Last weekend I attended my 20 year High School Reunion. (Just typing that makes me feel really, really old, BTW.)
It was fun to go and see some of my friends I haven’t seen in over 10 years. We had dinner with my oldest friend and her husband, which was nice. We hardly ever get to see them but it’s the kind of relationship that you just fall back into, even after a year of not talking.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but really the reunion was just like high school except everyone was older, overdressed for the bar it was held in, and alcohol was served. (Although that last one happened often in high school, if I’m being totally honest…) I hung out with my handful of friends, watched the popular crowd make the rounds, not knowing who I was. Really, in 20 years, nothing changed except the women dye their hair and look pretty much the same and the men are mostly bald.
The hard part about the reunion for me came after it was over. I got a little melancholy thinking about all the friendships I had back then and where they are today. I really did not enjoy high school; my main memories of it are torturous. But my friends were my lifeline, my existence, my soul. And it’s kind of sad to see that, in most cases, neither side thought to keep them in tact. Really lets you know that all teenage angst and drama really doesn’t translate to the “real” world.
HOT FUDGE CHEESECAKE BROWNIES
yield: 1 – 9X13 PAN
total time:1 HOUR PLUS COOLING
These Hot Fudge Cheesecake Brownies are a decadent easy brownie recipe filled with hot fudge cheesecake. These are for chocoholics only!
FOR THE BROWNIES:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips or additional chocolate chips (or chopped peanut butter cups), for topping
FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 jar (about 12-16 ounces) hot fudge topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13″ pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Make the brownies: Place the butter and 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips in a large microwave safe mixing bowl and heat on high power in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Stir in cocoa powder until completely incorporated. Add both sugars, vanilla, and salt, stirring to combine. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until completely mixed through. Gently stir in flour until incorporated and no more flour is visible. The batter will be thick.
- Spread 2/3 of the brownie batter in the prepared pan and set the rest aside.
- Make the hot fudge cheesecake: beat together the cream cheese and hot fudge until smooth and no lumps remain. It’s best to do this with a hand mixer. Gently spread over the bottom brownie layer. (It’s best to drop spoon the batter evenly over the top and then spread to avoid mixing the layers together.)
- Carefully layer the rest of the brownie batter on top of the cheesecake layer. (It’s best to drop spoon the batter evenly over the top and then spread to avoid mixing the layers together.) Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, regular sized chocolate chips, or chopped peanut butter cups.
- Bake for 30-38 minutes until the brownies are set with just a little wiggle in the center and they are starting to pull away slightly from the edges of the pan. Cool completely then chill at least 2 hours before cutting. Store in refrigerator in sealed container.