cheesecake marbled brownies Recipes

cheesecake-marbled brownies

Rumor has it that pregnancy doesn’t just lead to swollen ankles, an insatiable need for peanut butter and a belly that causes what I will have to assume are otherwise polite people to ask if you’re having twins. Rumor has it that pregnancy quite often leads to teacup humans, and those teacup human need to be “delivered” from one world to another. Oh my god, I am going to have to birth a baby, aren’t I?!

brownie batter
ready to bake

Fortunately for all of us, this is not the kind of blog where I would subject you to the details of delivery, in part because I plug my ears and say “la la I can’t hear you” when anyone brings them to my attention and in part because I’m in the practice of encouraging appetites and well… you know.

cheesecake marbled brownies

I am also, or at least currently, in the practice of bribery; shameless, unapologetic, unequivocal bribery. I am Deb, I publish the Smitten Kitchen, and if I cannot make brownies good enough that no labor and delivery nurse would even consider passing my room by when I’m ringing a buzzer, then I might as well turn in my URL right now. I might not have a crib or changing table for this baby (4 weeks! or so!*), any great skill in the unbitchy-while-functioning-without-sleep department and I might (might! I admit nothing!) have demanded that my epidural request be put on file the day my third trimester began but I have made killer cheesecake-marbled brownies, individually wrapped them in the freezer and added the item “Baked Goods Bribery For Nurses’ Station” to my hospital packing list. This I can do right. They’ll be a hit.

* And yes, I know that newborns don’t actually need a crib or changing table, or so the Internet tells me, which is why we have lined an empty drawer with softly shredded newspaper to use in the interim.

cheesecake marbled brownies

One year ago: Braised Romano Beans
Two years ago: Apple-Yogurt Cake
Three years ago: Giardiniera

Cheesecake-Swirled Brownies
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2007

It’s true, I have made these before. Well, not these, a different recipe and they’re good, great even, but I’ve always wanted to fix it up a little. That brownie recipe is wonderful, but not simplified enough for a two-step process and there was never enough cheesecakiness (oh yes, it is a word) to balance it. Also, my mother has always made hers with chocolate chips swirled into the cream cheese and although I feel that a good brownie should not need extra chocolate in the form of frosting or chips to make it work, it sure cuts fantastically through the cream cheese swirl. Thus, three changes and a new recipe was warranted. Make these instead.

I added the aforementioned chocolate chips and more unsweetened chocolate to the brownie recipe, as commenters seemed to feel it was not chocolaty enough. I don’t think anyone could make the same argument about these.

Makes 16 2-inch square, thick brownies

Brownie batter
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake batter
8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Plus
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Make brownie batter: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Heat butter and chocolate in a 3-quart heavy saucepan — though I did mine double-boiler style, placing the mixing bowl I was using over simmering water, thereby creating one less dirty dish and melting the chocolate more gently — over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.

Make cheesecake batter: Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.

[I actually like using a butter knife because the tip of it is round enough that you can use it to fold bits of the brownie batter over the cheesecake batter for a more visibly marbled effect. Try it!]

Sprinkle chocolate chips over cheesecake/brownie batter swirl. Although it might be more logical to just mix them into the cheesecake batter (and feel free to do this, it will have no ill-effect) I thought it might interrupt the swirl-ability of it.

Bake brownies: Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Slicing tip: I like to chill my brownies until they’re almost frozen before cutting them. It makes it much easier to get a clean slice. I also like to eat my brownies super-cold, but that’s just personal taste.

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477 comments on cheesecake-marbled brownies

  1. Making these tonight!! I have a 2 year old and 9 month old. I never used the changing table for either of them. I change them where it’s most convenient. In the first few months, I set up my own changing station padded it baby blankets, because you will only receive three dozen of these as gifts!

  2. Oh these look so GOOD. I’m filing away your idea for baked good to bribe the nursing station – I’m due in December and also starting to wonder at people who comment “are you sure there’s just one baby in there?” Good grief.

  3. Oh hi Deb.
    I just love you.
    And every single recipe you’ve ever posted ever.
    I loved when people would ask if I was having twins…because every hugely pregnant lady must be having twins right?
    I’m thinking the nurse bribery plan is a pretty solid one.

  4. What fun! Delish. Ironic that pregers ladies crave peanut butter in 3rd trimester, eh? Iron craving creatures, or what? :) LOL. By the way, can you post some Fall recipes that have nothing to do with Pumpkins? Florida’s crops have had a severe downfall this year and there are no pumpkins available, which is terrible, because that means only frozen pumpkin pies are available. I know spice cakes are festive, but got any other ideas (besides sickly premade, no name brand sweet potatoe pie filling pies??? Ugh). :-) Beautiful pictures!

  5. Awesome! Also, freezing them individually will make them perfect for my kids’ lunchboxes! Bonus.

    I’m making these tonight. Thank you!

    PS – I had scheduled c-sections for medical reasons, and let me say that even though I knew when my babies were coming, I was so self absorbed at 9 months pregnant that I didn’t even consider adding baked goodies for the nurses to my hospital list. Yay, you! Bonus points for being a good person.

  6. You’re getting an epidural? Don’t you know that you’ll bring your baby into the world DRUG ADDICTED and EVEN WORSE IT WILL DAMAGE YOUR BREASTFEEDING relationship?

    J/k. I had an epidural and my child appears to be addicted to no drugs (other than coffee, but I don’t think I can blame the epi on that one) and she BFed just fine.

    But seriously Deb, it’s about time you got back to the chocolate posts. I don’t think the nurses would respond well to salads. ;p

  7. Oooooh those look great! Also you are definitely not the only person who got told you looked like you were having twins. Even my own grandmother said it to me, many times, when I was pregnant with my second daughter. People suddenly morph into tactless goons when confronted with a pregnant belly. Hang in there – you’re almost done! So psyched for you!

  8. I read every day, have for years, but rarely delurk. Today, however, I had to tell you that you made me laugh out loud (literally, not the LOL kind) with this line: “which is why we have lined an empty drawer with softly shredded newspaper to use in the interim.” Hilarious! So while I may not get around to making the brownies, I have greatly appreciated and enjoyed the laugh.

  9. OMG! I think I’m going to have to make these today … see pregnancy doesn’t make me crave certain foods, it is more like any and every food, except for pickles! For what it is worth delivery really isn’t too bad. My youngest was unmedicated and I was in pain for maybe 15 mins, uncomfortable for a couple of hours but only pain for a very brief time.

  10. So brilliant to bring brownies for the nurses! As a nurse, I can tell you that that kind of bribery goes far in the hospital. You will be quite the popular patient.

  11. I got the twin comments too!

    I also had my mother bribe the nurses with food – and it definitely worked. Either that, or our hospital is just normally staffed with exceptional sweeties.

  12. Perfect timing – JUST YESTERDAY my boyfriend made a special request for some 1/2 cheesecake 1/2 brownie brownies! God bless smitten kitchen! ;-)

  13. yes, exactly! I posted earlier this summer about lemon square bribery & how it got me through graduate school :) now that I work in a school, coffee cakes & cookies in the teacher workroom have definitely earned me extra room to ask for favors, etc with colleagues.

    better living through baked goods!

  14. Whenever a family member is admitted to the hospital the first step is “put on shoes” and the second step is to toss a handful of frozen baked goods into my purse. Nothing un-ruffles an annoyed/insulted nurse’s feathers faster than chocolate. :) (Which is why i baked and lovingly delivered a three layer chocolate cake to the cardiac wing in a hospital forty-five minutes away after my grandmother’s 4 week stay.)

  15. My mom has a recipe for brownies that are very, very similar to these, down to the chocolate chips on top (although she uses the mini ones). Her recipe uses a jelly roll pan and makes a big batch of smaller, bite-size brownies. It’s my go-to dessert recipe for feeding a crowd in a casual setting–I never have any leftovers to bring home with me (sadly)!

    Good luck with the birthing experience. I had a baby six months ago and it could not have gone better–thanks in part to the epidural. I don’t know why people always want to tell pregnant women their horrible birth stories, but in an attempt to balance that, it can also go really, really well and even pretty quickly! If you can do it, I highly recommend taking a nap after your epidural is in place. You’ll need the sleep, and it cuts down on the waiting time too. GOOD LUCK!!

  16. I love looking at the swirls in your pre-baked brownie pan. They remind me of finger painting and all such happiness from childhood. You will be a wonderful mother. What a lucky child to have a home filled with such delicious fragrances and comforts. And what lucky nurses! Homemade brownies for goodness sake! I almost want to stick on a white cap and sneak on over to the station to wait…. mmmmmm. :)
    -Michaela

  17. Brownies are not something I would have previously added to my birth plan, they are now!!

    Good luck with everything, I’m sure it will be great!

  18. Oh, good lord! These look so, so good and will definitely get made despite the fact that they will definitely NOT help me lose the 10 lbs. left over from baby #3.

    P.S. Good luck with all things baby! You will do great. Just keep doing what works for *your* family and everything will be fine. Really.

  19. If only I had this recipe for our BBQ last weekend! Oh well, your mini-pretzel recipe was also very popular…

    As for nurse bribery, after I was born, my dad bought out all the champagne at a local store and I think all the nurses on the floor were tipsy for days! However, brownies are probably better for maintaining a good standard of care :)

    Best of luck in these final weeks!

  20. Wow! I bought cream cheese with the express intention of making cheesecake brownies then never settled on a recipe. I’m SO excited! I think I’ll request a baking date with my husband tonight. :)

  21. I slept in a drawer for the first couple weeks of my little life! My parents didn’t have a crib yet either, but I turned out okay (mostly *smirk*).

    I can’t wait to try these! They look awesome, and you are definately going to be the nurses favorite patient!

  22. As an L & D nurse, I can tell you that you will get extra special care when you bring those brownies in. Though *cough* we treat all patients the same. Now if you can just make sure the anesthesiologist gets some, you might get that epidural faster. Wishing you tons of happy birthing vibes! And thank you so, so much for this recipe. Making these is now on my weekend to-do list.

  23. Heh, we didn’t even order the crib until the week after my son was born. They mostly want to be held while sleeping when they’re brand-new, anyway. My little guy didn’t sleep in his crib until he was 8 months old, so you’re fine!

    And those brownies look dangerous. Maybe the last thing I bake before I start a diet for reals next week?

  24. These look amazing.
    Also, glad I’m not the only one getting the “twins” comments.
    The other day at the pool, a nice old lady in the change room said “Oh, looks like this might be your last swim before the baby comes.”
    Um, I still have six weeks to go…

  25. I have about 10 days until my next baby is due but I have to tell you that, having had 2 labors, one with an epidural and one without (due to a very fast labor) that I felt MUCH better after the baby without. So I’d advocate that you play it by ear before signing up for that epidural now. They definitely have a good side but there’s good parts about having a baby without one too. Either way, best of luck. Can’t wait to hear about your new addition. Mine’s supposed to be a girl, after 2 boys… Let’s hope she likes monster trucks like her brothers so I can save some money on toys.

  26. very tempting that is for sure! Gosh…..hope all goes well….it sounds scarey from the ‘other side’ but it is soooo very natural….don’t worry about a thing!!!

  27. I have never delurked, but love your site! I have been following you even more avidly since I am just days away from having my baby, too!When I saw the brownie picture I thought “I have to make these now!!” We’ll see if there is any left for the nurses………

  28. This looks delish! Good luck with the birthing! Your nurses will love you with these brownies! I gave my OB ginger cookies before and after my son was born – he loved them. And speaking of cribs and change tables – our son was so wiggley we could never use the change table with him but we had change kits around the house (wipes, diapers and padded change cloths) which worked really well. And baby boy didn’t sleep in his crib until he was 3 months old – he slept in a wicker laundry basket that I fitted out for him. Now that he is 3 1/2 he adores the story and frequently tries to fit himself into the basket which is now a toy box.

  29. YESTERDAY was my due date (sorry about the caps, but…sob). I have now made several batches of goodies for the nurses in hopes that labor might be starting, and then proceeded to eat them all in despair. It never occurred to me to freeze anything! Maybe my sugar-loving subconscious locked that thought out of my head, but now that you have put it back in there I’m going to pony up the energy for one more batch of chocolately-goodness (or maybe two; one for my subconscious). Thanks! And like everyone else said, don’t worry about the crib and table for now. We procrastinated, and then never ended up buying either, which given the size of your apartment might be a real advantage!

