My most recent post on the Spice Island’s Flavor Explorer blog leaves me missing my high school metabolism.

There are some recipes that nag at me because I can’t get them quite right. For years, my ideal cream cheese brownie recipe was just beyond my grasp. Finally, after dozens of tweaks, I have finalized a batch that properly satisfies my sweet tooth.

When I was in high school, I dated the same guy for a number of years. His mother was a wonderfully warm woman who had beautifully manicured nails, perfect makeup and sometimes wore “princess Leia” buns on the sides of her head and pulled them off. One of her specialties was chocolate cream cheese brownies. After school, we would descend upon the pan of rich brownies dotted with tart cream cheese reservoirs and speckled with chocolate chips. Ahh… a teenage metabolism. I ate multiple brownies without a second thought.

For years, I tried various cream cheese brownie recipes in an attempt to re-create those that ignited my after-school binges. I realized after a number of attempts that my quest was hindered by nostalgia and that I wasn’t satisfied by any batch of brownies because they didn’t deliver the carefree days of my past.

Some months ago, I reset my goals and began making chocolate cream cheese brownies with a fresh attitude. I considered what qualities I like in a brownie and tweaked recipes until I came upon the best result. These brownies are more fudgy than cakey with a bit of a higher ratio of cream cheese swirl than some. I use high quality dark chocolate and cocoa powder (try Valrohna or Callebaut) for the richest flavor. Be sure not to over mix the batter to keep a moist, gooey crumb. And finally, consider enjoying one these alongside a tall glass of milk.

Visit the Spice Island’s Flavor Explorer Blog for my recipe.