Saturday, February 14, 2015

Strawberry Cheesecake Brownie Hearts

Happy Valentine's Day!  I made some strawberry cheesecake brownie hearts for my sweetie.  These are all of his favorite desserts/flavors rolled into one treat.  Chocolate is always a must, cheesecake is favorite, and strawberry jam is a daily obsession.

I recycled several of my favorite recipes to make these tasty little treats.  First, cut my brownie recipe in half to make the bottom layer. 

Then, I used my cheesecake bar recipe, substituting blackberries for strawberries to make the second cheesecake layer.  I also substituted organic non-GMO cornstarch for the vegg egg replacer, since this product is not readily available in stores.

I baked it, cooled it, and refrigerated it for several hours before I pulled out my 4" heart shaped cookie cutter.  Don't try it cut these when they're warm, it won't work. A 4" cookie cutter will give you four hearts from an 8" square pan. Obviously, you can use a smaller cutter and get more hearts. Either way, you will have some scraps, but I don't think you'll have a problem finding someone to eat them...

I thought about swirling the strawberry spread into the cheesecake layer before I baked it, like I did with my blackberry cheesecake bars but I was afraid that it would darken the strawberries, so I spread a layer of jam on afterwards, to be sure that they were bright red.  You could also decorate them with fresh strawberries but it's difficult to find good tasting organic strawberries this time of year.

It's not too late to make a batch today!

Strawberry Cheesecake Brownie Hearts
Makes four 4" hearts - Use organic ingredients whenever possible

For the Brownie Layer:
3 tablespoons sunflower or safflower oil
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
3/4 cut sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
heaping 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 350°
Line an 8" pan with parchment paper and oil the sides.
In a bowl, whisk together the oil, water, sugar, flax and vanilla for 1 minute.
Put the cocoa powder in another bowl and mash with a fork to remove any lumps.
Add the flours, baking powder, and salt to the cocoa and stir to combine.
Give the liquid ingredients another stir and pour into the dry ingredients.
Stir until everything is combined.
Put the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly.

For the Cheesecake Layer:
16 oz non dairy cream cheese (I prefer Toffutti brand)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon organic corn starch

4 tablespoons strawberry spread

Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor for 30 seconds
Scrap down the sides of the bowl of the processor.
Process for 30 seconds more.
Put the cheesecake batter on the brownie layer and smooth out evenly with an offset spatula
Bake for 35 minutes
Let cool for 30 minutes.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Cut out hearts with a cookie cutter.
Spread the strawberry spread on each heart.

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