Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl Brownies

Ohhhh! I know what I’m doing tomorrow, in preparation for <3’s day! This luscious version of my husband’s favorite cookie couldn’t be improved upon by anything better! Thanks to www.thekitchn.com, I have the perfect savory-sweet combo now.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl
Makes about 30 small brownie squares

Raspberries
2 cups raspberries, lightly mashed (thawed, if frozen)
2 tablespoons brandy or Kirsch

Brownies
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl
8 ounces goat cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Heat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (or any 3-quart dish, like the gratin dish I use here) with butter or baking spray. Place the raspberries in a bowl and stir in the brandy or Kirsch. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate and butter until liquid in a 3-quart (or larger) saucepan over low heat. When the chocolate is completely melted, remove from the heat, whisk in the milk, and cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one by one. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and fold in until just combined. Fold in about half of the raspberries and spread this brownie batter in the prepared pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with hand beaters, or by hand with a heavy whisk) beat the goat cheese with the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and almond extract until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the other half of the raspberries and their juices. Drop the goat cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in spoonfuls, then swirl it through the batter with a knife. Bake for 30 minutes or until just barely set. The top will be just turning light brown. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Store at room temperature, well-covered. The flavor and texture of these brownies really bloom when you let them rest overnight.

PS: I made these the week of Valentine’s day and used a shortcut, namely, a Duncan Hines brownie mix along with the goat cheese filling. It worked splendidly, as evidenced by the following photos! I also skipped the raspberries, opting instead for the only choice I had onhand, raspberry jam. Worked wonderfully, just cut back a bit on the sugar if you use the jam.
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