Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-Swirl Brownie Bites

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites People who hate Valentine’s Day make me uncomfortable. Honestly, I tend to put V-Day haters in the same category as “bad huggers,” slow walkers, and people who pretend not to be obsessed with Beyoncé. So, they’re basically the untouchables of my personal caste system.

Sure, I can understand why V-Day might not be your absolute favorite holiday. It’s not mine either. You don’t get nearly as many presents as on birthdays and Christmas, pink isn’t everyone’s color, and I imagine February 14 is a rough day to be a diabetic. For those of you who are sassy and single, Valentine’s Day may make you feel slightly lonelier than usual, and it could potentially lead to making bad decisions with strangers and/or your ex, which is the worst. Seriously.

While all valid complaints, none of the aforementioned V-Day drawbacks necessitate donning all-black ensembles, ranting about the evils of the “Hallmark Holiday,” and generally raining on others’ heart-themed parades. Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovaaahs, people. It’s about celebrating love in general. Love for your family, besties, pets (weird, but whatever), etc. I’m not an overly sentimental human being on most days, but I like the idea of having 24 hours dedicated to appreciating the peeps you love, romantic or otherwise. It’s nice.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-2 If you insist on disliking the emotional aspect of Valentine’s Day, there are so many other wonderful things to enjoy about the holiday. You may be a hater of love, but do you hate chocolate? Baked goods? Wine? DO YOU HATE CHOCOLATE BAKED GOODS EATEN WITH WINE? Unless you are a robot or Gwyneth, I’m going to go ahead and assume that the answer to that question is no.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Yes, I look great in red, and I’m currently smug and in love, but I mostly appreciate that it’s the one day of the year that society actually promotes consuming disgusting amounts of sugar with a side of booze. Hallelujah. So, for the love of St. Valentine and his glorious holiday, I made you a special treat. Get a load of Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-Swirl Brownie Bites.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-3 These brownie bites will make you believe in love and sex and magic. (Thank you, Justin Timberlake.)

As a die-hard fan of Duncan Hines brownies (sorry), I can honestly say these babies blow their boxed counterparts out of the water. Just imagine the ridiculous deliciousness of super fudgy, chocolate-y brownie, swirled with cheesecake and studded with chocolate chips. Whatever you’re picturing…these bites are infinity times better. Fo’ real. Oh, and the exterior of each brownie gets a little bit crispy, which yields to an unbelievably moist (eek) center when you bite into it. I die.

The most miraculous thing about these bite-sized wonders is that they look incredibly impressive, yet they couldn’t be easier to make. There’s no need for an electric mixer, a double-boiler, or any other fancy kitchen equipment, folks. All you need is a mini-muffin tin, two mixing bowls, and about 35 minutes. You simply mix together the brownie batter in one bowl and the cheesecake batter in another, swirl them together in the wells of the muffin tin, and then pop them in the oven for 15 minutes. They’re the novice baker’s dream. Don’t have a mini-muffin tin? Relax, you can obviously make them in a regular baking dish, and slice them into squares. I promise they’ll be equally delicious, if not quite as cute. (However, I strongly suggest investing in a mini-muffin tin because you’ll also use it to make these and these.)

I had grand plans to whip up these Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-Swirl Brownie Bites and drop them off at the homes of various friends and family members as edible Valentines this week. Unfortunately for them, Logan and I were forced to skip town early Wednesday morning to avoid the apocalyptic snowstorm, which foiled said plans. Instead, I baked them at Logan’s parents’ house, which was a blessing, as I think these bites communicated everything that I wanted to say to Logan and his family this Valentine’s Day: “I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you for keeping your dogs away from me, if only for long enough to take these pictures.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Spread the love.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-Swirled Brownie Bites: (Makes about 32 Bites)

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-4 Ingredients:
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Cheesecake Swirl:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk

*Base brownie recipe adapted from Inspired Taste.

Preparing your Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-Swirled Brownie Bites:

-Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini-muffin tin (or 2 tins, depending on the size) with cooking spray and set aside.

-Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-2 -In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, cocoa powder and salt.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-1 -Add the warm melted butter to the dry ingredients, add the vanilla extract, and mix until well combined.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-3 -Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. (I know this is tiring for those of you with very little upper body strength, but you can do it!)

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-5 -When the batter looks thick and shiny, add the flour and mix until it’s well incorporated.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-13 -Fold the chocolate chips into the brownie batter and briefly set aside.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-7 -In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the cheesecake swirl.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-8 -Spoon about a tablespoon of brownie batter into the well sof the prepared mini-muffin tin(s).

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-9 -Add a dollop (about ½ tablespoon) of the cheesecake swirl batter to each well.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-10 -Use a knife to swirl the cheesecake into the brownie batter.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-11 -Transfer your brownie bites to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (I baked these at a very high altitude and they took about 20 minutes, but I recommend checking yours after 15 for safety’s sake.)

