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Catastrophe Kitchen | Best Brownies Ever

These brownies are 100% over-the-top. They’re deeply fudgey, with the rich tang of cheesecake and the sweetness of fruity jam. They’re chocolatey and delicious, and one square INCH is enough to put the “not a fan of dessert” people into a sugar coma. If you’re made of sterner stuff than that, eat them they way I do — by the slab. I’ve separated the ingredients below, so if you want JUST the unadorned version of the best brownie ever, you can take the easy road.

But I have more faith in you than that.

Brownies 1

Brownie

  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 C (1-1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 T instant coffee crystals
  • 2 C sugar
  • 4 eggs (3 if you’re doing plain brownies)
  • 1/4 C flour

Cheesecake

  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

Add-ins, if you dare (oh, yes)

  • 1/2 C mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C jam

adapted from Baker’s One Bowl Brownies

Turn the oven on to 350F and get out a large microwave-safe bowl and a spatula or wooden spoon. These are the ONLY implements you have to dirty up for the brownie part. Put the chopped chocolate and butter in the bowl and zap them about 40 seconds at a time, stirring between. Once the butter is melted, take the bowl out and stir it until the chocolate melts entirely.

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Stir in the instant coffee, then the sugar, then the eggs, then the flour. The coffee makes the chocolate flavor more pronounced.

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At this point, the brownies are done. You can put them in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. OR you can be the kickass baking demi-god you know you are, and keep going.

Put your cheesecake ingredients in the bowl of your mixer and mix them up. When they’re incorporated, add in the mini chocolate chips.

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Refrain from eating it all right this minute, just slathered all over a cookie. DON’T DO IT.
Put your jam in a small bowl and nuke it for a few seconds to get it pourable. I used amazing strawberry jam made by my friend Frankie, but you can use whatever floats your boat– raspberry, blackberry, huckleberry. Then, line your pan with aluminum foil, with an inch or so overhanging the edges. This is a “sling” to help you get the monstrosity out of the pan without a shovel. Spray with baking spray.

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Now this is where I screwed up. I usually just pour in the brownie batter, then the cheesecake, then the jam on top. This time I decided to try to get the cheesecake in the MIDDLE, so I layered batter, cheesecake, jam, batter. It kind of melded the cheesecake into the brownie part, so the brownie was like a chocolate cheesecake/brownie hybrid. If you want that kind of experience, go nuts. Otherwise, just do batter, cheesecake, jam, like a civilized human being. It will be SO much prettier. Run a knife through in a swirl pattern to mix it SLIGHTLY.

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Pop that baby in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is browning slightly and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Keep in mind it won’t be clean if it hits jam, so just use your best judgment after 40 minutes. Mine took about 45.

Let the brownies cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then take them out with the sling and let them cool on the counter. If you have done as I said, not as I did, your brownies should look less like mine on the left and more like the ones I made before, on the right.

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Devour and share. Make new friends. Become the favorite in your office or classroom or group. You deserve it, because you made the best brownies in the known universe. And you SHARED!!

Brownies 15 small

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