  30. I would be mightily swayed by the threat of those brownies. Good thinking! And if teacup humans are anything like cats, you can just toss some old t-shirts in that drawer. hee!

  31. My mother bribed her doctor with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to avoid a C-section – and it worked. I can only imagine what great stuff you’ll get with these brownies :)

  32. I’m already making notes to put some of these in the hospital bag. I too am in denial – my husband told me he’d leave out one little bag from my last trip “so we can bring it to the hospital” and I actually thought, “Why are we going to the hospital, and why do we need to pack?”

  33. I am not a nurse…nor have I ever wanted to be….but from the pictures of these brownies…I suddenly wish I was…lets just say bribery with those would get you anything you wanted….lol

  34. I was in denial while in labor (no epidural for me, it’s not bad enough to warrant a complete stranger putting something in my spine!) with my third (of five) baby. I remember thinking, I’ll just leave now, I don’t want to do this, nope I think I’ll just go home!

  35. The line about the drawer lined with softly shredded newspaper ambushed me. I was drinking tea at the time, started laughing mid-swallow, and almost choked. It was awesome. I’m lucky the tea didn’t come out of my nose. That would have been less awesome.

  36. gosh when you put it that way “I’m going to have to deliver this baby…” you make it sound so scary! Think about baking when you’re in your most difficult labor-point.

  37. These look amazing… and my son slept in a baby swing for the first 6 weeks, so don’t worry about the crib. At 21 months, he still loves to swing and if even the tiniest bit sleepy, will start to fall asleep. I think it’s embedded in his brain. Best of luck!

  38. Yum!

    And you’re exactly right Deb. As someone who gave birth 7 months ago, the amount you need for a newborn is ridiculously minimal. In fact, I think all you need is a good brownie!

  39. those brownies look fantastic! i didn’t know people actually bribe their nurses and OB! good to know, will be in my packing list if me or friends are prego =)

  40. As usual, these look amazing.

    I just wanted to tell you that I am thinking of you, your husband and your little one. Birthing a baby is daunting, no doubt. But it is totally do-able and totally worth it.

    All the best to you!

  41. Six months pregnant here and filing away this recipe to make for my own bribery — what a marvelous idea, though I wonder how it would feel to watch other people eating brownies when you get only ice chips? And I’m overwhelmed with all the choices/advice/shrill admonitions about all the baby stuff….I’m definitely going with the shredded newspaper!

  42. Those brownies look amazing! If it makes you feel better I completed ignored the fact that I was going to have to birth a child during my entire pregnancy. I did that because every time I thought about it, I thought I would have a panic attack. I didn’t do a hospital visit, I didn’t have a birth plan, and I didn’t even pack a bag until I was ready to leave for the hospital. And you know what, the birth went amazing well. It is the most amazing, scary, wonderful, terrifying, life-altering, life-affirming experience you will ever go through. You’ll be fine! And those labor and delivery nurses are the absolute best nurses I have ever met.

  43. I don’t think the changing table is necessary, no, but it is helpful to have a spot to change the bb and keep the supplies. you will be spending a lot of time doing this activity, so it’s probably best just to think about what suits your needs, the supplies, and the comfort of the little one.

    i have to tell you that i have a zillion cooking blogs on my list, but this is the only one I ever cook from! i am determined to go through your entire list. So far I’ve done quite a few – all excellent! the pink lady cake was awesome. i made it for a baby shower! big hit!

    best of luck to you! i wish the best for you!

    Julia

  44. I love, love, love that your last 3 recipes are Chocolate Pudding Pie (roasted vegetables) and Cheesecake Swirled Brownies. You have your priorities in order!

  45. We’re also waiting for the arrival of our crib (on order) with mere weeks to go. Glad to see someone else considers a dresser draw a suitable option.

  46. NOMZ. Beautiful photos (as always), and beautiful recipe (as always). My own mama used to make nearly this exact same recipe, except in cupcake form and the cheesecake/chocolate chip combo became a filling — a tasty surprise, if you will.

    I predict that your nurses will fawn all over you.

  47. These look fantastic!! They will definetly be made for upcoming parties and they’ll be great around the holidays. Best wishes Deb!!

  48. Ooh yummy! I’m sure everything’s going to be great with the new little one and people had babies before cribs, changing tables, and all that jazz were invented so don’t worry. Not sure how one could worry with those brownies around!

  49. I NEED these brownies. I really really do. And I have just about all the ingredients… Might just have to send my husband to the shop for the two things I don’t have… It’s 7:14am here in Sydney, AUS… Brownie making time for sure!!! It’s never too early for baking… {I should mention that this 20 week pregnant mother of 2 boys (3, if you count the husband!) in a chocolate addict… I could eat those brownies for breakfast and not even give it a second thought right now!!!}

  50. Deb, I’ve got to say that you, David, Matt, Elise and Jaden and a select few others are on my “to do” list daily. Many a night, one of your recipes finds it’s way into my kitchen, and often times they become favorite keepers. After having gone through a rough period of time this year, and putting the brakes on my own blog, I’m now back in fighting form and would kill for the opportunity to spend time with you guys during the upcoming Spring Break. If you have any say in the voting process, I’d be most grateful if you voted in my favor. The opportunity to spend time with you guys would be priceless.

  51. Delurking to say I love your site Deb! “Tea cup humans” hee, hee, gotta love the True Blood. Will be making these sinfully delicious brownies for my TB viewing party Sunday night! Thanks for posting such great recipes!

  52. Mmm, my mom makes some great cream cheese brownies too- not sure what recipe she uses- but I always ask her to double the cream cheese layer (or 1 1/2 it if we’re being modest). Yours look wonderful as well. Those are some great swirling skills you have.

  53. Soon after I bought teeny-tiny Alice home from the hospital, a neighbor stopped me and said, “Oh, I thought she was going to be so big because you were SO HUGE when you were pregnant.” My husband gave her the evil eye and she scampered off. Anyway, I’m making these brownies and people will tell me I must be having triplets. Screw ’em.

  54. I’ve never posted on a food blog and honestly I don’t tend to read them – just scroll down hunting for the recipes and checking out the pictures. Except yours. I don’t laugh, I guffaw. Just FYI – the follow up to the twins question is “when are you due?” – but wait, you already had the baby three weeks ago. It is an awkward/homicidal moment. RE: the brownies? The three teenagers who live here will be thrilled!

  55. wow, i didn’t know there were so many other pregnant ladies reading this site! i, too, am about to pop – 6 days to go – and your site is the perfect way to get my mind off labor and onto more important matters, like brownies…

    p.s. can’t wait to read your gourmet baby food recipes :)
    p.p.s. changing table=yup. crib=eh, not so much.

  56. THESE LOOK DELICIOUS! I am hoping that you don’t have your baby anytime soon (sorry), so that you can continue to post delicious recipes!

  57. AWESOME – is that an OVER USED word? Sorry – I need a thesaurus to find something to top awesome – hmmm IF ONLY I COULD HAVE A SLICE OF THAT BROWNIE! “sigh” “sigh” “sigh”!

  58. Good plan taking the brownies. You get what you give! I don’t want to call it bait exactly but (it is what it is) I took a 2lb box of See’s candy both times I delivered my babies. I kept it in the room specifically for the nurses so they had to come by and check on me (as an excuse) if they wanted a piece. I tell you, I got the best service those days I was there, and I was glad to have a little something for the nurses for all their hard work and attention.

  59. Wow – I was totally flashing back to my first pregnancy while reading this. I totally had that moment of “Holy Crap! I have BIRTH a baby – I’m not just “having a baby” (which sounds so innocuous) , but I have to be the one to get him here, whether I want to or not. I have absolutely NO CHOICE in the labor and delivery part. Thank goodness for epidurals.

    And the fact that you are bribing the nurses is sheer genius! They will love you forever.

    And I can’t wait to make these!

  60. Could someone pls tell me how to freeze these individually? Not you, Deb, go lie down. Does it mean to flash freeze or wrap individually? What do you wrap them in?

  61. With both my first and second baby, I started getting asking if I was having twins at about 6 months! And, my babys were 6 and 7 pounds respectively. I was HUGE! Anyway, I always brought candles and such to the nurses. Baked goods is a much better idea!

  62. Listen, brownies are always good, and those look amazing. I just made the corn and tomato pie last week, and immediately re-tweeted it with the words “MAKE THIS NOW”.

    I also believe in bribing delivery room nurses, and for my first [high blood pressure induction] I showed up with a box from our local bakery full of goodies. But I forgot to take into account shift changes…the lovely gals who were on when I began labor had long gone home by the time we got to the whole “pushing” part. Those poor souls had totally missed out on the “boo-skens” cookies [it was halloween] and I had to rely on my charming self to get them to attend to me.

    Unfortunately, #2 was 3 weeks early and caught us so off guard that there was no time to go to the bakery! But they still let me bring him home [he is now 4 months old and in his bouncy seat next to me complaining about some infant nonsense.]

    Anyway – remember – the nurses switch at 7am and 7pm and there are swing shifts that help out. Prepare!

    Oh, and good luck and many best wishes and all that crap. ;)

  63. This looks DELICIOUS!! I never thought of cheesecake and brownies together, wow. I want to bake them right now, but alas I’ll have to wait for a special day. Great idea ;-)

  64. wow, that cracked me up! I LOVE reading your blog!
    As a fellow pregnant woman (who, in the second trimester is determined to eat us out of house and home), I think your bribery plan is brilliant. My plan over the next 4 months is to figure out what to bribe the nurses with… I’ll start by trying this recipe! :)

  65. I suddenly have the strangest urge to be a nurse on the maternity ward in an unspecified hospital in New York. Too bad I’m a physics grad student who knows nothing about delivering babies. Worse still, I’m on the wrong coast. Foiled again!

    I don’t think my parents had a changing table for any of the four of us. The bed or the floor did the job just fine. :)

  66. Trust me, as the occupant of a nurse’s station, if these were on the end of the bell I would not only sprint to answer it, but, probably tackle my co-workers to the ground if they were ahead of me!

  67. These look amazing. The bribe the nurses plan is very good. When I was on hospital bedrest with my twins, my husband sent cheesecakes for the nurses. And a very good friend sent home baked treats to me weekly. I was encourages to share with my nurses. Which I did. They never ignored my buzzing

    you’ll do just fine

  68. I am making these tomorrow, absolutely! They look amazing.

    When I was something like 10 months pregnant with my daughter, a man on the street asked if I was having twins. I said, no, just one, and he actually insisted that I was wrong.

  69. Oh, I wish I considered cream cheese a staple — then I’d have all the ingredients on hand and could make these tonight! Although I made your buttermilk ice cream last night, so my thighs are probably better off — at least until my next shopping trip….

  70. Wow, those look good and I don’t really care for either brownies or cheesecake.

    I am 8 months pregnant and have been getting the twins comment for the last two months (along with the peanut butter cravings). My own mother, who was never petitely pregnant, even has given me the twins comment.

    All of this talk about brownies and peanut butter. I am thinking of a peanut butter swirled blondie . . .

  71. It’s so strange to read your blog every day and to feel like I know you. You are a person I would like to look up and meet the next time I am in NY. I was seriously thinking of knitting a cute little jacket or at least a hat for your baby like I would do for any of my friends when they are expecting. At least I can send you all my best wishes ;-) I think you will rock at motherhood!

  72. I think people just don’t know what to say to a super pregnant woman–god forbid they tell her she looks great! I was in denial about the birthing process too, but the epidural takes away all of the pain. I had my baby girl 7 months ago at Lenox Hill. Most of the nurses were awesome, especially the first nurse I had, Ida. Don’t forget to take a receiving blanket and their little hat home with you. I forgot the blanket and still regret it! I look at her little hat now and can’t believe how big she has gotten. Thank you for still managing to blog–you have inspired many meals and treats! My hubby also thanks you!

  73. Yah for big pregnant people! We’re due at the same time…so in the same huge condition!

    The funny thing is that even after being pregnant once, it’s hard to look at another persons pregnant self and not think, “WHOLE COW…SHE’S ENOURMOUS!”

