Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jumbo Brownie Cheesecake Muffins

My baby brother, Cory, is staying with us this weekend. This always makes me happy. He’s so much fun to take care of and feed. There’s a pretty big age gap between us, and one of these days I might realize he’s a capable twentysomething. But until then, I’ll continue to ply him with questions like, “Hey Cor, do you need anything? How about some candy? Boys LOVE candy. Do you need books? Deodorant? Pants? Let’s go buy you some pants.” I’m a nice, caring, suffocating big sister.

Cory has to be up bright and early tomorrow to set up his booth at the wedding show here in Fargo. This is an annual event for him, and I always get up make sure he’s awake (this is key) and has pants (also important). And then I later swoop into the wedding show venue to help him set up his booth and bring him breakfast.

Everyone at the wedding show typically works through lunch and no one gets a real break until the show ends in late afternoon. Seeing people miss meals makes me sad. Feeding people muffins makes me happy. So I typically bring muffins both for Cory’s Sub-Zero Productions booth and the crew at Milestones Photography. (Although I've been notified that the Milestones crew won't be in attendance this year, and I'm just supposed to make a home delivery of muffins. I'll get right on that. How's 6 a.m.?)

This recipe was a new invention just this evening. I took a brownie muffin idea from Cuisine at Home and combined it with my basic cream cheese muffin recipe, and the result was a very rich and chocolatey delight with a texture much closer to a brownie than a muffin. Which is exactly what I was hoping for.

Just for the record, not ALL my muffin recipes include cream cheese. One of these days I’ll introduce my poppy seed and oatmeal collections.

Jumbo Brownie Cheesecake Muffins
Makes about 9 muffins

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
10 Tbsp. softened butter, divided
4 eggs, at room temperature, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. semisweet chocolate chips, divided
¾ c. sugar
¼ tsp. table salt
1 c. flour
Additional chocolate chips for sprinkling on top (I used larger milk chocolate Guittard chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Using a mixer, combine cream cheese and 4 Tbsp. butter. Add 1 egg and vanilla, and mix until ingredients are combined, but cream cheese is still slightly chunky.

In fact, it should look a lot like egg salad, if that’s what you want to aim for.

3. Lightly stir in ½ c. chocolate chips.

4. In a saucepan, melt 2 c. chocolate chips and 6 Tbsp. butter over low heat. Let cool slightly.

5. In a small bowl, lightly beat remaining 3 eggs.

6. Pour chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl. Whisk in beaten eggs, sugar, and salt.

7. Stir in flour until just combined, and add ½ c. chocolate chips. Add cream cheese mixture, and stir until mixture is lightly swirled. Be gentle.

8. Line a jumbo muffin pan with liners, and add batter. Top with additional chocolate chips. (I also sprinkle mine with white sparkling sugar. I like sparkles.)

9. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove and let cool on cooling racks.

See how yummy they are inside, which all the the melty chocolate chips and the cream cheese pockets?

I need some milk just lookin' at 'em.


montrealmoon said...

Are you sure you are an angel and not of the other persuasion? Your recipes and photos are simply one enticement after another. I must read your bio as soon as I can to find out if you are a professional cook.

Your muffins look absolutely delectable and intensely irresistible. I could jump through the screen and gobble one up, if only I could!!

angelinthekitchen said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments, montrealmoon! I'm not a professional cook by any stretch -- just a self-taught cook who loves to eat. A lot. :)