The Fall of a Brownie Purist (Recipe: Black & White Cheesecake Squares)

When I started my first blog over three years ago, I really struggled with which category of blogger I fell into. Was I a food blogger or a mommy blogger? I love cooking, baking and writing about food but I also couldn’t deny the fact that I am a mom and being a mom makes up a huge portion of my life. After much contemplation, I started my family blog and my food blog attempting to maintain the two separately. Little by little, I began to notice that my family life slowly started creeping into my food blog more often than not.

My main blog has always been my food blog but as any of you who read my blog have noticed, the family portion is a huge part of it now as well. Most of my posts relate somehow back to my personal life and often my kids. My “mommy” blog is often very neglected as I have found that it is easier for me to just work with the one blog and combine the two categories.

Over the next several weeks, you are going to see a lot more of my mommy side coming out in my posts as I have been chosen to be a part of a really fun blogging opportunity. I’ll share more about it next week, but wanted to give you fair warning up front! Don’t worry – Dine & Dish will remain a food blog and you will still continue to get a dose of my foodie side with each post.

Speaking of combining things, are you one of those people who likes to add things into your brownies or do you prefer to just go with the simple chocolate fudge version? I typically like my brownies as plain as can be, so I would consider myself to be a brownie purist in that regard. No mix-ins or toppings needed because then I think it becomes too much of a good thing, which really can ruin a good recipe sometimes. This was my firm belief until I recently tried the Black-and-White Cheesecake Square recipe from the Easter issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Holy heaven on earth – these little squares are soooo good. The chocolate brownie batter is incredibly thick and rich. It is topped with a layer of delicious cheesecake and finished off with dollops of more fudgy brownie batter.  I have now discovered that sometimes, combining the right amount of two really good things turns out great!

Black-and-White Cheesecake Squares (from Martha Stewart Living Magazine)

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 21/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line dish with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both long sides, then spray parchment.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until smooth. Add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Increase speed to medium; beat until incorporated.
  3. Reserve 1 cup of dough; cover, and refrigerate. Press remaining dough into bottom of prepared dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (I eliminated the refrigeration step). Bake until base is set and edges are puffed, about 25 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack.
  4. Mix cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread over cooled base; crumble reserved dough on top. Bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in dish on wire rack, then lift out using overhang. Cut into 24 squares. Squares will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

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Comments

  1. says

    I think it’s inescapable to include the rest of your personal life in foodie thoughts. Food is after all often a social activity and usually time a family spends together. How could that not come into the picture? I love reading blogs where people are able to show their inspiration and influences, especially when it comes to what they’re doing in the kitchen! Otherwise it’s just another recipe :)

    Kips last blog post..Roasted Aubergine and Tomato Soup

  2. says

    I like anything and everything in my brownies! I also struggle with my blog identity, because although I do want to write mostly about food, I can’t limit myself to only food since there’s so much I like to write about! So far I think it’s working out okay :) I like how you include a snippet of your family life and tie it in to each of your recipes.

    Amy I.s last blog post..Turkey Burger Innovation

  3. says

    I’ve got to admit to not being crazy about brownies. If I’m making them I usually add something along with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Now blondies are a different story!

    Can’t wait to see what you’re up to!
    ~ingrid

    ingrids last blog post..S’mores Brownies two ways

  4. says

    I think that the people we cook FOR and WITH make up so much of who we are… as cooks, as bloggers. So, I think mommy blogging fits right in!

    Love these brownies. I’m the sort who DOES like to sneak things in. I have plenty of great brownie recipes, but I almost never make them the same way twice.

    These brownies look positively divine!

    los last blog post..It’s NOT a Morel Dilemma: Vote for US!

  5. chanina says

    Those look delicious!
    I have a craving for cheesecake lately, and I have a feeling those guys will satisfy this craving once and for all!
    yum!

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