  74. oh my WORD — these look heavenly!!! thanks for the “chilling” advice too. i usually just tend to get lots of brownie clumps stuck on my knife (which i always see as a fabulous excuse to nibble). but alas, those lovely lines do look nice and clean. will have to give it a try. :)

  75. There should always be more cheesecake in cheesecake swirled brownies. good work. If I didn’t faint at the sight of blood- I would be sure to try to become a nurse just to work for some of your brownies!

  76. These look beautiful! I would probably throw a nice sprinkling of powdered sugar on them, but that’s because powdered sugar is one of my most favorite things to finish off any desert with.

    Also, congrats on the fact you will be having a baby soon!!

  77. Damn this low carb diet thing … I’ll be dreaming about these! Glad you’re not stressing about buying all the “necessary” stuff for the wee one. I used a laundry basket (albiet with satin ribbon woven through it!) for my first, and a little red wagon for my second (this after c-section #2 … it was just below the level of my bed for easy access during the night, and i could effortlessly roll it anywhere i needed baby to be!). Best wishes!!

  78. I am due in a month and a half and will definitely be making these for the nurses! (And a batch for me :) They look great!
    My nephew wouldn’t sleep in anything but a dresser drawer padded with blankets until he was three months old! I’m going to try a bassinet for my baby girl, but if she doesn’t like it, I’ll be emptying out a drawer too…

  79. Deb, I’ve considered you a friend from the first day we “met”. Is there a way I could send your new little one a small gift? It’s the least I could do for someone who has provided me with endless yummy treats.

  80. WOW Deb, I love the brownies! You’re making my mouth water here. It looks so good, makes me want to be a nurse just for these. I also had a look at the post where you made similar type of brownies, and I cannot believe how great your photography has become. Very inspirational.

  81. Deb-Trust me-get the crib and whatever else you know you’ll need NOW. One less thing to deal with after the baby is here. Free time will be at a premium and you’ll want to sleep (or cook?) or just enjoy a break. As much of a joy as it is – and it is -everything you do becomes just a wee bit layered with hassle.

    I, on the otherhand, will be baking these fabulous looking brownies. Made the Big Crumbcake over the weekend (with blueberries) and it was a triumph-great recipe!

  82. The thing I always tell other women about childbirth (those who haven’t experienced it) is that it is a lot like a rollercoaster ride. At the begnning, the anticupation and excitement are there…then it gets scary…then it’s over and you begin to forget the scary part and just feel the excitement of the whole thing again. Plus, then you have a gorgeous new person to take your mind off the scary bits;)

  83. I am due somewhere between the 3rd and the 7th of October although with a run of contractions last night I think perhaps sooner. Today is a day for getting everything in order and I think some brownies for MIDWIFE BRIBERY are in order. I can also use them for SMALL CHILD BRIBERY or HUSBAND BRIBERY. Thank you so much!

  84. I have a recipe very similar, however the recipe calls for a box mix brownie and instead of water using kaluah, and adding kaluah to the cream cheese mixture as well. They are ALWAYS requested by friends and family! I have also used Baileys Irish Cream in place of the kaluah. I have also made my own brownies [instead of using a mix] for these. They always go fast, and are actually very quick and easy to make [although look like you spent alot of time on them!]

  85. Bribing the nurses really works! I stayed in the delivery suite for 11 days before being moved down to postpartum (though I was still prepartum). My hubby brought gifts for the nurses every day: flowers, candy, milkshakes, cookies, etc. Those nurses loved him (and by extension, me). I never had so much attention in my life! And haven’t since, come to think of it…

  86. These brownies look so delicious – I wish I could reach into my computer screen and grab a few! OH MY GOODNESS. I am salivating.
    Both my boys are gone to university now, and since I’m past ‘birthing’, I can unequivocally say–ALL THESE BROWNIES ARE FOR ME!!!!
    I’ll make them immediately, if not sooner.

  87. Have you seen “The Business of Being Born”? Any woman considering having a child should see it. It’s available as a “Watch Instantly” view on Netflix.

  88. You can wait until your brownies are nearly frozen before eating them? You are a woman with a much stronger willpower than I. My brownies rarely make photos, as they are usually eaten as soon as they’re cool enough to touch. And as we all know, warm brownies = crumbles.

    Your brownies do look heavenly, by the way. You could bribe me with them…

  89. Delurking to say that on the morning I was induced, we took bagels and cream cheese to the hospital with us and kept them in our room for the nurses. After delivery, my mom brought cookies and brownies for the nurses. They really seemed to appreciate it.

  90. This is smart. I had the brilliant idea of making banana bread while i was in labor. It was really fine. Until several hours later and the contractions got bad. Good god, that smell. Every contraction I screamed to my husband, “Open the doors! Open the windows!” I don’t think I’ll ever make banana bread again.

  91. These look so good!!! I wish I would have thought to bribe nurses with food – great idea. Also…changing tables are overrated – don’t stress about it.

  92. wow THANKS!!! I love brownies and I love cheesecake and I have yet to achieve the perfect combination, but I have not yet tried one of your recipes that didn’t work perfectly and elicit moans of appreciation from my family. Now all I need is a working oven so I can make these, although on the bribe scale I’m sure the promise of sharing would grant me use of the neighbor’s oven.

  93. Another OB nurse that thinks the brownies -and probably anything else you would make- are a great idea. Don’t forget the Postpartum night nurses! The brownie recipe and the photos are awesome. Re: chilling them to cut, have you ever tried using a plastic knife? Yes, just the little take-out ones are fine. Just read and tried this tip last week and will never use a regular knife again. Loved the shredded newspapers. Keep your sense of humor after the baby arrives and you will be just fine.

  94. Good morning, Deb! Was considering another brownie recipe for our church picnic tomorrow, but these look more rich and satisfying.
    Just a word-or two ;)-about delivery of babies: Yes, it is hard work and yes, it is painful. However, my experience is that the work and pain we were rewarded with the 3 most wonderful human beings, besides my husband of 31 years, in the world. I had an epidural with the 3rd, and they had to tell me when to push. With the 1st 2, apart from the pain, I felt more in control of the work b/c my body told me, in no uncertain terms, what to do. To control the pain, I used Lamaze techniques. Key word here is CONTROL.
    You and your baby have been on my heart ever since I “met” you on PW’s site. I know you will do this delivery-and mommy-hood thing-just fine! Keep us posted, when you’re not catching up on sleep.

  95. Don’t know if you’ll still be reading comments this long after a post, but here’s my two cents worth:

    Don’t forget to save brownies for the people who deliver your meals. My daughter (gave birth July 1) politely asked if her breafast AND lunch dishes could be removed from her room, and the food troll thenceforth refused to bring dessert with her meals! We had to smuggle in big slabs of cake and melting ice cream so she’d get enough calories to nurse the baby.

    We started our first baby with a bassinet, which would have been fine for a long time, but we had to buy a crib right away because our curious little dog kept jumping into the bassinet to explore his new friend. If you don’t have a pet, anything that keeps baby safe is more than adequate.

    Don’t sweat the delivery. The joy you are bringing to the grandmother(s) is more than worth it. I speak from experience. Twice.

  96. seconding Hannah’s comment not to forget the night nurses. My mother was a NICU night-shift nurse for many years and it’s true, they notice the nice moms!

  97. I’m nursing and chocolate gives my baby girl bad gas (TMI?!) so these have to wait for another few months. Sad! Because, they look SO amazing. I bribed my nurses with cupcakes, which did double-duty as a birthday cake for our daughter. No candles though – darn the wide use of oxygen in hospitals. And when I was pregnant, I had a VERY large man exclaim, “Look! We’re twins!” To which I wish I could have retorted, “Yes, sir, but my belly will go away in a month.” Sadly, I was at work and that answer just wouldn’t do.

  98. Deb, your recipes are always so delicious. I feel like the more I make these things, the more I’m just going to LOOK like I’m pregnant. ;)

  99. Do NOT forget the coffee too. Nurses are hard working folk who practically live off of caffeine, and the swill that usually find its way to the nursing station is almost undrinkable. A sack of good quality freshly ground coffee will get you VERY far. Got me private rooms 3 times around, and that’s definitely worth the price of a good pound of coffee.

  100. I made these last night, and… although I’m always a fan of the recipes on this site, and especially from Gourmet Magazine… these were not good.

    I would be interested to hear from other people who made them, but mine were dry and lacking in flavor (in both the chocolate and cream cheese parts), and….. honestly, one of the worst brownies I’ve ever made. Perhaps I messed up in the recipe (maybe they were dry because they were over-cooked? Possible, but doubtful. I tested them at 35 mins and a toothpick came out dripping with goo, so another 5 minutes was needed) or perhaps I simply prefer a different sort of brownie (I like mine to be super-moist, fudgy, and deeply chocolate-y. Also, the cheesecake should be moist, creamy, and flavorful. I found none of these adjectives to apply here).

    I’m not experienced enough in brownie baking to know exactly what to change, but I would love to know whether other people felt the same way.

    1. Hi Ryan — What a bummer! Mine were ridiculously fudgy and moist — so much so that freezing them was almost the only way to get a clean cut — I wonder what went differently for you. Mine needed a bit more than 35 minutes as well, but I have been turning my oven lower lately because it tends to run hot, so I chalked it up to that.

  101. Thoughtful you, giving us this brownie recipe and thinking of your nurses while waiting for your little one to come! Rest assured, the paraphernalia that baby stores sell is usually overkill; though don’t underestimate the power of a well padded rocking chair! Mamas have been using their instincts for centuries and it seems to work, the human race’s survival seems assured.
    As for the birth details, you go with what works for you! As with any baking project, you can use different techniques with the same recipe and still produce the same wonderful outcome. (In this case a healthy, happy baby!)

  102. One gets so prepared for all the potential problems and pain that are part of birthing (OK, I didn’t have an epidural, but I suspect pain is part of the plan regardless). What you also should know is that it’s great too. That you will find you have reservoirs of strength and stamina beyond what you imagine. And that you will feel proud of yourself when it’s over. And you will marvel at the little teacup creature you brought into the world. It will be great — at least in hindsight! As a cook, you will be able to produce many wonderful batches of sweet goodies and dozens of tender but crispy hens in your lifetime, but you won’t produce too many babies. Enjoy. And be forewarned: You will need chocolate even more in the months that follow the birth than you needed during pregnancy! (Conveniently, nursing requires even more calories than pregnancy does, so all will be well.)

  103. Ryan..you can cut the flour down to 1/2 cup and that should help. You can also do 1 1/2 times the cream cheese filling to get more of that as well. I dolloped my cream cheese filling on and barely swirled it. I had more pockets of filling..more like you get in a black bottom cupcake.

  104. You’re a hoot. I was sort of afraid of birth (okay terrified) when pregnant with my first so in typical type A fervor I went crazy and decided to check out drug free birthing. Thus a long road that lead me to a homebirth for the last baby. Best thing ever but I might just have to bake these up for my midwife and tell her they’re birthing brownies and a thank you for last year.

  105. Deb, I’m a final year vet student, and I will pull out all my lambing gear and home-deliver your babby for you if I can eat a pan of those brownies!

    Well, no, I won’t (humans are much ickier than sheep!), but seriously. I thought about it.

  106. Good girl, I always knew you were a smart cookie! If food bribery works for workmen then it will work for nurses. After we moved into our new house, there were lots of items different workmen had to finish up. So, I made sure I had something baking every day they were here. They did a great job, they were not in a hurry and they certainly did not mind coming back. Funny what cookies, cinnamon rolls, and chili can do to a grown man. Our little secret. N

  107. I made these last night and I and everyone in my house agreed that they were awesome. The cheesecake:brownie ratio is dead on. Another homerun from the Kitchen. Thanks!

  108. yummy! I’ve been working on a list of treats for the nurses too. I maybe have to make these and test them, you know for quality control. It’s really amazing how much nicer *some* of the staff become when you offer them chocolate and/or sugar ;)
    With my last baby, I got the “lazy nurse” that kept asking what she could do, ( but the repeated, for 3 hours, simple request (fill the jaccuzzi, please) was ignored b/c she didn’t want to clean the darn thing. She actually said “You’re my only laboring mom right now. You two are so calm, I’m getting bored are you sure I can’t get you anything, ice? a birth ball?” Then she plopped down in the nurses station to watch the monitor… oye.
    I’m not an angry or demanding laborer, but this nurse was really starting to drive me crazy.
    Don’t ask if you’re not going to be helpful, ya know?

