Monday, February 20, 2012

Cheesecake-Swirled Brookies with Chocolate-Covered Pretzels and Marshmallows

 Cheesecake-Swirled Brookies with Chocolate-Covered Pretzels and Marshmallows

When it comes to baked goods, my hierarchy goes a little something like this:

Anything Involving Chocolate
Everything Else

As such, I am a huge fan of any creation that showcases chocolate at its finest. One of the biggest questions that must be answered before baking, however, is the age old “What should I make?” Is today a cookie day? A brownie day? What about cupcakes, pie, or cheesecake? Maybe I’ll try a novelty dessert? Once this question is answered, the flavors usually seem to fall into place, but this initial decision as to genre of goodie can pose a real challenge for me.

So here I was, struggling with this decision when, in a moment of what can only be described as pure insanity, I decided to BAKE IT ALL.
(Note: My facial expression was likely identical to this)

            That’s right, rather than decide on one type of goodie, I decided to make several. At once. Let the games begin.

I pondered all of the possible conglomerations of chocolaty delight, and eventually I decided upon a brookie. For those who don’t know what a brookie is, a. I feel sorry for your deprived tastebuds, and b. a brookie is a dessert consisting of a chocolate chip cookie layer topped with a layer of brownie. In order to make it a little more special, I decided to make said brownie layer into a cheesecake-swirled brownie layer. With marshmallows. And chocolate-covered pretzels. Oh yes, I went there.

Needless to say, the end product was amazing. The cheesecake added a creamy richness to the brownie, and the marshmallows bubbled and toasted to form a gooey golden crust. The pretzels added a bit of a salty crunchy surprise that fit perfectly with the other flavors. All in all, these brookies were awesome. No, they were beyond awesome. So, without any further ado:

Cheesecake-Swirled Brookies with Marshmallows and Chocolate-Covered Pretzels:

Cookie Layer:
2-1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350o. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. Microwave butter for 15 seconds on high. In another large mixing bowl, combine butter and both sugars and mix well. Add in eggs one at a time, and then add vanilla. Beat until creamy.
3. Slowly add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture while stirring. Mix until well combined, then stir in chocolate chips.
4. Spread across bottom of 13x9x2” pan in even layer. If less cookie is preferred on bottom, you can halve the recipe or leave some dough out and eat it :) (I like the thick cookie crust that you get by using all of it, however)

(You could end the entire baking process right here)

Brownie layer:
¾ cup cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
2/3 cup melted butter, divided into halves
½ cup boiling water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/3 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
8-10 chocolate covered pretels, broken into bite-size pieces
6-8 large marshmallows, cut into quarters

1. Combine cocoa and baking soda in a bowl. Add 1/3 cup of the melted butter. Then, add the boiling water and mix until it thickens.
2. Mix in other 1/3 cup butter, sugar, eggs. After stirring these, add flour, vanilla, and salt. Stir until just combined (but don’t overstir!). Finally, stir in chocolate chips, pretzels, and marshmallows.
3. Pour brownie batter over chocolate chip layer in pan, spreading evenly.

Cheesecake Layer:
4 oz cream cheese (1/2 package)
1/8 cup milk
½ tbsp lemon juice
1-1/2 tbsp flour
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup granulate sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in bowl. Beat until creamy and smooth.
2. Pour portions of cheesecake batter scattered randomly across brownie layer (kind of like white polka dots on a brown background). Aim for about 6 cheesecake dollops spaced across the top (3 on each side in 2 columns).
3. Using a knife, swirl cheesecake and brownie layers until marbled. Do not over-swirl or the ingredients will mix, and be careful to avoid incorporating the cookie layer on bottom.

(It is a less-than-exact science clearly)

4. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes until edges start to pull away from sides of pan. Add more time if needed, but do not overbake! Remove foil for last 10-15 minutes of baking to allow marshmallows that have floated up to toast and become all golden and delicious. Let cool completely, then eat!

If this is death by chocolate, I’m ready to go. Soooo good!!! Don’t be intimidated by all of the steps. This really doesn’t take too long, especially if you split up the different layers between a couple of people, and the result is fantastic. Seriously, bake this right now and let me know what you think in the comments!


  1. Oh I get it, Brookie=brownie+cookie. Clever!

  2. ^he/she says clever. I say genius.