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-Step-12 -Allow your brownie bites to cool completely before removing them from the muffin-tin. I’m impatient, so I just popped mine in the freezer for ten minutes and called it a day.

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-7 Love you, mean it.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-Swirl Brownie Bites

Yield: about 32 bites

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • For the Cheesecake Swirl:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini-muffin tin (or 2 tins, depending on the size) with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Add the warm melted butter to the dry ingredients, add the vanilla extract, and mix until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. (I know this is tiring for those of you with very little upper body strength, but you can do it!) When the batter looks thick and shiny, add the flour and mix until it’s well incorporated. Fold the chocolate chips into the brownie batter and briefly set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the cheesecake swirl.
  5. Spoon about a tablespoon of brownie batter into the well sof the prepared mini-muffin tin(s). Add a dollop (about ½ tablespoon) of the cheesecake swirl batter to each well. Use a knife to swirl the cheesecake into the brownie batter.
  6. Transfer your brownie bites to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (I baked these at a very high altitude and they took about 20 minutes, but I recommend checking yours after 15 for safety’s sake.)
  7. Allow your brownie bites to cool completely before removing them from the muffin-tin. I’m impatient, so I just popped mine in the freezer for ten minutes and called it a day.
http://domesticate-me.com/chocolate-chip-cheesecake-swirl-brownie-bites/

Chocolate-Chip-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie-Bites-8

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  • Laura Phelan

    I’ll be needing a video of Logan eating these

    • Serena_Wolf

      He absolutely lost it. I should start a hidden camera reality series where I simply feed Logan treats and everyone gets to experience the weirdness…

  • Angela Vullo

    Yum! Those look so awesome. I love anything with cream cheese in it! Any ideas for a gluten-free version? I’ve never attempted brownies without wheat. 🙂

    • Serena_Wolf

      Thanks, Angela! I’m with you on the cream cheese obsession. Unfortunately, I’ve never actually experimented with gluten-free brownies, but I would try a gluten-free flour blend (Bob’s Red Mill makes a good one!), and i’m guessing it won’t make a huge difference in the taste/texture, since there’s only 1/2 cup flour involved. Let me know if you try it!

      • Angela Vullo

        Hi Serena, I tried them with a different brownie recipe. It was actually grain free and made with sweet potato. Then I used your cream cheese topping and they were awesome! 🙂

        • Serena_Wolf

          This is awesome news, Angela. I love the idea of sweet potato-based brownies (i’ve tried a black bean version and an avocado version of brownies, but never sweet potato). So glad they were a success!

  • Maryam S.

    I’m so excited to make these this weekend! I don’t have a mini muffin tray– What are your thoughts on using a regular cupcake-sized tray? Otherwise, I’ll go for a rectangular baking dish– What size would you recommend? And would the timing stay the same? Thanks so much!

    • Serena_Wolf

      I fully support using a regular cupcake/muffin tray, since I’m all about individual baked goods (large or small!). With a regular cupcake tin, you’ll need to increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes. If you decider to go the baking dish route, you could use a 9×12 inch and I’m guessing the bake time would be 30-35 minutes. Hope you love them!

      • Maryam S.

        Thank you; that’s so helpful! I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  • Ashley

    Can you make these with gluten free flour? I have celiac disease but these look AMAZING!!!!

    • Ashley

      Sorry just saw post below.

  • Jessica

    This may be a bit of a silly question but if we’ve baked these and want to save them for later, would they have to go into the fridge due to the cheesecake component?

    • Serena_Wolf

      No need to refrigerate! Just keep them in an airtight container. But they will keep LONGER if you put them in the fridge 🙂

  • sunshyngrl

    Wow these look delish!
    I was planning on trying these, but wanted to know if I can substitute with brown sugar?

    • Serena_Wolf

      Unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend the substitution, especially for the cheesecake. Using brown sugar probably wouldn’t effect the brownie too much, but the cheesecake swirl definitely would be off in color/sweetness. Sorry!

      • sunshyngrl

        Thanks Serena! I didn’t think as far about the cheescake swirl.. good catch 🙂
        Also, do these brownies come out more on the softer side or the harder side? I want them soft and fluffy, hence was thinking about brown sugar too.

        • Serena_Wolf

          Ah, now I understand! Not to worry, these are soft and fudgy (vs. fluffy), but not super dense. Make sure you grease your muffin tin really well, and wait for the brownies to cool COMPLETELY before trying to extract them from the tin (trust me on this one).

          • sunshyngrl

            Thanks for the tip, Serena! I’m pretty impatient too , so it will take a lot of effort 😀

  • Linda t

    Can you use cupcake liners with these?

    • Serena_Wolf

      Yes, definitely!

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