  109. As yet another L&D nurse to comment, I can say that this is a fantastic idea–and you have risen to the level of sainthood in my mind! Usually, the patients who send goodies to the nurses (few and far between) do it well after they’ve delivered, and the nurses who are the day they arrive eat them and leave the card for you in your mailbox. . .So, your good planning will surely make someone’s day!

    I can tell you this technique totally works. I got my daughter her speech therapy services in a much more timely fashion than most people by serving freshly baked banana bread when the service coordinator visited us!

    Sending you good-labor vibes ;)

  110. As a former labor + birth nurse, I can tell you that stuff likes this is what makes being a nurse so special! There is nothing quite like the connection you make with the nurse that helps you give birth…and I have been on both ends of the spectrum, having birthed 3 babies. You will remember them ever so fondly for having been part of this incredibly life-changing and empowering event. Now, these same nurses will remember you for your life-changing brownies :)
    Although there is not much I can say to take away the slowly but surely developing panic that this somewhat large person has to come out of your vagina (sorry, but I am a nurse) that you are having, I can tell you that giving birth will forever change you for the better…things that typically bother or irk you will become trivial in comparison to the strength you will discover you have as a mother. I also teach Childbirth Classes (28 years) and my couples are always aghast when I tell them that it is truly a privilege to give birth and also to witness it…but when they give birth, they understand…you will too :) Good luck…and hugs.

  111. I just had to make these after seeing them! They are in the oven right now and they smell heavenly…. I tried your tip for swirling and it worked great! Thanks! My sister is a nurse and I KNOW she loves chocolate so you are on to something, I am sure!

  112. Okay, just to update from comment 174: I tried these again today, straight from the fridge, and do you know what? They were MUCH better. The flavors have really come together well, and the dryness is gone, replaced by a nice cold chewy fudgy-ness.

    Moral of the story: Try them the next day!

  113. Yes to the epidural, It is the only reason I have 3 daughters. Well that, and a love of Chardonnay! Yes to the brownies! Skip the changing table. Takes up space and you never actually change the baby on it! :-)

  114. I wish you were coming to my hospital! I’m a labor and delivery nurse and would certainly succumb to this type of bribery. I’m making these as I type this for tailgating tomorrow. (Go Colts!) I’m sure these will be wonderful, as everything else I have made from your site. Good luck in these last few weeks, sleep as much as you can and enjoy being childless for these last moments. Oh one last thing–don’t worry about the epidural, it’s a piece of cake.

  115. What an amazing idea, wish I had thought to pack treats for my last delivery, the particular nurse I had was not terribly helpful. And if you need it, yes to the epidural, and if you decide you don’t need one I’m sure you’ll do just fine. I did it both ways and never regreted the epidural for baby #1, (babies 2 and 3 came too fast for me to need one and all three were perfectly healthy).

    I haven’t made cream cheese brownies in years but this recipe looks awesome – love the addition of the chocolate chips.

  116. Brownie fate: Last night I decided I really really really wanted to make brownies. I came here because I know you have lots of scrumptious-looking brownie recipes and whaddya know, you had just posted this recipe! I was thrilled — especially since I actually had all the ingredients on hand [including EXACTLY enough chocolate chips and flour! Now I must go to the store to restock…] They’re absolutely delicious!!! My only [very minor] problem was that I seemed to have more cheesecake batter than it looks like you had in your pictures. That made it a bit difficult to swirl in to create that pretty marbling effect but maybe I didn’t try hard enough… So they’re not as pretty as yours but they’re super tasty so THANKS! :)

  117. These look amazing. They’re on the List. (I used a laundry basket lined with a folded quilt, and changed the baby on the bed, or the couch, or my lap.)

  118. Having once worked in health care for 10+ years, I can tell you that food will get you anywhere you want to go. Add basic respect and kindness to the mix, and you’ll be treated like a celebrity. My husband, also in health care, was so (genuinely) nice and kept the nurses so well fed when I was in the hospital that I was quickly moved into a private room with a window (with a view of a concrete wall, but whatever).

    Every morning he got them coffee, bagels, and donuts. Lunch was In and Out (we’re in CA) and dinner was pizza. They cried when we left.

  119. At least you have pregnancy and soon-to-be motherhood as excuses… me? Not so much.

    I’ll have to make these soon – technically I am off “white” starches, but these are clearly not white. :) Thanks!

  120. The correct answer to “Are you having twins?” is to look really confused and then say, “Twins? I’m not even pregnant!”.

    Option #2 is to move to Quebec. Everywhere I went people told me I was beautiful. It was so much better than the horrified looks I got from everyone when we lived out west. It’s weird here, but they loooove pregnant women : )

  121. Hey there Deb! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and have enjoyed your pregnancy highlights in addition to the fabulous recipes. Makes me think about having another baby…for a minute. And then I remember how nice it is to sleep through the night! :) A labor & delivery tip for you: keep moving. I did some laundry, washed dishes, and de-cluttered the house at home for 7 hours or so before I went to the hospital…pausing to rock through contractions. By the time we showed up at the hospital, I was 9 cm when they checked! And I kept walking the hallways even after I got there. The nurses called me crazy, but it really made things easier for me. Before you know it, it’s over and you have a beautiful person to make you forget all you went through! God bless!

  122. “we have lined an empty drawer with softly shredded newspaper”

    Deb, honey, have you confused the baby with a kitten or puppy? You’ve been pregnant wayyy too long!

    I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the hospital, and I take goodies with me almost every time. It’s very interesting to watch what people take. Doctors usually take one cookie. Nurses take one or two. Techs definitely take two, and housekeepers take a big handful. Someone should do a sociological study.

  123. You might also consider carefully and individually wrapping each delicious marbled brownie in a nice crisp TWENTY DOLLAR bill…in the off chance you get a nurse who’s name is Jenny Craig or who’s anorexic?? Here’s the good news…I spent NINE MONTHS trying to think of another way to give birth because the “conventional” method seemed impossible…not just impossible but absolutely-no-way-in-hell-would-that-ever-work…and I can honestly tell you that all will be well…just make sure Alex writes the word EPIDURAL on your forehead in red ink BEFORE you walk into the hospital and never ASK for anything, DEMAND it…you’ll be just fine, I guarandamtee it!

  124. We brought brownies to the hospital with us, and even though they were just crappy box-mix, done-at-the-last-minute brownies, they were a huuuuge hit with the L&D nurses! They certainly will love you for it. Good luck with the delivery!

  125. Cheesecake and brownies, oh these two were meant to be together…gotta make these tomorrow! They are just right for going into fall.

  126. I made these today and they are awesome! I think my oven might run cold because it took a whole hour for them to be done. Thank you for the great recipe. This one is definitely a keeper!

  127. I made these last night while I should have been in bed with the crud. Anyway, they were delicious, and I found them to be very well-behaved exactly as written. Mine cut very well at room temp and I’m excited to learn they will taste even better tomorrow.

  128. Thank you! This is a perfect recipe to say good-bye to the vacations and to celebrate the beginning of the classes with the children. I love the chocolate-cream cheese combination.
    Regards from Tarragona- Spain.

  129. I made these last night for our sons birthday. An hour out of the oven they literally melt in your mouth!!! I got them in 1 inch squares and believe me they are so decadent that size was almost too big….superb.

  130. Great Brownies!

    Very good recipe: not expensive, easy to make. However, like Ryan (comments 174, 195), I found that the brownies are infinitely better the next day, out of the fridge. Something happens to their texture and after cooling overnight, they turn into a rich, almost fudge like, concoction. The flavor also benefits from the cooling period: what was rather ordinary right out of the oven became a very flavorful, sophisticated even treat in the morning.
    I did not use chocolate chips (just don’t like them) and did not miss them. It is amazing how far 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate can go. I had never used unsweetened chocolate before, and was really excited to learn how good it is in baking. (I used a 4 ounce Hershey bar; maybe not the top of the line brand – not your valrhona certainly – but worked just fine for the recipe).

    Oh, almost forgot to mention. I added some chopped toasted hazelnuts to the cream cheese mix. It is just my personal preference, but brownies without nuts taste incomplete to me (as almost any other baked good, with perhaps the sole exception of treats made from savarin dough). Anyway, the nuts went really well with the recipe.

    Thank you, Deb!!!!

  131. Mmm. I made the earlier recipe you posted. I’ll have to try these soon. I absolutely loved your post, aside from/in addition to the recipe! LOL, I don’t think I’d ever have thought to bake nurse bribes, but I am SO doing that when I have kids!

  132. Thank you so much for the recipe! I made it straight away after I read your post yesterday evening, and they are heavenly. Just one thing: have you considered adding lemon zest to the cheesecake batter?

  133. LOL…I love the ole’ softly shredded newspaper in the drawer bit :)

    What’s even funnier the comment from the Floridian asking for non-pumpkin fall recipes. “I know you’re pregnant and all, and you’re about to have a baby and all…but if you could be particularly crafty with your upcoming fall recipes while juggling baby poop and bottles, that’d be great. Thanks!”

    PS…the brownies look amazing. As per usual :)

  134. Hey, Deb!
    It’s the festival of apples ‘n’ honey this weekend (aka: Rosh Hashanah) – I will definitely be making this to toast in the new year with the sweetness we wish for the whole year long.

    And here’s wishing you and your loved ones a sweet and healthy year!

  135. I have been thinking about brownies for a while and this will take care of that.
    Ya might want to use some of those receiving blankets as a liner for the drawer instead of the newspaper. For what ever reason kids (babies also) tend to like to eat paper.
    I used a drawer for a while with my 2nd one, the crib with the 1st one broke when she decided it was something to use for gymnastics.
    Keep up the good work and lots of luck with the baby.

  136. Saw the brownies in the morning. Made the brownies in the afternoon. Chilled, and held off eating until last night…. going in now to hit them again! Delicious (and moist!) My husband was watching over my shoulder when I found your recipe, and he remarked, as they came out of the oven, that “they looked just like the picture, too!” Thanks, and happy pushing!

  137. These look amazing! I think your bribery plan will go over very well. And teacup humans! True Blood… more proof that you have awesome taste (not like I doubted it).

  138. I love reading your blog! Even when it’s a recipe I’m going to make I read it from beginning to end because you are hilarious.
    The bribery thing is mandatory. I work for a bakery and any time one of the employees, or family of, ends up in the hospital it’s required that one of us shows up with a tray of sweets.
    However, we leave them in the patients room and tell the nurses they are welcome to help themselves. That way they stop in all day long.

  139. Could I use bittersweet chocolate instead of unsweetened chocolate? Should I use less than 1 cup of sugar if I use bittersweet? Or should I just go out and buy unsweetened?

  140. I am a registered nurse that spent 13 years working in Labor and Delivery! Trust me, they will LOVE those brownies and we nurses are never above bribery! Good luck! With a good epidural, birthing a baby is a breeze! You’ll do great.

  141. ha! I love the preparation for bribing people. I love making stuff in advance too and never thought of being able to freeze brownies. Do you let these thaw in the fridge when ready to eat them? Also, what did you individually wrap them in?

  142. Hey, baked goods is one of the most legal forms of bribery! It can’t get you arrested. LOL

    Such pretty swirls! My swirling skills, sad to say, are still lacking.

  143. Best Tip for Cutting Neat Brownies
    It sounds crazy, but it WORKS! The best way to cut neat brownies (without freezing, etc.) is to use a plastic knife. Yes, the kind you buy in boxes of 24 at the supermarket.

  144. I made these brownies yesterday, cooled them in the fridge, and heard them calling at 3am. They are perfectly rich, gooey, and were so incredibly easy to make. Now I have to show some restraint, as they are meant to be “thank you’s” for a neighbor :) BTW: mine were done in 30 min, let them to cool in oven for 5 min, then to counter and overnight in fridge for cutting (rinse sharp knife in hot water to cut with ease). Your recipes are a reliably delicious standby for me and my family, thanks & cheers!

  145. Oooh, brownies! I love making them as much as I love eating them! I’m still on the process of making a cream cheese infused brownies as my first attempt more than a year ago was not a success. I have to succeed! :D And oh, how I love your blog, too! So many delicious recipies I’d love to try if I had more room in the fridge… and more mouths to feed a faster metabolism! :)

  146. Deb,

    Used the double boiler bowl idea and was oh so happy not to clean another dish! This recipe was perfection. They came out awesome.

