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Snowcapped Brownies

Baking is one of my favorite hobbies, and my wife says these brownies topped with a cream cheese layer are outstanding. When you really want to impress, drizzle them with caramel sauce and sprinkle on chocolate curls. —Lyle Borcherding, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2-1/2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional
  • TOPPING:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups cold 2% milk, divided
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-1/2 cups whipped topping
  • Caramel ice cream topping and chocolate curls, optional

Directions

  • In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in cocoa until smooth. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for 1 minute. Gradually add flour and salt. Stir in cocoa mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and, if desired, nuts.
  • Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup milk until smooth. Add pudding mix and remaining milk; beat for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in extract; fold in whipped topping. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate until set.
  • Just before serving, drizzle with caramel topping and garnish with chocolate curls if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 filled pita half: 232 calories, 13g fat (8g saturated fat), 50mg cholesterol, 154mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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