Monday, April 16, 2012

Crazy Good Cheesecake Blondies

     I started out wanting to make some blondies for my mother. She doesn't care much for chocolate. (I know, crazy right? I'm glad I didn't get that gene.) So, blondies would be a good fit for her. (It's like a brownie, but without the chocolate.) I also was thinking about using my Cheese Filling to make cream cheese brownies. So, now I'm going to make Cream Cheese Blondies. . . .
I kept pondering my blondies, and I got to thinking that a little Strawberry Jam would also be good, and look pretty swirled on top.  So, now I'm going to make Strawberry Cream Cheese Blondies. . . .
I was looking around online and saw that my cousin Jaci had pinned a recipe for White Chocolate Brownies on Pinterest, and I thought my mother would like those. (She doesn't care for regular chocolate, but white chocolate she loves!)  The recipe I saw was from another country, though, so I clicked off the sight when it mentioned 125g of butter, 250g of chocolate and starting talking about patty cake pans (whatever those are). But I thought the idea of white chocolate brownies was a good one. So, I decided I would decrease the amount of sugar in my blondies recipe and add in some melted white chocolate. I thought I was set. I was going to make some White Chocolate Blondies with a Strawberry Cream Cheese topping. . . .
  When I started making the blondies I thought it could use some crunch; but I argued with myself (you talk to yourself too right?) about how these blondies are getting out of hand, and anymore additions would just be ludicrous. But, I couldn't shake the thought that they could use a nut of some sort. So, of course, I went with my mom (and mother-in-law's) favorite nut - the macadamia nut.  It's not illogical to add these to my blondies, right? White chocolate and macadamia nuts go hand in hand. Well, I went with it.
So, now I have White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Strawberry Cheesecake Blondies. After I made them, my daughter kept saying "They're crazy good!" so the name stuck. - It's much less of a mouthful!

I know, it sounds like there is a lot going on, but it works - TRUST ME! These are so good they should come with a warning.

WARNING: These decadent squares of deliciousness are completely and utterly addicting. They are crunchy, chewy, creamy and gooey all at the same time. They defy logic and you'll find yourself thinking about them long after you have eaten your piece(s). They will call your name from the kitchen incessantly until you have lost yourself in ecstasy - and a sugar coma - and they have all been devoured.

 I'm just sayin' - you've been warned.

Melt 1 stick of butter, and 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips, and put them into a bowl with 3/4 cup brown sugar (I always use dark brown.). Mix well to combine - and to cool down the butter and chocolate (so they don't cook the egg later).

Then add 1 tsp vanilla extract

and 1/4 tsp of salt - mix again.

Add 1 egg, and mix again.

Add 1 cup of flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder. And guess what you do next? You're right - mix again.

This is when I thought about the macadamia nuts, so I got them out of my freezer (they stay better longer in there - all nuts do), and I toasted them in a dry pan over medium heat for a couple minutes.

When they had a little color on them, and I could smell their nutty goodness, I put them into my mini food processor and pulsed it until the nuts were chopped.

Like this.

Stir them into the batter. . .

and spread the batter out evenly into a SPRAYED 9x13 baking dish. This is easier said than done because this is a very sticky batter.

Now I put about 1 cup of my Cheese Filling on top and spread it evenly. (This was all I had left after making my Strawberry Thyme Cheese Strudel.)

Nice and even. The best tool for the job was an off-set spatula.

Then I dropped 1/4 cup of my Strawberry "Jam" on top. (This was also everything I had left, after making my Strudel and my Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Bars.) Just drop small amounts all over.

Then I dragged a butter knife through the cheese and strawberry layers to make a pretty design.

There are big grooves in the top now, but they will bake together in the oven.

Bake @ 350F for 30 minutes. It will be slightly jiggly in the center. Turn off the oven, open the door and let it sit in the open oven until cool.

Put it in the fridge and let it set 1 more hour to firm up the cheese layer.
Then just loosen the edges with a knife, and probably a spatula too.

 Cut into pretty squares and serve.

-They like to stick to the pan, so the bottoms will need to be loosened with a spatula.

 Now you can take you're first bite; but remember, I warned you.  Yumm!

Here's the recipe:

Crazy Good Cheesecake Blondies

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup Cheese Filling
1/4 cup strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350F.  Melt the butter and the white chocolate chips, and cool slightly. Add to brown sugar and mix. Add vanilla, salt and egg, while mixing, so as to not cook the egg in the warm sugar mixture. Add in flour and baking powder, and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in chopped nuts and spread into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Spread on the Cheese Filling, to cover completely. Dot the jam over the top of the cheese filling and drag a butter knife through the jam and cheese to make a design. Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes. It will still jiggle a little in the center. Turn the oven off and open the door. Leave the blondies in the open oven until cool. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Cut and serve.

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