My Husband Is Awesome: Lemon Cheesecake Brownies

Last Tuesday I came home from work to find several packages from on our doorstep. I set aside one package that was addressed to Tom and opened my boxes of goodies. One of the arrivals was the Fat Witch Brownies cookbook, which I had pre-ordered months ago. Notwithstanding the fact that I've never been to Fat Witch Bakery in New York, I'm a huge fan of brownies and bars and the cookbook seemed promising. I was excited to dive right into it, and I quickly flipped through the cookbook and selected a recipe to make that very evening. I had already decided to try the recipe for "Lemon Cheesecake Brownies" and started setting up the ingredients on the kitchen counter when Tom arrived home.

He asked what I was doing, and I told him that I was trying out a recipe from the cookbook I had just received that day. He asked which cookbook, and when I told him, he let out a disappointed sigh. He opened up his package from Amazon to reveal... another copy of the Fat Witch Brownies cookbook that he had ordered for me as a surprise. I really do have any incredibly thoughtful husband!

But back to the recipe... The lemon cheesecake brownies include a layer of fudgy brownie topped with a layer of lemon cheesecake batter, with the two layers slightly marbled together before baking. The brownie batter (butter, unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet chocolate chips, sugar, vanilla, eggs, flour, and salt) is very thick, so it was difficult to marble it neatly with the cheesecake layer (cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, egg, and flour).

In the cookbook, the photo accompanying the recipe shows that the tops of these bars are cream cheese colored, i.e., they appear not to have browned at all in the oven. In contrast, you can see from the photo above that my bars were completely brown on top. I was afraid that they might have been overbaked, but the brownie layer was very dense and moist -- I think it might have been undercooked if I had pulled the bars out of the oven any sooner.

As for the taste, I thought that the lemon-chocolate combination was just okay. I am a fan of chocolate and citrus together (particularly chocolate and lime, or chocolate and orange), but neither the chocolate flavor or the lemon flavor here were very assertive, leaving me wanting more. I probably wouldn't make these particular brownies again, but I'm looking forward to trying some of the other recipes from the cookbook.

Thanks, Tom!

Recipe: "Lemon Cheesecake Brownies" from Fat Witch Brownies: Brownies, Blondies and Bars from New York's Legendary Fat Witch Bakery, by Patricia Helding.


Suelle said…
LIke you, I'm a bit ambivalent about lemon and chocolate in combination. These certainly look very good though, so remember them for when you want to make a big visual impression.
Louise said…
Sometime try David Lebovitz's Cheesecake Brownies but substitute chevre for the cream cheese. It makes an interesting brownie. People mistake the change for lemon something, but I think it's better.