I'm actually looking forward to seeing how my blog impressions change from December to January, though I know things won't shift in the baking blog world's favor. December is a big month for food, especially for baking. January, not so much. Everyone is trying to avoid temptation and pretend they don't like chocolate, carbs and sugar. While I applaud your 2013 healthy eating goals, there's no need to deprive yourself altogether. Haven't you seen those studies that say people who don't cut things off completely are better in their weight loss efforts than those who swear off all sweets? Every time I see one of those I make a mental note so as to further justify my eating habits.
If you are going to make a dessert in January, make it a good one. You need something that a) is worth you breaking your resolution and b) you will have no problem sharing. So, I bring you these amazing Oreo Cheesecake Brownies. They're worth it.
Oreo Cheesecake Brownies
Recipe from Cannella Vita
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped Oreo cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in sugar and bring to a boil, whisking frequently; boil 1 minute. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract until combined, about 1 minute. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt; whisk until combined. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs until combined. Whisk in melted butter-sugar mixture until well combined. Stir in flour mixture until just combined, followed by Oreo cookies.
Spread half of brownie batter into the prepared baking dish, followed by cream cheese layer. Distribute the remaining brownie mixture in 8 dollops over the cheesecake layer and spread evenly. Swirl in with a knife or spatula.
Bake for 24-28 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack before lifting out the parchment paper to remove the brownies.