Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This is your brain.

This is your brain on allergy meds.

Any questions?

What?  Oh, that's easy.  Team Edward.

Due to the obnoxiously high levels of pollen in this area, I have been a walking zombie (as opposed to, I don't know...the Riverdancing kind) for the past 48 hours.  I can't focus, I'm lethargic as hell, I can't tell if my symptoms are allergy- or cold-related.  And Claritin® isn't cutting it anymore.  It's about as effective on my allergies as Luden's Cherry Cough Drops are on a sore throat.

(Come on.  There's no way something that tastes like a cherry Life Saver is actually going to help soothe your irritated throat.  If that was the case, Nyquil would taste like a mint julep.)

Rather than succumb to my headfog, I decided to channel my crankiness into something positive and chocolately.  And positively chocolately.

Cheesecake Brownies.
Recipe by the Talented Mr. Lebovitz.

Here's what you'll need:

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 flour
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I omitted these)

And for the cheesecake layer:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 Tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9 inch square pan with enough foil to cover all four sides.  Lightly grease the foil.

This is where I whip a trusty can of Bake Easy straight outta of my holster.

Deadliest pistoleer since Wild Bill, they say.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat until smooth.


Remove from heat and beat in the sugar.  
Then the eggs.

Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt.

Finish with the vanilla and (if you decide to use them) chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the pan and spread evenly.

In a bowl, beat together cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla until nice and smooth.

Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the brownies.

Whatever you do, do not use a graham cracker to scoop up some of the remaining cream cheese mixture and top it with a few chocolate morsels.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

When you're done eating your deconstructed cheesecake appetizer, grab a butter knife and start spreading the news.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the center is set.

Cut yourself a corner piece before anyone else snags it.

These turned out more cakey than fudgy but the creaminess of the cheesecake layer helps smooth them out.  I think these would be great with a small dollop of black cherry preserves (my kick, as of late.)

Claritin®, shmaritin.


  1. OMG, I think my blood sugar just went up reading and looking at your photos. YUM!

    I hope your allergies clear up. I thought I finally developed them but nah, I just got sick for the 5th time this year. :(

  2. Even the dogs have blood shot eyes now. Maybe these brownies would make them feel better. They could work better than a z pack.

    Team Edward

  3. Margie - allergies are sneaky sons of bishes. I'm glad you don't have them (not that repeatedly getting sick is anything to sneeze at...HEY-OH!)

    Rick - major brownie points for that one.

    I seriously need to chill on the pun usage.

  4. Man you're not kidding about the allergy medication! I took benedryl for the first time a few weeks ago and passed out for 3 hours (which made me sad because I was watching a harry potter movie marathon)! I hope you feel better soon and can go back to being a riverdancing zombie instead of just a walking one :)

  5. May I have the leftovers before you leave for Canada tomorrow??

    I'll share my new allergy meds with you - flonase, zyrtec, some kind of eyedrops, and robitussin with codeine! Yeah! (The itchy eyes and throat feel better, but I'm still a zombie. Codeine?)

    Speaking of Riverdance, Wolftrap in June? Final show!

  6. Fellow allergy sufferers - get some local honey!

    No need to throw all your money at the latest xyrostrozynaseothrworawoop medications!

    If you find some honey that is within, say, 50-100 miles of where you live and you eat that for a week you should see some major improvements in your allergies - you will be building up an immunity to the local pollen by eating it in small doses. Mine have been virtually non-existent this year. A lot of local markets have a honey stand. You might even be able to find some stocked at that Fair Oaks WF that is local. Check it out!

  7. Jessi - the good thing is that while passing out for 3 hours, you really only missed like one HP movie :D

    Michele - Codeine? Good lord. I didn't know you rolled deep like that. And yes, you're welcome to the brownies if you can drag yourself out of the hot tub.

    Liam - EXCELLENT suggestion! WF probably has a whole shelf of the local stuff.

  8. Those look so good!! This is definitely booked marked for later!

  9. Your reply made me laugh and laugh and laugh! I totally read it in Ed McMahon's voice as well as JD on Scrubs back when it was good.

    I'm afraid to get allergies. I know how bad they suck but I hate getting sick so many times. I feel like I'm a kid again getting sick every month. My measles and chicken pox overlapped. Sigh.

  10. Just add some purple haze and i think you've just introduced to me the most awesome brownie I ever did see.

    ...hey, that rhymes.

  11. Yes! Brownies cure everything!

  12. Trying these this weekend!!! Thank you! <3