  147. Holy moly, look at all of these comments :) I too think these look and sound amazing. I plan to make them for a friends Bridal shower! Thanks!

  148. To Carolyn: And yes, it’s the truth: Florida is really pumpkin-less. They are selling fake pumpkins at Michaels, so no jack-o-lanterns, and seeing as Florida is one of the most populous states in the union, this affects quite a number of aspiring cooks! :-) Of course new Moms are busy, but, to quote the cook, herself: “This is Smitten Kitchen, after all. People have expectations!”. Why not ask? There’s bound to be more to fall cuisine than pumpkins, and I don’t doubt the creative mind of Deb to think something up that will appease our Floridian foodies. :-)

  149. Wow, this looks delicious. In response to the Floridians, I just moved from Florida (from Jacksonville) and we had plenty of pumpkins last fall but maybe it’s because we were far north.

  150. To Akila: :-) Not to say Florida is in a PERMANANT pumpkin shortage :-) LOL, because there WERE plenty last year, no matter how far south. Check your supermarket THIS fall, though, and I think you’ll be in for an (unpleasant) surprise! I wish you the best in finding some Jacksonville pumpkins! If you don’t, though, it’s probably because of the shortage, this year. Just want to make something festive without going to GA or AL! :-) Thanks for hearing me out…

  151. I’ve been searching for a recipe to make and freeze. I also am having a baby soon (10weeks or less) and have very long early labors, but short once I get to the hospital and get that epidural. (And, that comment towards the top made me laugh- I had epidurals with both kids, and they were champs at breastfeeding, but I am training this time to try hypnobirthing) I have ingredients on hand to make the best Chocolate Chip Cookies ever in case I have a long early labor again; and, if things go short, I will make this recipe and have them in the freezer. THANKS!

  152. Made these last night – sooooooo delicious. I used milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet – mmmmm. My husband nearly died upon tasting them and said I was the best cook in the whole world. :) Definitely a recipe that we’ll make again and again.

  153. Oh, and one more tip I learned from Cook’s Illustrated – You can create a “sling” by lining the pan one direction with foil the width of the pan that overhangs a couple of inches on each end and then do the same in the other direction. Then butter/grease/spray the foil and proceed with the recipe as usual. After the brownies have cooled enough to set, you can pull the brownies all out at once, wrap them tightly in Saran, and cut them cleanly with a butcher knife (without the edges of the pan getting in the way). Works like a dream. :)

  154. I haven’t read all of the 257 other posts to see if anyone already suggested this but… plastic knife (of picnic fame)= perfect brownie cutting tool! The brownies never stick to it, which has the advantage of beautifully cut squares and the disadvantage of not producing all those extra bits you just have to eat out of the pan.

  155. I made my L&D nurses and resident giant chocolate chip cookies, and they lavished attention on me during my labor. I’m sure that would have happened anyway though :).
    These look delicious!

  156. Deb, ever since I saw this post I have come back for the photo at least 5-7 times just to end up drooling. I HAVE to make it this weekend. However, unsweetened chocolate is hard to find and I have some 60% cacao semisweet callets. Can you help me with the substitution? Didn’t find it on your conversions page.

  157. yum! yum! YUM! I have never made these, but I sure have devoured some that others have made! You have inspired me to make them myself.

    Also, we never had/used a changing table either. Sounds like you have limited space (so did we) so don’t bother. We just layed down one of those changing mats on the floor or bed. I happened to like the floor. Then you also don’t need to worry about the child rolling off once they start that stage! I wish you a happy and safe delivery! Thanks for your lovely site.

  158. Weird. I’m suddenly finding myself interested in fast-tracking it through the nursing program at my local college and moving to NYC to get a job in labor and delivery in the hospital where Baby Smitten will be born.

    Alternately, I could just make these brownies myself, but considering that everything I’ve baked in the last few months has turned to utter sh*t, I’m wondering if that first idea might just be easier…

  159. I made these over the weekend as dessert for a meal that I took to a friend who just had her baby last week. When I told her that these were Smitten Kitchen Brownies, her tired, sleep-deprived eyes lit up and she may have even drooled a little bit. Anyway, the brownies were wonderful. I am thinking that the next time I make them, I might substitute the vanilla extract in the cheesecake layer for almond extract. I have a mini-cheesecake recipe that calls for almond extract, and it’s a nice touch to compliment the flavor of the cream cheese. Anyway, thank you so much for the recipe. We all enjoyed them!

  160. Deb these look stunning!!
    I made these once before (with just a half a cup of peanut butter added to the cream cheese batter – yummy!) and gave them to one special guy who’s now my boyfriend. (Ah, the power of baking!)
    Needless to say, we’re still together and we spend many mornings in bed reading Surprise Me on Smitten Kitchen to find some new recipe to try out…
    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes that keep me and my honey cooking together!

  161. Hi,
    I am fairly new to this site and it is my first time commenting…
    I made these over the week-end with semi-sweet chocolate as I did not have any unsweetened; I reduced the amount of sugar to 2/3 cup and it was still awesome!
    It was a definite hit and a do-over, althoug there is so much more to try!

  162. If you get a slew of angry emails the beginning of next week it’s really not my fault. Really! I’m bringing these delicious brownies on a retreat my lady friends and I are taking this weekend and the link was met with equal parts hatred (of me for making them) and pure devotion (for you for posting this fine recipe). Although a few of them said they might write you to tell you to stop posting such delicious desserts…so that I stop making them. Thanks!

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you! :)

  163. Wondered if you make your own vanilla extract? We make ours with straight vodka, but wondered if that is too…er…strong?

    Made these tonight and even the toughest critic swooned (the husband.)

  164. Ooooh…these look heavenly! And I can fully attest to bribing labor and delivery nurses. My hypnobirthing instructor recommended it. So my husband and I brought a big bag of chocolate candy for them. I swear it made a difference – not that I have anything to compare it with, but they all acted like it was the nicest thing ever. Anyway, I will be making these brownies soon. Good luck with the upcoming arrival!

  165. These were ok. Not the best brownies I have ever had. Next time I would skip the cream cheese part. Once that cream cheese bakes it gives it more of a bite, than I would want. The cream cheese part unbaked..is to die for! After its baked, I am not so sure about it. I would also add a tad more flour.

  166. Congrats. We had such wonderful, wonderful L&D nurses that my husband and I bought them all Belgian chocolates when we left the hospital. Threw some in for the doctor, as well. Wish I would have thought about homemade!

  167. Just wanted to come back here and report that when I made these brownies, I forgot that the chocolate chips were supposed to go on top, and instead, I stirred them into the cream cheese batter. They were none the worse for that and the swirling went fine, in case anyone was worried. Or something.

  168. I am lactose-challenged (a lactard, if you will) so have no interest in making cheesecake brownies. However, I absolutely loved this post and needed to delurk. Thank you for both your great writing, recipes, and good chuckles!

  169. I made these last night and they were great and SO EASY (but then I love all things chocolate and cheesecake.) They are VERY rich and I’d say maybe more cheesecake than brownie. In fact, if you were to add a chocolate cookie crust and swap the square pan for round it would be totally a chocolate marble cheesecake. (brownie swirl cheesecake?) Wow & really quick to make because you can make the cheesecake part, grease the pan, preheat the oven, and measure out the choc chips, all while the chocolate and butter are melting on the stove. I’m sure I will make these again. (Also, thanks, Michelle, for the pb tip, 1/2 cup of peanut butter in the cheesecake part sounds like it would be heaven!)

  170. I made these last weekend for an after dinner treat and they were terrific! What we didn’t devour that night was even better the next day out of the fridge. The brownie section was almost fudgy.
    I decided to make these again last night for my sister as a get well treat but she loves pumpkin so I attempted a pumpkin cheesecake filling. It worked really well! I used about 6 ounces of cream cheese instead of 8, used the whole egg, added a 1/2 cup of pumpkin, some cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and a little bit of flour. At first I was going to make the pumpkin swirl brownies that Deb posted about a year ago but some of the reviews (and Deb) said it wasn’t quite right so I thought the cheesecake would help the pumpkin and chocolate mesh better. I think they turned out really well!

  171. I just made these and they are so rich and gooey! I quite like them warm but am looking forward to chilling them and having them harden a bit.
    My son is 7 weeks now and I am loving those extra 300 calories I have to eat as I am breastfeeding… although I am sure they should come from fruit and veg instead of brownies… Shhhh don’t tell my doctor! ; )
    Enjoy the last weeks of your pregnancy… I know I was frustrated with my size and the last couple of weeks I just wanted him out! But once they are out – that’s it! They are there to stay! I am blessed with a lovely zen baby who likes to sleep and be chilled without constant attention – so I have time to bake lovely smitten kitchen recipes! But your life does change dramatically and those last few weeks are precious! I hope yours will be a zen baby too so we still have some posts over the next months!!!

  172. Oh, these look so good…unfortunately my 10 day old isn’t making baking feisable just yet. Maybe I could print the recipe for my husband?

    Get a pack n play. It’s like a crib, changing table, and dresser all rolled into one. And if you’re handy with Craigslist you could get one for cheap. (Our crib is still in the box in the garage.)

  173. May I humble myself to ask if I don’t have unsweetened chocolate will cocoa supplemented with vegetable oil do, and if I only have salted butter (I know I should have unsalted, I wasn’t thinking!) can I still use it, or should I use shortening or veg oil instead? I bet the consistency and texture will be different won’t it?

  174. I cooked these the other day, used supermarket swiss cooking chocolate (purchased in a recent trip to Switzerland) and used about double the quantity. The chocolate part was maybe a bit gooey for some – but I found it perfect. My excuse is that I needed to convert qty´s to grams I just let the chocolate do the talking. Dropped some to teachers at kindergarten so sure my little girl will get extra nice treatment today!!!!

  175. Wow, ok. These were a definite hit in my kitchen yesterday (and all gone now, unfortunately…). Lucky for me, my mouth has healed somewhat seeing as I couldn’t wait long enough for the brownies to cool down before diving right in…The only downside is that I’m am being blamed for the excess weight that my friends and fam are carrying…Shame on me I suppose.

  176. @Amy : I chilled mine to cut them (and they were still gooey) then wrapped them individually in cling film (sorry – don’t know what you call that in the USA! Its plastic wrapping stuff that sticks to itself!) then froze them in a container, but have left them loose once they froze.
    Yesterday and today I put a frozen one in my lunchbag and it was defrosted by lunchtime and was still just as delicious as fresh :)

    This was the first recipe I’ve had to go out and buy ingredients for and cook the same night – I was not disappointed!

    @Ryan – mine were fine. I even used a 7.5×7.5 inch tin since I couldn’t find an 8×8 in the UK!
    Better luck next time, since they are delicious!

  177. These were great! Because I had only a 9″ sq. pan I used that and they turned out fine. I’ve made them twice now and neither time was I able to create the good looking marbled effect like in your photo. Maybe with some practice.

  178. I made these tonite and they were the best brownies I have ever had. I can’t believe I have never made homemade brownies before! This recipe is a keeper, thanks!

  179. yum, i wish i was delivering at the same time as you so i could sneak some of the treats for the nurses. are we supposed to do that? i didn’t know. damnit. i better start baking. also, i didn’t see answers to the freezing questions – what do you freeze them in and do you defrost them before eating/serving? thanks!

  180. no fair, I gained about 50 lbs just looking at the photos….

    (hi, i came here via a link to this post on Caitlin’s blog “It’s Spelled C-a-i-t-l-i-n”, hope you don’t mind me browsing through!)

  181. Fast-scrolled through the comments to reach the part where someone said “gooey” – thank you, that’s what I wanted to know! Am making these tonight!

  182. I am TOTALLY hijacking your bribery idea. This is genius! I am due in December and I think this is the perfect trick…ahem…I mean plan to get the most attention. Although, what if the nurses enjoy the baked goods TOO much and are in some kind of euphoric brownie state and cannot respond to the buzzer….

