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Makeover Pick-Me-Up Cream Cheese Brownies Recipe

Makeover Pick-Me-Up Cream Cheese Brownies Recipe

The lightened up version of these brownies tastes absolutely decadent but weighs in at a modest 159 calories and 8 g fat per serving.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling YIELD:30 servings


  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips


  • 1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Fold in baking chips; set aside.
  • 2. In a small bowl, dissolve espresso powder in water; cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour, extract and espresso mixture. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in baking chips.
  • 3. Spread half of chocolate mixture into a 13x9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray; top with cream cheese mixture. Spoon remaining chocolate batter over top; cut through batter with a knife to swirl.
  • 4. Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with Land O'Lakes light stick butter.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 159 calories, 8g fat (4g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 101mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 fat, 1 starch.

Reviews for Makeover Pick-Me-Up Cream Cheese Brownies

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bakergirlmd User ID: 6045723 177114
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2012

"Forget doing this recipe "lo-fat." You save nothing with lo-fat butter or cream cheese; they both have more hidden fat and carbs that substantially raise the calories. As for the 1 1/4 cups of sugar, you definitely take this recipe out of the running for being healthy! I would also substitute vanilla extract for rum extract; that leaves an awkard flavor in both the base and the cheesecake layer. Also, unless you're into bittersweet chocolate fan, you could also substitute semi-sweet.

As the sole previous rater suggested, this recipe needs to be made quickly. I'd like to put to rest that it is a simple recipe and that you need not move quickly. I would suggest making the cheesecake layer first and set it aside. Proceed next with the base layer and then continue on with the cheesecake layer, then the swirl portion. Lastly, baking the brownies at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes is too low a temp for this recipe. Try 350 instead and bake for 30 minutes, checking to see if the brownies are done by inserting a wooden skewer in the middle. If it's still slightly chocolately, bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, but no more. Otherwise the edges will harden like rock and the entire brownie will be baked unevenly."

summitshadow User ID: 2495038 212204
Reviewed May. 18, 2011

"I have made these brownies three times now, twice for office pot lucks, and they are a big hit. ****BIG FYI read through this recipe at least 2-3 times before you get started, the flow of the directions leaves allot to be desired. You will need to have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go before you start mixing this recipe together, some ingredients need to be cooked and mixed separately before mixing into the main recipe. You cannot work this recipe on the fly and it will come together very fast. You might need a shot or two of espresso before you start this recipe as this is a very fast paced recipe and you will need to multitask."

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