Ah, Valentine’s Day. Try as you may, you can’t get away from it. Colleen and I have marked its occasion on the blog several ways in recent years, from featuring a heart-shaped cheese to suggesting pairings (both wine and beer). But given the holiday’s penchant for chocolate decadence, we decided to go in a different direction this year – favorite baked goods with cheesy flourishes. So for the next two weeks, we’re going to post recipes for our cheesy takes on classic treats, starting with today’s Two-Goat Brownies.
Don’t worry, the brownies do not contain goat meat. The double goatiness comes from the combination of creamy, honey-infused goat cheese with goat’s-milk caramel sauce from Vermont’s Fat Toad Farm. And I threw in a bunch of chocolate chunks for good measure because why not? This isn’t a diet dessert, so you might as well go for it.
Truthfully, you could whip up a batch of boxed-mix brownies and just add the goat cheese-caramel mixture before baking, but brownies are so easy to make that it doesn’t make much sense to take the shortcut. (Unless you have a newborn – then the excuse is totally valid.) And, of course, I can’t guarantee that the mix will match the rich fudgy flavor of these brownies. The lightness and tanginess of the goat cheese tempers the deep chocolate flavor a little, but rest assured the brownies deliver the cocoa blast you’re probably craving right now.
Make these for the goat-cheese lover in your life – or yourself. Warning: It is very, very difficult to eat just one. There’s a reason why I’ve been diligent with my workouts ever since I made these – I haven’t had a one-brownie day yet.
Makes approximately 24 generously sized brownies
Base brownie recipe adapted from Hershey’s
4 bars (4 oz.) unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
¾ cup chocolate chunks
¼ cup goat’s-milk caramel sauce (cajeta)
8 oz. creamy goat cheese with honey (I bought mine at Whole Foods)
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease 13x9x2-in. baking pan.
Place chocolate and butter in large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 1 to 1½ minutes until chocolate and butter is melted and smooth when stirred. Stir in sugar until well-blended. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and chocolate chunks and mix thoroughly. Spread into greased pan.
In a small bowl, combine goat cheese and caramel sauce. Pour over the brownie batter and swirl into batter with a knife from left to right and from top to bottom. Bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving.
Note: If you want to try your hand at making cajeta at home, Smitten Kitchen recently posted a recipe.