  183. Hi! I have tried about every single one of the recipes posted on this site because i adore your cooking style :) haha
    I tried these out last night and they are DELICIOUS. i put i bit more chocolate than asked in the recipe and I am glad I did- i almost find they still arent chocolaty enough… although i could bath in chocolate and this it is not enough
    the only major problem I had was with cutting them. I did the “almost frozen” technique recomended and I found it almost impossible to get a clean cut. The cheesecake topping was not cutting nicely- just flaking and looking messy. So it was too soft. OFF TO THE FREEZER AGAIN! and once the topping was finally firm enough to get a clean cut the brownie was SO solid it was almost impossible to cut into- and I have some pretty hardcore good knives. I wonder if anyone has other tips to try?

  184. I made 2 batches today! One for home and one to send with my husband to his Physical Therapy appointment. He’s been going for about 4 weeks and I hadn’t sent any treats. So thank you so much. They are soo good.
    My only complaint is that there were so few. Not that we need to eat more. My teens threw a fit when I sent one batch out the door. Usually we make brownies in a 9X13 pan from mix.
    Peace and happy labor day! (put your feet up and rest why don’t you?)

  185. I just took the pan out of the oven. The brownies look and smell glorious! Oh, I want them now, but I’ll be noble and save them for my friend’s wedding shower tomorrow. Maybe no one will notice if I just stand next to the plate and quietly eat them all….

  186. Hi Deb,

    Thanks for another great recipe.

    Your labor will be great, whether or not you are home to actually GRAB the brownies when you leave. I’m a small person who had a nine pound son last year with no pain meds (time restrictions) and it was acutally less complicated than your chocolate birthday cake recipe that I’m making for his first birthday.

    Good luck!!

  187. Dude. These are amazing and SO EASY! I just made these for a thank you gift and they were a huge hit. Thank you for the delicious recipe. Best of luck with everything coming up!

  188. What have we done to you that you have chosen to plague us with exceptionally fantastic deserts? Any chance of a crisp salad recipe in the next week?

    (Seriously, though, these are eight kinds of amazing.)

  189. I made these and they were really glorious. I had had a whole different recipe picked out for making for a BBQ and then was totally hijacked by this post. Well played.

  190. This was my first time trying a recipe from your website, but I was not disappointed. I took these to an engagement party and they were an absolute hit. These are fantastic and I will definitely be making them again next week for a girls appetizer-and-movie night with friends. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!!

    Camille

    P.S. Congrats on the birth of your baby boy – he’s absolutely adorable!

  191. So, I confess, I am 35 weeks preggo and just made these for myself…not the L&D nurses. They are awesome and I may just have to make another batch or two for the hospital staff. Such a great idea. Thanks!

  192. Oops, do these need to be refrigerated?? I made these last night but just left them in a container on the counter. Am I going to kill us all?

  193. Just made these – can’t wait for them to cool! Thanks! I’m seriously considering bribing my L&D nurses also – curious to hear how your treats were received? Congrats on your little boy!

  194. Made these for football watching party this past weekend and they were a total hit. Don’t be afraid becase the pan looks small – these babies are rich and a small one will do you just fine (ok myabe two). Congrats on the little bundle.

  195. I made these this past weekend and they were a big hit. They were a really fun and delish spin (or swirl) on the traditional brownie. Just looking at these pics makes me crave the leftovers we have at home. Congrats on the new bebe – he is darling.

  196. Thanks for the delicious brownie recipe! They were amazing, and everyone loved them. Congratulations on the new baby! He is adorable.

  197. The brownies look fab. Best of luck with the changing table stuff–just, [all] parents, PLEASE change your baby in an appropriate place–NOT on top of a restaurant table, please, or on a friend’s brand new couch or kitchen counter! Thank you.

  198. Wow, these were yummers! I have made cheesecake brownies before and have been disappointed, but these were so good. Thanks; best of luck with your new little guy. He is lovely.

  199. I made these the other day and they were easy to make…but more importantly tasted yummy! Thanks and congratulations on your little bub, he’s very handsome!

  200. These brownies look absolutely delightful. I’m a sucker when it comes to chocolate, brownies, or cheesecake. I have recently reaquired my dairy problems so I am not able to eat cheesecake any more (tragic, I know) but I have found on the food network that you are able to make cheesecake out of goat cheese, there is something like cream cheese that you can use. I have yet to try it but I am very excited.

  201. I go to Babson College, and they make these there. These are probably a 100 times better, but every time I have them in school I can’t resist to have one more. I got so excited when I saw the recipe here. I’m definitely going to try it out on my own :)

  202. OK, so I am a surgeon and am very familiar with bribery tactics for nurses… it absolutely works, too! I made 2 batches and brought these into the hospital for the recovery room nurses (one of whom I had promised some cookies to awhile back) and my office staff/OR team. They were a complete hit with everyone. Thanks for helping me keep my patients in good graces with the ancillary staff :)

  203. i FINALLY got around to making these this weekend. i have an 8-month old and so despite having the ingredients for weeks, i wasn’t able to get to the recipe until this past sunday night. it was the first baking i’ve done since my daughter was born and what a fun dish with which to start. thanks for inspiring me. they were delicious.

  204. These are excellent – made them for a gathering at my house. I am so glad I made them the day before and refrigerated them – it made slicing them so much easier.
    They were incredible – hopefully there is one left when I get home from work – which seriously I doubt will happen – but one can hope . . . . .

  205. Love love love your website – I made these twice so far….how do you get the marbling effect?? My brownie batter is quite thick so it doesnt swirl easily – any tips?

  206. Hey Deb, I was wondering if there was supposed to be no baking powder in these brownies. They are in my oven as we speak, but I added a teaspoon of baking powder to them. I hated adding it and second guessing your recipe, but I just didn’t know how they would rise otherwise. Sorry if I end up ruining your beautiful brownies!

  207. Ok, thanks! I have only made brownies a couple of times so I wasn’t 100% positive if baking powder was a necessity in brownies or not. I didn’t have the time to do any researching as I was needing to get them baked and cooled for friends last night. They turned out great, but next time I’ll be sure to follow the recipe exactly!

  208. Oh, my! I made these 2 days ago. They are divine. Just the right amount of fudginess with the tangy cheesecaky topping. My marbling techinique was not effective, so the brownies weren’t as beautiful as yours. Practice will make perfect.

  209. How do you suppose this recipe would work with the pumpkin swirl mixed in? A la your pumpkin swirl brownies where you suggested a cream cheese swirl might go nicely?? Have you ever tried it?

  210. Made these yesterday to have for dessert with visiting family — fabulous! Loved the texture. I think I swirled a little too much — I’d have liked to have more pure cheesecake areas — but really delicious and definitely on my list to make again when the leftover Halloween candy is gone and there are enough people around to prevent me from devouring the entire pan by myself.

  211. Made these for visiting family – way way beyond YUM!
    I made a couple of changes due to lack of unsweetened chocolate: I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, reduced sugar to 1/2 c, and even then it was too sweet, so I sprinkled on 2 T of cocoa powder and stirred it right in.

    Thanks for a reliable and scrumdiddlyumptious recipe!

  212. I bookmarked these for myself as soon as I saw them, but haven’t had a chance to make them yet. I did recommend them to a friend who needed a good dessert for a potluck meal, and she said everyone loved them, so now am dying to try them more than ever!

  213. Thanks so much for your awesome recipes! I made these this week and brought them in for the office. Everybody raved over them! They were devoured in a day. One my coworkers said they ought to be named Pure Sin. Was it because of the chocolate or the cheesecake? :-)

  214. My baking pride hurts, HURTS my guy’s parents asked if they were FERMENTED and I followed the recipe closely and everyone else loved them

    They were all

    ”This is too much chocolate”

    TOO…MUCH…CHOCOLATE??!?! Is there EVEN such a thing?!?

  215. I just made these, in a mini muffin pan (if anyone is wondering, it makes 2 pans of 48 minis). Quite difficult to swirl in the minis, I ended up half mixing the cream cheese mixture into the brownie and swirling in there before scooping.

    They’re quite good but still, not chocolate-y enough for my tastes. Next time I’ll be adding more chocolate. The cheese swirls are delicious though.

  216. omg. just made these for the first time. DELICIOUS. i have to limit myself to one square at a time since they’re so rich….but heavenly. thank you!

  217. Just made them in a 9×12 pan – had to scale up the recipe so it couldn’t have been exactly right, but these are honestly the best brownies I’ve ever baked in my life! I didn’t have unsweetened chocolate so used a mix of semi-sweet and bittersweet and they taste fine. Also ran out of sugar after the brownie batch so ended up using brown sugar for the cheesecake batter but had no ill-effect other than a slightly more brown color. Had trouble marbling, but I’m sure i’ll have plenty of practice in the future as I intend to make these often! : D Thank you, Deb!

  218. I measured mine in grams, so I ended up putting in a bit more chocolate than the recipe called for. They were amazing, and definiitely tasted better after a day of sitting. Such a good recipe! Also, I used white chocolate buttons instead of chocolate chips. Delicious, thanks!

  219. I have made these brownies at least 6 times since this recipe was posted. My fiance, his staff, our driver, postman, my mom and I consider it the BEST brownies ever.

    Thank you!!!!!

  220. I have made these TWICE in the last two days! Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe, and all your recipes, yours is the first site that I check when looking for something to make! :)

  221. Mine just came out of the oven. I just had to sneak a bite before they were chilled. Thanks for the delicious brownies!

  222. So I’m putting together my list for nurses bribes (I’m 23 weeks) and wondering how long these will keep in the freezer?

    1. Mere — Depends more on your freezer, and if things pick up a “freezery” smell in there. In mine, where things always do, I’d not stash them more than a month. From a food safety perspective, I think 2 months or even a little longer is fine.

  223. oh, sweet baby jesus on a cracker!!! I made these over the weekend and they are by far the easiest and (one of the top contenders for) tastiest brownies I’ve ever had. OHMYGODSOGOOD!!! thank you!! And my guy’s band-mates thank you as well as they devoured the entire pan.
    Next time I’ll leave out the chips on top though, I’m not a super-chocolaty person and they seemed a bit much for my ungirlish palette.
    -K

  224. I made these last week for a graduation party, and aside from my own lack of marbling practice (I marbled them too much and the cheesecake was mostly invisible) they were a hit! Thank you, Deb.

  225. I’m SO glad I found your amazing, mouth-watering blog. I have to say that I stalked your blog for hours just gushing over all the amazing recipes but when I came to these brownies and the awesome photos I knew I just HAD to make them right away! They were super easy, looked exactly like yours, and most importantly tasted heavenly! Just what I imagined. I appreciate your writing and all the time you take in doing this blog, being a mom is full-time so I praise you for doing it regardless. Your great at it! Your recipes are easy to follow, delicious, and so fun to look through. I’ve tried two recipes (the arroz con leche I altered to include my mother’s recipe) so far and have been very glad with the results. Thanks!!
    -A

  226. Made these tonight for friend who has just given birth (is this just an NZ (New Zealand) thing, or is this something everyone does for new mums & dads?), and took her these and some of your Hungarian Goulash, with the cucumber salad (with onions and sour cream as suggested by someone) A Smitten Kitchen feast!! Thanks ever so much. Love your blog – it’s the only one I read. Happy husband – of Hungarian Jewish extraction. Thanks!! Emma :)

  227. Hi Deb,
    I’m bringing dessert for a crowd on Saturday – how would you adapt for a 9×13? My quick math tells me to times everything by 1.5 – which is easy (well except for the egg yolk, but I am willing to just wing it there ; ) but what would you recommend for baking times/temps? Your other recipe – for a 9×13 – says 325 for 35-45 min. Would that work, or do I need to compensate somehow for the extra cream cheese in this recipe?

  228. Adoy. By 1.5 I meant 2, as in double. Oopsies. I did say quick math, not good math! I won’t be worrying about teaspoons of egg yolk after all!! ; )

  229. Hey Deb! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your wonderful blog and I just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I made this for my partner (he doesn’t know yet :P), as he’s both a cheesecake and brownie lover. For someone like me, who’s not a huge cheesecake fan, these smell divine and it’s taking me a lot to save them for him!

  230. Hi Deb, I’m Bethany’s partner and I must say, those brownies look absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to try them! :D

    (Bethany can’t keep a secret, if you didn’t realise.)

  231. I’ve made these brownies numerous times for my coworkers, and I get raves. One woman, who is an incredible baker, described these delights as “heavenly.” The brownies are all gobbled up within 1.5 hours. Thanks for this recipe!

