Black and White Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake and brownies- two great elements on their own and a delicious combination. The cheesecake layer was smooth and creamy, and the brownie was moist and chocolate-y.  This was a great dessert (It was gone in two days if you want evidence of the fact of how good they were).

In fact, this was one of the best brownies I ever made.  It must be due to the Dutch process cocoa powder.  Which is why Dutch process cocoa powder has become my new soul mate.  And to think we almost never came together in the first place! After seeing this type of cocoa powder in several dessert recipes, I was dying to try it.  I searched everywhere, high and low for this cocoa powder.  No luck.  HEB is the only store I found it at.  Thank you, HEB, for these delicious brownie cheesecake bars.

Other grocery stores, step up your game. HEB, touche.

BLACK AND WHITE CHEESECAKE BARS
INGREDIENTS

For the Brownie Base:
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Cheesecake Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

For the Brownie Base:
Preheat oven to 325Ā°F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on both sides.  Spray parchment paper with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla extract.  Mix until smooth.  Slowly add dry ingredients.  Mix until incorporated.

Reserve approximately 1 cup of the brownie dough.  Cover and refrigerate.  Press remaining dough into bottom of baking dish.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Bake for 25 minutes, until edges are puffed and base is set.  Cool completely on a wire wrack.

For the Cheesecake Layer:
Sift powdered sugar.  In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.  Spread over brownie base.  Add remaining brownie dough on top.  Bake 25-35 minutes until filling is set.  Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into squares.  Refrigerate.

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