Valentine’s Day Themed Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

It’s almost February! Which means whole30 is almost over and Valentine’s Day is almost here! Which means GIMME ALL THE SWEET, CHOCOLATEY, HEART-SHAPED THINGS!

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I’m starting Valentine’s activities now, so that I don’t have to fit a bunch of stuff into a measly 2-week span of time. Plus, what’s wrong with getting into the festive spirit a little early!? I’m thinking a few more chocolate treats, some cozy recipes with some pink or red accents, and maybe a festive DIY or two? I’d also like to decorate a little (duh). Any suggestions here? I also need some inspiration to strike re: ways to make my valentine feel loved leading up to the big day. Also needs to be cost effective. Tall order, right?!

Remember how I said last year that brownies make me think of luv? I made another batch this year, except I did something a little different and followed Broma Bakery’s recipe for blackberry cheesecake layered brownies. So good, y’all!

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Here’s a funny story that my sister often reminds me of: When I was a kid (7 years old, I think?) I learned how to make cheesecake from scratch. Somehow I memorized the process REALLY quickly. One day I came home from school and, for some reason, I had the house to myself. This wasn’t abnormal for me, it was a different time back then! Anyway, I somehow made myself AN ENTIRE CHEESECAKE FROM SCRATCH. And then I PROCEEDED TO EAT THE ENTIRE THING. Like, the WHOLE CHEESECAKE!!! Apparently I felt pretty awful and had absolutely no appetite by the time my parents came home and had dinner on the table. Somehow I was found out (I probably forgot to wash the dishes, lol), and I haven’t really lived that down since. It’s cool. It’s one of my favorite stories about myself. I think it really shows how freakin’ weird and independent I was (am).

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Anyway, the gist of the recipe is this: You make a super chocolatey brownie layer. Then you add on a cheesecake layer and you drizzle the cheesecake layer with some blackberry juice. Then you use a toothpick to create a marbled effect. Once it bakes, it’s a gooey, chewy, fruity/chocolate-y mess and IT ROCKS.

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I froze these so that, once whole30 is officially over, we can enjoy them. But I’ll be honest, Mark and I both had one fresh out of the oven. Because life is short. And I don’t think it’s possible for my New Yorker boyfriend to pass up a treat made up of brownies AND cheesecake! And it’s not like I was going to let him cheat alone. That would be a bad girlfriend thing to do. So unsupportive.

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Here’s what I’d change though: I baked these for over an hour and they still came out too gooey to really cut into real, even shapes (as seen above). Next time, maybe I’d bake for longer. Or I’d bake the brownie layer for a few minutes before adding the other layer… to give it a head start? Or maybe I’ll just have refrigerate the dish longer before cutting into it. Whatever. They don’t look perfect, but they were yummy and the color is still to die for.

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As for what else has been going on around these parts: Right now I’m lying on the couch, drinking a homemade latte, watching the latest Grey’s Anatomy episode. I’ll go on a run in a bit and then head into work. It’s been so nice to have some free time without classes! Mark and I get the apartment to ourselves this weekend so I’m excited to have some uninterrupted quality time together (albeit limited, since I still work all weekend)! Hope you all have the best weekend!

xx