  232. I just made these in a 9×13 pan. I increased the brownie batter ingredients by 50%, but just left the cream cheese mixture amounts alone, which worked fine. They took right at 30 minutes. Also, I smushed up a half pint of raspberries, put the smushy goodness through a sieve to remove seeds, and marbled in the beautiful red syrupy stuff along with the cream cheese. Highly recommended–they look so good I wish I had Smitten Kitchen camera skills to capture the moment!

  233. As a nurse, we love treats! LOL! When I worked in a hospital, we never refused treats! Now I work in a clinic and no one brings us treats, except for drug reps. I hope everything goes well with the birth.

  234. Even though mine came out looking a lot messier than yours, this recipe is golden. I’ve made them twice now and have gotten rave reviews every time. Also, it takes absolutely no time to put together – marvelous!

  235. Okay, so it’s a year later, but you posted about Jacob’s bday, so I remembered – I wanted to thank you for the idea. I baked lots after I saw this post (my baby was born in November), and it definitely worked! (As I lay puffing on the hospital bed, barely 4 cm, the doc came in again after five minutes and the nurse said “you never check on the patients so often!”) ;)

    So thanks!

  236. Thanks for this recipe. I love these brownies; I’ve made them at least 3 times… the ratio of cheesecake to chocolate is perfect.

    They do seem most delicious chilled. It is hard to allow this to happen, but good things come to those who wait…

  237. This is the 3rd or 4th recipe of yours that I’ve tried, and I must say they have all been awesome, but THIS RECIPE IS AWESOME!!! I love how the chocolate part is kinda fudgey, and how the tartness of the cheesecake layer compliments it so well. I too had trouble swirling but it all looks the same in my stomach anyway! Next time I am going to add a layer of walnuts between the chocolate and cheesecake, or maybe coconut…. or both! Mmm!

  238. Came across this recipe when doing a Google Search. The supermarket didn’t have unsweetened chocolate so had to improvise by mixing 8 oz cocoa powder with 1 cup milk till cocoa dissolves, then heating it up over low heat with the butter. After mixing in the flour, it seemed to be too runny so I added a bit more flour. In the end, it turned out AWESOME. Very fudgey and chocolate-y and rich. But my only ‘complain’ is that there’s not enough CHEESE! Next time (yes there will be), I will double the cheesecake batter =) Thanks for the recipe!

  239. Made these tonight, after prolonged deliberation over all of your brownie recipes, leaving out the chocolate chips and swapping a tablespoon of flour for cocoa. I only had light cream cheese in the house (not sure why as I don’t really do light products) but it worked perfectly well. They took about 50 minutes in my (slightly slow) oven. I really like them – they are much less sweet than most brownies and I like the tang of the cream cheese. I would say it’s worth waiting until they’re cold to eat them, though, as when they’re warm the cream cheese is a bit sickly. Thanks for posting these!

  240. PS I’ve just realised that 350 F is Gas 5, not Gas 4, and my oven runs about a gas mark slow, so that would explain why my brownies took so long!

  241. Deb, this is now my go-to recipe whenever I bring something to a party. It never ever fails to impress, and no one ever believes me when I say that they are not only simple to make, but also really fun (I love swirling in the cheesecake batter). Sometimes people are even rendered inarticulate, beyond their moans of delight! I’d also like to add that this has won no few boys’ hearts, so I owe you doubly for that ;) Thanks! Hope everyone in your family is well!

  242. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these brownie! I agree with some of the comments above, the brownies do taste a thousand times better after cooling! All of my friedns love them andIi love making them!

  243. Deb…oh me oh my…thank you thank you thank you! I fell in love with your blog about a month ago and aside from a failed attempt at crumb topping, your recipes have been huge hits with the whole family. And yesterday I found this one…and WOW! Made 2 batches :) They were for a potluck…but the draw to them and the need for the 2nd batch was beyond pregnancy induced, as I just hit the 3rd trimester with #5! And they’ll be dessert at 2 Thanksgiving feasts next week and taking them as nurse bribery is ingenious (my husband works at the hospital so bribery may start early) :)
    recipe note…I had no unsweetened chocolate so used semi-sweet and while the brownies were rich, it kept me from eating the whole pan!
    Thank you for all your fabulous recipes and work! My husband and kids thank you too!

  244. Made these last night as it was a much simpler recipe than Stars Deserts (they use 20 oz of cream cheese!) but didn’t have unsweetened chocolate. I substituted semi-sweet and cut the sugar to 1/3 cup. They look great and hopefully we be well received as part of my annual holiday cookie packages.

  245. Hey Deb!! Love your blog!!!!!!!! I am making these for Christmas and was wondering if using a little bit of peppermint extract in the cheesecake batter would overshadow the cream cheesey chocolatey deliciousness of the brownie? I know they will be delicious as is but would love something pepperminty too if it wont be overpowering. Thanks so much!!!!

  246. Just pulled my second batch of these out of the oven after a successful first round! Nice and rich so they make for good smaller squares. And the key is definately to put them in the fridge/freezer before cutting them to avoid the room temperature fall apart.

  247. Not only is this blog hilarious, the brownies are ridiculously delicious! I wouldn’t change one thing about them. I have never served brownies cold before, but these were perfect chilled. Loved them.

  248. I went to buy ingredients for this recipe this afternoon and is seriously regretting not buying more than I had to. I just started baking my first batch into the oven and is super excited to taste the outcome (yum ^0^!). I’m still eating the left over cream cheese batter aha!

  249. wow. Just got these bad boys out of the oven and BOY are they absolutely deLISH! Make me wanna stand up n slap my grandmaw. Thank you Deb! These ROCK!

  250. Made these recently… and like everyone else, I have to agree that they were insanely delicious! They were the perfect balance of cheesecake and brownie and the texture was amazing. Thanks for all the recipes!

  251. I made these yesterday for a Valentine Day treat. They were pretty good. Good chocolate flavor. I did have to substitute 2 oz of 60% bittersweet chocolate because I only had an oz of unsweetened. And I cut back on the sugar by half for the brownie batter. I think i’ll make these again.

  252. I made these (again) for my coworkers this week, and so far 10 different people have stopped in to tell me how delicious they are. Which is good, because whatever they don’t eat I’ll have to take home ane eat myself. And I have no restraint where these are concerned. Yum…

    (Side note: I substituted half whole-wheat flour, because I ran out of AP, and you couldn’t even tell.)

  253. i made these today for an event at work and i had people i don’t even know stopping by my desk to tell me how great they are. i doubled the recipe and used a 9 x 13 pan and baked for 37 minutes. perfect. thank you for this winner!

  254. I whipped these up today for my friends’ Easter party. They were really easy and came out beautifully! They are really soft, much softer than my usual brownie recipe, and also thicker. They were delicious nonetheless, and there was plenty of cheesecake-ness alongside the chocolate decadence. I liked them a lot! If only I had a cold glass of milk to wash them down. Oh well. Thanks!

  255. Baked them again last night. I kept them in for about 5 minutes or so longer, which made all the difference. I’m also storing them in the fridge this time. They were even better the second time around. And still so easy. Thanks so much! I love this and the whole blog

  256. easily one of my favorite recipes on the site! brownies and cheesecake together is a very happy marriage indeed. Thanks for this keeper! :)

  257. I have to tell you, I’m obsessed with these (and have made other people just as obsessed ;) I wanted to share a tip – I don’t own a double boiler, so I zap the butter in the microwave for around a minute and then whisk the chopped unsweetened chocolate in. The hot butter automatically melts the chocolate, voila :) Rock on with your amazing self!!!!

  258. hi there,

    i want to make these but i already have boxed brownies (i’m very partial to them) and don’t have the ingredients to make your brownies (i’m awful). the box of brownies i have are ghirardelli double chocolate and i figured i could just make those, then add the cheesecake topping as you directed however the box of brownies says to bake @ 325F whereas yours says 350F.

    is there any way to make this work? also, am i baking the brownies in the oven, taking them out, THEN adding the cheesecake topping and then putting them in the freezer or am i adding brownie batter to the pan, then cheesecake batter, THEN baking?

    sorry for so many questions!

  259. Didn’t have any unsweetened chocolate, so used melted semi-sweet chips and reduced the sugar by 3 Tbsp. (Yes,I have a massive Costco sized bag of chocolate chips in the house at all times.) Worked great. Thanks. Great brownies on a yucky rainy day.

  260. I made these and really appreciate them! A not so deathly sweet brownie! I’d go so far as to say a brownie for more refined taste buds. I lost my mind and added an ounce of unsweet chocolate; it was not needed, but did not kill things either. I actually think an extra half ounce might be nice (but I do love my chocolate bitter). A final note: COLD is AWESOME. Thanks, Deb.

  261. This is a bit urgent: I don’t know if this is possible but I was wondering that if I wanted to make the brownie batter cake-like and added some baking powder and soda to it and then swirled in the cheesecake batter, would that be ok or would it mess up the finished product? I have tried this recipe and it’s a super-hit with my colleagues but wanted to do a cake for a friend’s birthday which was not too heavy on the cream-cheese and was wondering if converting the brownie batter to cake-like form would work? Thanks.

  262. I’ve just put these in the oven, they look and smell amazing. First time baking ANYTHING on my own! Hope the in-laws like them!! (And hope they don’t end up in my tummy before they get to them!)

  263. I just made these yesterday. DELICIOUS! Instead of the chocolate chips I added some homemade strawberry jam into the cheesecake batter. They were so moist and rich. Everyone loved them : )

  264. 8 months pregnant…I made these last night. They turned out great. They definitly must be eaten cold though! My husband asked me to make them more chocolatly so next time I guess ill have to add chocolate chips to the batter too~ but for me they came out perfect. Oh and the only tweaking I did was use splenda instead of sugar.
    Thanks as always Deb!

  265. made theses tonight, absolutely wonderful. however, i used a betty crocker brownie mix. simply amazing, and my family loved them!

  266. I’ve made these before (though I didn’t comment) and they went down very well so when someone mentioned they wanted brownies in my new uni halls I turned straight to this recipe, ignored the cheesecake (she’s not overly patient) and quadrupled the quantities (there are 17 of us on my floor). As a measure of how well they went down, a second batch was made the very next day. As Laura said though, much better cold – though maybe returning starving from ice hockey at 1 o’clock in the morning helped there too.

  267. sweet fancy moses. felt like making something sweet, picked the first thing that screamed “make meeee” on your site, and i am so glad i did! best brownies ever! must take them to work to avoid eating them all!

  268. I recently made these and they were amazing! My boyfriend really wanted to add butterfingers to the mix, but I wasn’t so sure about how that would turn out. Thankfully in the end, the butterfingers added another level of flavor enhancing the lovely cheescake brownie base. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  269. Hi Deb – a question! I make these frequently for the hubby (he loves them, thanks!), but I always struggle with the cream cheese part! I can’t figure it out – I never use the entire amount – do you? I try to glob on as much as I can, and end up having a very difficult time swirling it in since it’s so much cream cheese on top! I must be doing something wrong…help?

    Thanks!

    1. Natasha — Just keep swirling! Do your best to pick up the batter from underneath too. Nobody will tell on you if you fold it ever-so-gently in tiny amounts to get the dark batter on top a little so you can create more swirls. Hope that helps.

  270. Hi Deb!
    I made the brownies for my husband’s birthday and he loved it. It was so easy to make (which was essential for me with one very active almost three year old toddler and a one month old infant around) and so so so very addictive to eat! Thank you so much for the lovely recipe! One more reason why I am such a big fan of yours!(Btw- Can’t get unsweetened chocolate here in Bangladesh so I used dark cooking chocolate and almost halved the sugar (tasted the batter and did the sweetness adjustment.)

  271. Hi Deb! I tried to make the brownies today, but the batter didn’t seem as smooth. It wouldn’t lift over the cream cheese when I tried to swirl, and the cream cheese seemed thick compared to yours. What have I done wrong? They’re baking them in the oven right now, just to see how they’ll turn out. I fear that I’m terrible at baking brownies.

  272. I baked these last night, and they are SO tasty. I will definitely make these again.

    Like a few other commenters, I had problems with swirling, which I think can be attributed to two factors. 1- My cream cheese was not well-softened. 2- I placed the cheesecake layer on top of the brownie layer in 4 big dollops and then spread it over the top – I think that many smaller dots of batter would work better than fewer bigger dollops.

