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Fudgy brownies with cream cheese frosting

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The Pastry Chef's Baking

(Read caption) Decadent, moist brownies made richer with a cream cheese and chocolate frosting.

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When people ask me for “my favorite” brownie recipe or “a good brownie recipe you recommend,” I honestly don’t know how to answer that. They seem to expect me to whip out the brownie recipe to end all brownie recipes. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you might know what a head-scratcher that is for me.

Not because I don’t have any good ones but because I have too many. Literally, too many. Search for “brownies” on my blog and the results will max out at eight pages. But rest assured I have more than 8 pages’ worth of brownie recipes in the 5+ years I’ve been blogging and in the decades I've been baking.

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And I keep adding more. Like this one. Much as I love brownies, I’m not actually looking for the perfect brownie recipes. I’ve made so many that I’ve come to realize it isn’t so much about the recipe as the quality of the ingredients and the baking technique. So I fall back onto timeless advice: Use the best-quality ingredients you can afford (especially when it comes to chocolate) and don’t overbake the brownies. Seriously. That’s 99 percent of what you need to make a good brownie.

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With that reasoning, this was also a good fudgy brownies. The chocolate cream cheese frosting made as is was a little too tangy for me but that’s my taste buds being prejudiced against cream cheese. So I added an extra 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar to make it a little sweeter. These freeze well and went into multiple goodie bags as part of my holiday gifts this month so they served their purpose admirably.

Fudgy brownies with cream cheese frosting
Adapted from Dear Crissy

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1. Using a medium sauce pan, heat butter and unsweetened chocolate while stirring until smooth; set aside to cool.

2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.; line an 8-x 8-x 2-inch baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. 

3. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture. Add your eggs one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon just until combined. Stir in vanilla.

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4. In a small bowl stir together flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture; stir just until combined.

5. Spread batter evenly into the pan.

6. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack.

For the frosting:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 + 1/3 cup powdered sugar

1. Using a small saucepan heat and stir semisweet chocolate pieces over low heat, stirring until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

2. In a medium bowl beat together 6 ounces of softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat in melted chocolate until smooth then frost cooled brownies.

Related post on The Pastry Chef's Baking: Brownies with Nutella crunch