jelly roll) pan. Pour chocolate batter into pan, spreading evenly. Drop cream cheese batter by spoonfuls over top and swirl with knife for a marbled effect. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips over all. Bake about 25 minutes, or till just about done. Remove from oven. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips, about 2 cups mini marshmallows and 1 cup toasted broken walnuts. Place back in oven for about 5 minutes, or till marshmallows puff up and chocolate chips begin to melt. Transfer pan to wire rack for about 20 minutes, then frost with chocolate frosting.
Chocolate Frosting: In medium covered microwaveable bowl, melt 1 stick butter on high till almost melted. Stir in 1 tsp. instant coffee granules, 2/3 cup cocoa, 3 cups confectioner’s sugar and 1/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed till frosting is of desired consistency, adding more confectioner’s sugar or more yogurt as needed.