For tomorrow's party, I wanted to bring something yummy and Halloween-themed, but not too kitschy (i.e. no Dayglo® orange frosting). I saw some brownies in a magazine that had been frosted to look like a spiderweb and loved the look. But I decided to take it one step further by working the web into the brownies themselves. The result are these fudgy cream cheese brownies that look great (if I do say so myself!)
(See - I'm not totally opposed to Dayglo decorations; I'm just not a fan of putting them on my food.)
I made these brownies from scratch (and they are SO worth it!), but if you're pressed for time or ingredients, you could just add the cream cheese part on top of a box mix of brownies.
Spiderweb Cream Cheese Brownies
For the brownies:
1 c. granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. water
3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
For the cream cheese web:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1 medium egg
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9x13 pan with oil spray or butter.
In a saucepan, heat sugar, butter and water until melted. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until well blended.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.
Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture and mix until smooth.
Spread brownie batter into the prepared pan.
In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioner's sugar and egg until smooth.
Spoon cream cheese mixture into a pastry bag or plastic storage bag.
Cut just the tip of the end of the bag off (just cut one of the bottom edges off if using a storage bag).
Starting at the center of the brownie pan, pipe a small circle of cream cheese in the middle of the brownie batter. Pipe a larger circle around the middle, about 1" away from the center circle. Continue piping circles, one around another, until you reach the edges of the pan.
To make the web shape, take a sharp knife and pull it from the center of the brownie batter to one edge. Move over about 2" and run the knife from the edge back to the center. Repeat going inside to outside, outside to inside, until you make it all the way around the pan. Now fill in any of the lines that look a little thin with more cream cheese batter.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes until center is set.