Fudgiest. Brownies. Ever.

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A few weeks ago, my husband and I made Southern Living's Classic Chocolate Pound Cake for my dad's birthday. (It went over well, y'all.) Our first home is strapped for storage, so the baking supplies are tucked away in a built-in cubby above the fridge. Upon pulling down our baking basket, we realized that for some reason, there was an overabundance of cocoa powder.

With an upcoming beach trip with my in-laws and a few of their friends on the calendar, we decided to bring a dessert that called for…cocoa powder. In looking for something that would travel well, our choices were narrowed down to brownies or cookies. The Fudgy Flourless Chocolate-Pecan Cookies are a go-to favorite, but we were feeling adventurous for a new recipe. After watching the tutorial video for Southern Living's Cream Cheese Brownies, we basically turned into heart-eyes emojis.

Not only did the recipe look delicious, but the only ingredient that wasn't already in the pantry was cream cheese, which gave my wallet heart-eyes. The recipe specifically mentions a metal 9x13 pan, but we don't have one. Our 9x13 Pyrex dish was the most convenient option, as it includes a top for our drive to the beach.

Though my husband is head chef when it comes to dinner, I take the reins on baking. I always practice a little mise en place prep before getting into a dessert recipe. I gathered all my ingredients, tools, and bowls, pre-measuring whatever I could. This helped us move seamlessly through the recipe.

These Cream Cheese Brownies were seriously so easy to make. Simply melt some butter and chocolate, stir ingredients together in a bowl, mix the cream cheese mixture, and get to swirling. This is part of the recipe the kids will volunteer to help with. The recipe provides ample cream cheese mixture to paint the top of the brownie batter as you please (we even had some left over).

Since we used the aforementioned Pyrex dish with slightly rounded edges instead of a rectangular metal pan, our brownies were a smidge thicker. We left them in the oven about 10 minutes longer than the recipe suggests, ensuring they were set. Our test of doneness? Taking the pan out and lightly shaking it from side to side to see if the center jiggled. The cream cheese top browns a bit, which adds to the incredible texture of these brownies.

Of course, we had to test our own product before serving it to others. Oh. My. Goodness. These Cream Cheese Brownies were without a doubt the fudgiest, richest, most decadent few bites I've had in a long time. They're the perfect companion to a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a cold glass of milk, or in our case, a pour of red wine. These are the type of brownies that make you wonder, "Are they really cooked all the way through, or is this just batter?" I can assure you: They were baked correctly. These bars are just unbelievably moist. I apologize if that word makes you cringe, but when you try this recipe, you'll understand.  

Throughout our weekend at the beach, the dish of brownies slowly disappeared. A spatula was left on top of the baking dish just in case someone wanted to snag a bite, no judgment. Between a half-brownie with morning coffee here, an afternoon pick-me-up brownie there, or even a might-as-well midnight brownie, this indulgent dessert was savored to the last crumb.

Get the Recipe: Cream Cheese Brownies

Lucky for us, making these brownies did not totally deplete the random surplus of cocoa powder at our house, so we get to bake them again for friends. I can't wait.