Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies in a word?  Decadent.  Or delicious.  Or sinful.

That's three words and I could choose another hundred to try and convey how utterly fabulous these are.

I was looking for a way to use the chocolate hazelnut spread I made a/k/a nutella and found this recipe.  I used my homemade spread but feel free to use the stuff from a jar and that's probably what I'll do the next time I make these.

I tweaked both the ingredients and instructions quite a bit so that I ended up with what i was looking for; a rich, fudgey brownie layer topped with a creamy cheesecake layer.  The Nutella flavor is definitely there but not so much that Nutella non-lovers (yes, there are people that don't like Nutella) won't be turned off.  

Now when you cut these, cut 'em on the small side because they are rich.  And addictive.  So you will be going back for more and if you make them smaller you may not feel so bad about it.

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies
adapted from Brooke McLay, babble.com

Brownie Layer

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
pinch of salt

Nutella Cheesecake Layer

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350° F.  

Line an 8" x 8" metal pan with foil or parchment paper, creating a sling by allowing the edges to overhang.  This will make removing the brownies much easier.

For the Brownie Layer:  Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl with a standing or hand held mixer until smooth.  Add Nutella and mix until blended.  Add both sugars and cream on medium speed until combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla and mix again.

Whisk flour, cocoa, and salt in a separate bowl.  Add to the brownie batter and mix just until the flour mixture is incorporated.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Rinse off your mixer beaters and get a clean bowl.

For the Nutella Cheesecake Layer:  Place the cream cheese in the clean bowl and cream for a minute or so.  Add the Nutella and mix until blended.  Add sugar and mix until combined.  Add vanilla and eggs and mix until the mixture is combined and smooth.  

Pour cheesecake mixture over brownie layer.  Place pan in oven and bake for about 50 to 55 minutes.  You want the center of the brownies to be set.  Remove from oven and cool for about 30 to 45 minutes.  Place pan in refrigerator to allow the brownies to cool completely.  Use the aluminum or parchment sling to remove the brownies and cut into squares.  Brownies should be stored in refrigerator.  
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