This is one of my all-time favorite brownies, a decadent brick of dark chocolate and cream cheese that weighs a metric ton. The recipe comes from one of Maida Heatter's dessert books. The book is yellowed with wear and tear, but, by far, our most beloved recipe in it is the Santa Fe Brownie.
These taste best when eaten directly out of the fridge, still partially wrapped in a wad of cellophane. They also travel well in coolers. You can share them with others, but I tend to horde them and stealthily snack in solitude.SANTA FE BROWNIES
makes 32 large brownies
1 1/2 c unsifted unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 oz semisweet chocolate
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter
5 large eggs
1 1/4 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
8 oz (2 1/4 c) walnuts, in large pieces
Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13x12" pan and turn it upside down. Center a 17-18" length of alumninum foil, shiny side down, over the pan. Shape the foil to the pan. Remove the shaped foil, rinse the pan with water, and then press the foil back into the pan (the water will help the foil stick to the pan). Pat the butter in the lined pan, place it in the oven to melt, and spread the butter all over the bottom and sides of the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Place both of the chocolates and the butter in the top of a double boiler over moderate heat. Stir until melted and set aside briefly.
In an electric mixer, beat the eggs just to mix. Add both of the sugars and the vanilla and beat only until mixed.
On low speed, beat in the melted chocolate mixture (which should be warm), then the sifted dry ingredients, scraping and beating until incorporated.
Remove and set aside 2 1/4 c of the mixture. Add about 2/3 of the nuts to the bowl and stir to mix. Spread the chocolate and nut mixture in the prepared pan. Set aside.
SANTA FE BROWNIES - CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE
12 oz cream cheese, at room temp
3 oz (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c granulated sugar
3 large eggs
In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and the butter until mooth. Beat in the vanilla and the sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
Pour the cream cheese mixture slowly, in a wide ribbon, all over the chocolate mixture in the pan. With the bottom of a spoon, spread the cheese mixture to the edges of the pan.
Stir the remaining thickened chocolate mixture to soften it and then pour it in a wide ribbon over the cheese layer. The top chocolate layer does not have to cover all of the cheese layer or reach the sides of the pan.
Cut through the top with a table knife in a zigzag pattern to marbleize the mixtures slightly. Don't overdo it. Sprinkle the remaining nuts evenly over the top.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until the cake tests done. Cool in the pan. Invert the pan twice to release the brownies.
Refrigerate for at least several hours. Cut into pieces and wrap individually in cellophane or wax paper, or place in an airtight box with wax paper between the layers.