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Title: Almond Or Macadamia Cheesecake Brownies
Category: Cookies
Sub-Category: Brownies


Almond or Macadamia Cheesecake Brownies

4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate or
    2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
5 tablespoons butter, divided
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup chopped almonds or macadamias

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square pan.

Melt chocolate and 3 tablespoons of the butter in small heavy saucepan over low heat; set aside.

Mix cream cheese with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl. Slowly, add 1/4 cup sugar, blending well. Add 1 egg, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; set aside.

Beat remaining 2 eggs and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until light. Add baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup flour. Blend in chocolate mixture, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and almond extract. Stir in nuts.

Spread half the chocolate mixture in prepared pan. Cover with cream cheese mixture, then spoon remaining chocolate mixture over the top. Swirl with knife or spatula to create a marbled effect. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set in center. Do not overbake.

Almond Icing
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Combine chocolate chips, butter, milk and almond extract in small heavy saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until glossy and easy to spread.

Yields 18 brownies.

* If substituting macadamias for the almonds, omit the almond flavoring in the batter. Substitute vanilla extract for the almond extract in the frosting.

An additional 1/2 cup of nuts may be sprinkled over top of icing.

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