These brownies use Alice Medrich’s recipe as the base. We add two different cream cheese swirls on top for a fun, camouflage effect.
Addie and my husband bookmarked this recipe shortly after we received our April 2020 issue of Bon Appetit. After I read through it, I saw that it started off with Alice Medrich’s base brownie recipe. Having made Alice’s recipes before, I knew that this would be a hit.
While social distancing from home, Addie and I collaborated together one weekday after lunch to make these brownies. She had a Facetime call with her friends at 1:00pm, and we got this batter done and in the oven in about 30 minutes.
We made the cream cheese batter together, and Addie enjoyed adding cocoa powder to half of the recipe. Then we worked together to make the brownie batter. Addie had a great time spreading the brownie batter to baking pan. She and I each grabbed our cream cheese batters and dolloped scoops of it on top of our brownie base. Finally, we topped it with the remaining brownie batter and I swirled everything together.
Once we finished assembling the batter, I popped it into the oven and she went off to chat with her friends. I hopped onto a work call and the brownies were done by the time I finished.
Husband’s rating: 4 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 4 out of 5
Camouflage chocolate fudge brownies
- 8 ounces cream cheese not low-fat, cut into 1" pieces
- 3 large eggs chilled
- 1 and ⅓ cups (266 grams) granulated sugar divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract divided
- ¾ teaspoon salt divided
- 1 and ½ teaspoon plus ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder divided
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder optional
- ½ cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Generously grease or line a standard 9"x9" baking pan and set aside.
- In a medium heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water, add the cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese has softened and is smooth and uniform.
- Remove the bowl from the saucepan (keep it simmering) and add in 1 egg, ⅓ cup (66 grams) of granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon of vanilla and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Whisk until smooth and uniform. Transfer half of this into a small bowl and whisk in 1 and ½ teaspoons of cocoa powder and set aside.
- In another medium sized bowl set over the simmering pot of water, add the butter. If using instant espresso powder, add it now. Also add the remaining 1 cup (200 grams) of granulated sugar, ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons of the cocoa powder, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Keep stirring until the batter is uniform and smooth.
- Add the remaining 2 eggs and remaining ½ teaspoon of vanilla and stir vigorously until the batter is shiny. Add the flour and whisk 30 strokes until the flour has completely disappeared.
- Transfer all of the batter except for about ½ cup into your prepared baking pan. Smooth out the top.
- Alternate dolloping spoonfuls of the cream cheese and chocolate cream cheese mixtures on top of the brownie batter. Don't worry about how it looks - you should have random blobs all over. Finally, top with the remaining brownie batter (spoon dollops here as well).
- Bake in your preheated oven for 22-25 minutes or until the center is set and no longer jiggly. Allow the brownies to cool before slicing and serving.