triple threat: cheesecake brownies with almond-chocolate icing

Oh, friends.  If you value your figure, you’ll click away from this post right away.  You’ll run screaming from the computer.  You’ll curse the day you ever read “Cheesecake Brownies with Almond-Chocolate Icing.”  Because, friends, once you try these, you won’t be able to go back to ordinary brownies.  What’s worse, you’ll look at an entire Sara Lee pound cake slathered in Nutella and studded with Tootsie Rolls and think, “Oh, something light for dessert.”  These brownies are Decadent (capital D intended).  And they’re worth every calorie.

This dessert is a no-longer-top-secret recipe from a friend of a friend.  Names have been omitted to protect the innocent.  It has been kept top-secret up until this exact moment because it is so very fantastic that the creator never wanted to share his amazing find.  But I’ve always been great at sharing (my kindergarten report cards corroborate this point), and I figure that if I’m going to sink with this brownie ship, I might as well take you all with me.

Cheesecake Brownies with Almond-Chocolate Icing

1 pkg brownie mix (Duncan Hines Double Fudge is good)
1 3oz. pkg cream cheese
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
Greased 8″x8″ baking dish

For Icing (not optional, you must have these brownies with the icing for the first time at least):

1/2 stick butter
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate morsels
almond extract (to your taste – I used 1 tsp)

Preheat oven to 350.  Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Stir in sugar, egg, flour, and vanilla.  Prepare brownie mix per package directions following the CAKE LIKE directions.  Spread half the brownie mixture in the greased baking dish.  Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter in the dish.  Spoon dollops of the remaining brownie batter over the top.  Swirl the top brownie and cream cheese batter together with a knife or spatula.  Bake at 350 degrees for 36-39 (took me closer to 45) minutes.  Let brownies cool before icing.

When brownies have cooled, melt the 1/2 stick of butter, semi-sweet morsels, and almond extract in a double boiler.  Let icing cool enough so that you can spread it on the brownies, but watch that it doesn’t cool too much and get hard.  Don’t worry if it seems like a big layer of icing, when it cools completely it will harden.

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