Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Welcome Mat(t)

Today was a beautiful day to be alive in Portland.

Truly gorgeous. Yes, I'm talking about normally-rainy, chronically-overcast Portland, Oregon. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping. It was idillic, I'd even venture to say perfect.

But, but, but. There's always a but. Mom had a root canal and was knocked out for most of the afternoon, Dad cancelled dinner at just the wrong time and I kind of flipped out. At least I spoke my mind. No regrets.

Anyways, after our lovely trip to the beach yesterday I was ready to bake. We had stopped at Bruce's Candy in Cannon Beach for seafoam and chocolate-covered gummy bears for my sister, seafoam for my mom, and english toffee and mini gummy bears for me. It was bliss running with my darling sister in the waves and hitting the ball for Rosie. By the time I got home that night I was totally exhausted.

Food has always been my own personal, customizable, portable door mat. Hand anyone a still-warm batch of brownies or a soaring chiffon cake and you might as well have an instant welcome. They're also good for first impressions. That's what I'm after tomorrow.

Meeting M---'s mom for the first time. Terrifying, although I know she can't be too bad if she teaches elementary school. Thinking back, though, my elementary school teachers had some pretty terrifying moments. I just hope she doesn't unleash her fury on me. This is assuming it exists! Goodness gracious, I need to relax.

These brownies are just the ticket. Next time I'd lose the cardamom.

Chocolate Cherry Cardamom Cheesecake Brownies
Brownies adapted from Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Book

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c. butter
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. flour

2 pkg. cream cheese
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. cardamom

1/3 c. cherry jam

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan.


Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Set aside and allow to cool.

Beat eggs and salt in an electric mixer with the whisk attachment until pale yellow and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla.

Fold in chocolate and flour, then transfer to prepared pan.


Beat cream cheese in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth. Scrape sides.

Add sugar and eggs and beat until smooth. Add cardamom and beat until combined.

Pour over brownie batter in prepared pan.

Add jam by the spoonful on top of cheesecake. Take skewer and marble all three layers together.

Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly brown at the edges and toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small crumbs on it.

Let cool completely before cutting.


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