Black-Bottom Brownies

Use a witch's hat cookie cutter to scare up Black-Bottom Brownies.

black bottom brownies
Brian Woodcock

These bewitching brownies have a hint of espresso flavor and a cream cheese topping.

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Yields: 16 servings
Total Time: 1 hour 0 mins
Ingredients
Brownies
3/4 c.

(1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, more for pan

8 oz.

bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 tsp.

pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 c.

sugar

1/2 c.

unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp.

instant espresso powder

1/4 tsp.

kosher salt

4

large eggs

1 c.

all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

Cheesecake topping
8 oz.

(1 package) cream cheese, at room temperature

1

large egg, at room temperature

2 tbsp.

sugar

1 tsp.

pure vanilla extract

Directions
  1. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter an 8- by 8-inch baking pan. Line bottom and sides with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides; butter paper.
  2. Make the brownie: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; remove from heat. Add chocolate, and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add sugar and stir until mixture is smooth and shiny. Stir in cocoa, espresso, and salt; cool 10 minutes. 
  3. Whisk eggs into chocolate mixture until incorporated. Add flour and stir until smooth. Transfer 1/4 cup batter to a bowl; set aside. Transfer remaining batter to prepared pan.
  4. Make the cheesecake topping: Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Beat in egg, sugar, and vanilla until fully incorporated, stopping to scrape down sides as necessary, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Spread over brownie batter.
  5. Dollop reserved chocolate batter on top of cream cheese layer and gently swirl with a butter knife. Place the pan on top of the hot baking sheet and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  6. Use paper to lift brownies from pan. Remove paper and cut brownies into shapes with a witch hat cookie cutter or into 16 bars.
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