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Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies with Heath Bars and Pecans

Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies with Heath Bars and Pecans

I love this brownie because it’s not too fudgy and it’s not too cakey. Of course then you add the cream cheese, pecans, and Heath bars, and you have the perfect brownie...

makes sixteen 2-inch brownies

cream cheese filling:

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, not softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

brownies:

1/2 cupall-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ( 1 stick ) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes)
1/2 cup chopped Heath bars ( about 11/2 1.4 ounce bars)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 8x8 glass baking dish.

to make the cream cheese filling:

In a medium-size bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar and flour until smooth. Add the vanilla and beat well. Set aside.

to make the brownies:

In a small bowl combine the flour and salt. Set aside. In a medium-size saucepan over low heat, melt the butter with the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large bowl, and allow to cool to luke-warm temperature, 5-10 minutes. Stir in the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Reserving 1/3 cup of the brownie batter, spread the remaining batter evenly in the baking dish. Drop the cream cheese filling by tablespoons over the top of the batter. Next, drop the reserved brownie batter by teaspoonfuls in between the cream cheese. Using a small knife, swirl the two batters together, forming a decorative pattern. sprinkle the pecans and heath bars over the top, and using a spatula, gently press into the batter. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Do not over bake. Allow to cool overnight before cutting and serving ( brownies always taste significantly better when allowed to set overnight- so hold out if you can! )