Spiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit Penso

Spiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl

Spiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit PensoChocolate and cream cheese combination is one of my favorites, so when I was planning to bake a batch of brownies, I’ve decided to add a cream cheese swirl to it. I wanted to make the plain brownies a bit more interesting, so I ended up adding espresso powder, black pepper and cinnamon to the chocolate batter. Now the cream cheese layer needed an upgrade as well – and I ended up adding some dried cranberries to it.
All these ingredients worked wonderfully together. The result is rich and sweet – quite far from my usual “sweet enough” type of desserts. But after all, what is life without the occasional indulgence?
I’m sure you’ll agree, once you’ll try these tasty brownies.

Makes: 20
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 stick (115 grams) butter, soft
6¼ oz (175 grams) dark chocolate (70%)
½ tsp espresso powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs raw cocoa powder
3 L eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
For the cream cheese swirl:
6 oz (170 grams) cream cheese, soft
1 L egg
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
Dash salt
1 Tbs cornstarch
1/3 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line an 8×8” (20×20 cm) baking pan with baking paper.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a large bowl over a pot with boiling water. Transfer to a work surface and add the espresso powder, salt, pepper, sugar and cocoa, and whisk together. Let cool a bit, add the eggs and mix well. Add the flour and mix briefly. Add the walnuts, mix  and pour into the lined pan.
Spiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit PensoSpiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit Penso Spiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit PensoSpiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit Penso Spiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit PensoSpiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit Penso
3. The cream cheese swirl: in a small food processor, process the cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla, salt and cornstarch, to a smooth mixture. Add the cranberries and mix with a spatula. Pour over the chocolate layer. Using a fork, create a marble pattern.
Spiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit PensoSpiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit PensoSpiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit PensoSpiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit Penso
4. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a cutting board. Using a large knife, cut off the edges and cut into portions.
Spiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit PensoSpiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit Penso   Spiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl Ronit Penso

83 thoughts on “Spiced Brownies with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries and Cream Cheese Swirl

  1. judilyn says:

    Oh, my! I may have to try that. We LOVE cranberries – SO MUCH SO that we keep a container of dried ones on the table for nibbling/adding to a meal. Waiting patiently for the fresh ones to show up in the market (SOON) so I can make cranberry orange relish – a favorite around here.

    One thing I DID learn about chocolate and “hot”-type flavorings . . . chipotle paste does not go well with chocolate ! But a bit of black pepper might be interesting.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Judie, I’m glad you liked the recipe. I’m also a big fan of cranberries, either fresh or dried. Cranberry-orange combination is one of my favorites.
      You’re right, chipotle doesn’t go so well with chocolate, but a bit of cayenne or black pepper are a wonderful with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cookingwithauntjuju.com says:

    These brownies have all kinds of good ingredients! Chocolate and cream cheese won me over but the addition of cranberries took your brownies to another level. Great way to bring a touch of the “Fall”. This is certainly a “holiday” or anytime brownie :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Suzanne, I’m glad to know you liked the recipe. I love a bit of black pepper with chocolate and with all the other ingredients these brownies turned out to be my new go-to recipe. I plan on making them again for Thanksgiving. I think they’ll add a special cheer! :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Sheryl, I’m glad you liked the recipe.
      I love adding a bit of black pepper to cakes. It goes so well with chocolate and with fruits. I can’t take credit for it, as it is mentioned in ancient Roman recipes. It’s well worth trying. :)

      Like

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    Gosh, Ronit, these sound good. I would have been happy with addition of the espresso and cream cheese swirl topping but you also added pepper. That puts these brownies in a league of their own. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

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