After swearing off most things sweet for the first six months of the year, I did make a few desserts this summer for holidays, birthdays, and a get together or two, and these Strawberry Jam Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies were a perfect choice. Go ahead. Just try and say that three times fast. I dare you. I dare you while you’ve got a bite of one in your mouth.
I love the bit of sweet tartness that either raspberries or strawberries add to any chocolate dessert so have always wondered about how that would work in brownie. If you’ve known me for a while, then you know I feel I’m brownie challenged. I have been known to make Blondies, or Salted Fudge Brownies with some success, however. But I have to say, these swirly, jammy wonders were a success. Or should I say I succeeded in making a recipe that didn’t turn out brownies hard as a rock or worse, raw in the middle. Perhaps I’m not giving myself enough credit!
They’re moist, full of flavor that will have your taste buds squelching, and best of all, satisfy a sweet tooth with just a smidgen of a sliver of one.
I only had one. I promise.
A very small one.
Make a batch and send it to your kids’ teacher — or the hubster’s work — after you sample one.
(Insert evil laughter here.)
Strawberry Jam Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
Brownie Batter Ingredients
6 T unsalted butter
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1-1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 lg. eggs
Cream Cheese Swirl Ingredients
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 lg. egg
1/4 tsp. orange zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 c. strawberry jam
2-3 T mini chocolate chips, optional for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray a 9-in. heart-shaped or round cake pan with oil. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool just until warm.
- Add the sugar and vanilla to the cooled chocolate mixture, stirring until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each is added. Continue mixing until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Add the flour and mix well.
- Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared baking pan and set aside.
- Make the cream cheese swirl by beating the softened cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth.
- To the cream cheese mixture, add the butter, egg, orange zest, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Using a tablespoon, drop dollops of the cream cheese mixture onto the brownie batter, spacing them evenly.
- Repeat with the strawberry jam, dropping it over the surface of the brownie batter.
- Spread the remaining 1/3 of the brownie batter over the top of the cream cheese mixture and the strawberry jam.
- Insert a butter knife or wooden skewer into the layers vertically and run it through the batter to swirl it decoratively.
- If using, sprinkle mini chocolate chips around the exterior of the pan and sightly press into the batter.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cream cheese swirls are golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (the lower part will be more moist).
- Allow the pan to cook on a wire rack until completely cool.
- When I decided to make brownies for the picnic I was taking them to, (the picnic where I also made this and this — you can tell it was the same day because of the blue gingham cloth!) I thought I’d give the whole cream cheese swirl thing a try and then thought, wait. Wouldn’t a bit of jam be nice in that mix? Well sure, it would! And of course, I found lots of variety out there in Googleland (which always keeps me honest when I think I have an original idea), but this version sounded the best. I always have bittersweet chocolate on hand because I love it, and my son was home for the summer, so yes, I had a big jar of strawberry jam to boot. My adaptations to the recipe are minimal at best considering I’m a brownie nube and have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone about an original brownie recipe.
- I will confess I didn’t use an electric mixer for this. Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with it and so will mix things by hand. What a concept, right? Sure, the cream cheese swirl will not be quite as smooth, but I don’t mind. If you want to go at it like this and save yourself some washing time on the additional bowl and beater, then use a rubber spatula to beat the softened cream cheese first until it’s nice and smooth before you add anything else.
- I don’t trust my brownie baking skills so set my oven timer for 5 minutes less than what the recipe dictates and start checking from there. Individual oven temperature can be so different, I never trust!
- Cooled, wrapped in the pan, and transported to the beach — these were great. I was informed by my precocious niece who eyeballed them as soon as I set them down, that her brother was allergic to nuts, so….Let’s hear it for no nuts in these brownies.