    My cheesecake layer therefore mixed in more with the top layer of brownies. However, this did not affect the taste – I cooled them overnight and had one for breakfast – delicious.

  273. Deb I have to tell you what happened when I made these with the kids at work. I printed off the recipe, provided them with the ingredients and left them to it, they really focused and tried so hard, so when they came out of the oven looking like goo, I oohed and ahhed over them and put them in the freezer so that they would firm up a bit and look a little like something that resembled a brownie. But when we tasted them we couldn’t hide our shock, it was truly the most revolting thing I have ever tasted. We couldn’t work out what had happened as I have 100% faith in your recipes. Eventually we discovered that some genius had filled the plain flour container with bi-carb soda! You can only imagine what they tasted like!

  274. They’re sitting on my stove right now, and look fabulous. I admit, I was a little disgusted at first by the cream-cheese mixture–it was all yellow colored from the egg yolk, and looked sort of curdled–but it ended up lovely, though my swirling skills are lackluster.

    I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9×13 pan. They look good, but I’m not sure they cooked so evenly. I tried to get the center “just set,” as instructed by the recipe, but by the time it was even close to set (there was still battler dripping off when I stuck a knife in!), the edges looked a little overdone. I had to bake around 43 minutes, to get them done. Please, please don’t let them be overcooked and dry…

  275. I made these brownies for the first time yesterday for my boyfriend and we both loved them so much! Definitely one of my favourite dessert recipes from smitten kitchen. I had to bake mine for about 40-42 minutes and they came out perfectly. Thanks!

  276. these are ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i can’t stop eating them. omg. i had to pull everything out of a shelf on the fridge so i could stick these wayy in the back. delicious. amazing. i love you smitten kitchen.

  277. As usual, when I needed a recipe for something to bring to a party, I came here. I am not a baker or a sweets person, but these were way easier than I expected and delicious. They were also a hit at the party, which makes me happy I “tested” one at home first. I came back with one very clean plate!

  278. I loved this recipe the first time I made it and was invited to a Birthday/Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday so I decided to make them again, with a twist. I chopped a whole chipotle pepper VERY finely and added it to the brownie batter. I added the cheesecake batter as instructed and omitted the chocolate chips. The result: DIVINE! Fabulous chocolate/chipotle flavors offset by the cream cheese. Not one left….and the one I hid at home had mysteriously disappeared before I got back! Love this blog!

  279. I didn’t have the regular unsweetened chocolate to chop up, so instead I added 3 more tablespoons of shortening and about 1/2 cup of cocoa powder. Turned out like a dream! Thanks! :D

  280. I’ve been making these with regular, store-bought brownie mix. I make up the cheesecake batter as in this recipe, but the brownie stuff I just use whatever’s on sale. It comes out pretty awesome and takes half the prep work. Not as much fun as making it from scratch, but sometimes I just want these FAST.

    I’ve also tried adding coconut shavings, which made these into some kind of crazy delicious bar-thing. LOVE the cheesecakeyness.

  281. There was way too much cheesecake batter for all the brownies, I would have halved the cheesecake batter recipe before baking the brownies!

  282. I knew this was based on the Gourmet mag recipe when I saw them. I loved the Gourmet recipe too but ended up doubling the actual brownie batter and keeping the cheesecake part as written. It wasn’t enough brownie to balance the sweet of the cheesecake. I’ll have to try your blend. Toothpick for the marbling. Absolutely my go-to tried and tested dinner party dessert. Thanks for the tip about cooling before cutting. That’s always the most trying part.

  283. I read your article in MS Living which sent me on a hunt for this recipe. One question – is there no sea salt in these? The brownies sound amazing and I plan to make them anyway.

  284. I just read your “Brownie Points” article in my mom’s Martha Stewart magazine. :) (The shimmer of the brownies in the photo drew me in, because the dessert reminded me of beautiful sea shells!)
    I find that I cook and bake as my instinctive reaction to most of life’s situations too, so your article struck a chord with me. It’s a gift we are able to offer to others, and such a blessing that it brings so much joy to us as well! I loved that you discovered during your final weeks of pregnancy, that your unique talents and perspective are the most important things you could give to your new baby!
    I have never posted on a blog before, but I really wanted you to know I enjoyed hearing your story :)
    -Jessica (Minneapolis, MN)

  285. I made these last night for my super stressed out husband who is a brownie aficionado and the verdict was FANTASTIC! I Love how simple the recipe is and how it makes an 8×8 which is the prefect size for two! Love the blog, thank you for all the wonderful recipes!

  286. Deb!! I made these brownies last night for my little one’s first birthday party, which is a giraffe theme. Instead of swirling them, I sort of plopped the cheesecake on top with more plops of brownie batter and the result came out looking EXACTLY like giraffe splotches. Plus they tasted amazing! Thank you!

  287. Hi Deb, I just made these brownies for a New Years Eve party and they are delicious. So incredibly moist and fudgey. I added about 1/4 cup baileys to the cream cheese mixture too. Thanks for sharing :)

  288. These sound great! Do you have any tips for mailing brownies in a care package to make sure they survive the trip and still look nice/taste great when they get across the country? Thanks!

  289. My hairdresser is leaving me tomorrow and I needed to find something sweet enough to make her stay. I am convinced once she tries these amazingly dreamy brownies, she’ll never want to abandon my tresses. Ever.

    My only beef is… how come my brownie isn’t as pretty as yours?!

    Another amazing recipe, Debs!

    PS: Just received your cookbook! Can’t wait to get started! :-)

  290. Hi there, can I bake it in a standard size cake tin instead? I am planning to make it for Fathers’ Day tomorrow! :)

  291. I’ve made these 3 times this week. I used a glass baking dish and the brownie was a bit overdone on the first batch so I lowered the temp to 330 degrees for round 2 and 3. I swirled nutella in the cheesecake batter, amazing !
    Batch 3, I added orange zest to the cheesecake batter, also quite fantastic.
    Next time I am going to add cashew butter to the cheesecake batter.

  292. Hi! I bookmarked this recipe last year for exactly the reason that you made them and now am in the final countdown for my first little person to arrive (8 weeks!) so time to get cracking on the baked goods for bribery! I’ve never frozen cookies or brownies though – any tips on freezing or thawing to ensure these are as delicious as they look?

    1. I like to freeze things in a single layer and once they are firm, separate the layers with waxed paper and stack them (if needed) in a container or freezer bag. Defrosting in the fridge, back in a single layer, is easy, or you can leave them out at room temperature for a couple hours.

  293. I just wanted to let you know how glad I am I found this recipe! They are as delicious as you say.

    I borrowed my parents’ kitchen to make a double batch for an office potluck recently and I promised to bring my dad the leftovers. My office NEVER eats much dessert at these things. But they ate every last brownie! I got such puppy eyes when I broke the news to Dad that I’m bringing a batch over for dessert on Christmas to make up for it :-)

  294. Making these for the fourth time today. They are amazingly delicious and hit cravings for cheesecake and brownies perfectly!

    Just agreeing with Nikki that a glass dish works at 330 degrees. You can also make single-serves in muffin tins with muffin papers (sort of hard to peel off though) if you shorten the time to about 20 mins? Still not too sure about that number.

    Thanks again for the recipe and the site!!!

  295. This recipe is amazing. I doubled it and used a 9×13 pan and took the, to a BBQ at my husband’s boss’s house. They were a hit! The recommendation to serve cold is a good one. Thanks!

  296. Seems that I am joining so long after you first posted this recipe….All I can say is ….wonderful…It baked up royally and is being taken off to the rough back terrain in Canada as we go bird hunting tomorrow. Cannot wait to see the looks on everyone’s faces when I bring these to the fireside table. Thanks for sharing in a manner which was easy to follow.

    1. Abi — It is! 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate provides a much more intense flavor than the same amount of semi- or bittersweet chocolate. It’s one of the reasons I love using it in baking; excellent flavor and you don’t need to buy a lot of it.

  297. These are so fabulous! I made them yesterday afternoon and we ate them that evening. Super fudgy, not too sweet, and the mild and creamy cheesecake swirls are the perfect foil for the rich chocolate. Definitely needed to cut them into 16 as suggested in the recipe. If I had only cut 9 (like I usually do for an 8×8 pan of brownies) these would have been too rich to eat a whole one. Thank you for the great recipe!

  298. Ohhhhh Myyyy!! Love you! love your blog!
    I was on a quest for THE best brownie-cheesecake combo (my personal addiction..) till now!
    2nd time making these -twice perfect! I might add that I added a tsp. brewed coffee with the sugar..yumm. You’re Amazingggg!!! :)
    And definitely frozen! ;)

  299. I know you posted this recipe a few years ago but I just made these brownies this weekend and they are INCREDIBLE. I don’t ever want to have another kind of brownie ever again. Warm and soft from the oven? Heavenly. Thank you so much for this!

  300. Hey Deb! Kind of dumb question, but when you’re swirling the cheesecake layer, are you just swirling the top or the entire brownie? I think I got a little aggressive with my swirling and there may no longer be much of a distinction between the brownie and cheesecake layer. They are still cooling (literally just got them out of the oven!) and I’m sure that they taste amazing either way, but was curious for when/if I make them again!

    1. Katie — I’m not sure how far down in the brownie I go, but I know I stop before the bottom. The trickiest thing is stopping when the swirl is just right, and not overdoing it. Anyway, I recently made a raspberry swirl cheesecake that I think has helped me master swirling forever. See it here; you basically add whatever you’re marbling in in separate dots all over. It’s almost impossible for it not to swirl prettily after that.

  301. This recipe is perfect! I was glad to see this recipe didn’t require brown sugar, it helped me clean out some left over ingredients in my pantry. Thank you, thank you Deb! You made our snow day yesterday extra sweet :)

  302. Just made these after a 10 month baking hiatus( moving cities, living with parents, no kitchen, etc)

    These turned out delicious!!!

    Massive confidence boost.

    Thank you so much for being there with your always delicious recipes.

    Thank you!!!

  303. Hey i’m stuck with this recipe. I’ve made it a few times and they taste great but they never look like the pictures. I have a fan assisted oven set at 190C (375F) and they always seem to come out as one creamy brown colour and don’t set in the middle properly sometimes. I’ve put foil over the top of them and baked them for 15-20mins longer and they set in the middle but still look unusual. Any advice would be apreciated. Thanks in advance :)

    P.s. how do i stop the chocolate chips from sinking in and melting into the mixture?

  304. Hi Deb, Wondering if you think these would work with white chocolate in the brownie mix instead? I just happen to have a bunch of it for baking in my cupboard…thoughts?

    1. Clare — Instead of the unsweetened chocolate? It will work, but it will be much more sweet. You might use the white portion of this brownie recipe, which is similar, as a jumping off point. I decreased the sugar there, but it’s still sweeter than it would be with sugarless chocolate.

  305. I would love to see how you wrap and freeze your baked goods sometime. Every hint, tip or trick would make a great post!

  306. I wonder if you could put a dollop of the cheesecake batter from this recipe onto each of your pumpkin muffins to make pumpkin cream cheese muffins?

    I hope my question makes sense!

  307. I just made these, and the chocolate portion is very bitter. I didn’t initially see the “adapted” part, and assumed it would be good since it was a recipe from Gourmet magazine. I looked up the original recipe, and it only calls for 2 ounces of the unsweetened chocolate, not 3 ounces. I think three ounces is too much, and that it would be much better with just 2 ounces.

  308. Don’t know why I feel the need to comment now but these have literally been my go to baking item since summer 2009. I always keep unsweetened chocolate in my pantry so I can make these whenever I need, always a hit! The best part is how there isn’t a lot of sugar in the brownie base itself – making it deeper and more bitter, a perfect counterweight to the cheesecake and chocolate chips.
    Just fantastic.

  309. I made these the other day, honestly I am a huge brownie fan but would have passed by the cheesecake part were it not for my husband who loves cheesecake…and these were a hit with both of us! I baked them about 10 minutes longer than recommended and thought I’d over done them, and maybe I did, but they were still moist and delicious – very forgiving. I will be making them again. Thanks so much

  310. I made these a couple of days ago for a potluck and everyone loved them! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!! I’ll try freezing a few pieces next time to see how they hold up.

    1. Jeanne — I haven’t had much success baking with lowfat cream cheese in other recipes. However, it might be passable here because it’s such a small part of the baked good.