What Can Brown(ies) Do For You?

I do love reading the food horoscopes. This week mine were strangely accurate (except for the meatloaf).

You have a lot of support when it comes to career. You’re moving up the food chain in many exciting ways now, but you’re also suffering through a few bumps and bruises. It isn’t always going to be like this. Reach for the comfort food if you need to, and make it healthy whenever you can. For instance, mashed potatoes can be made creamier with Greek yogurt instead of milk and butter. Making a meatloaf out of ground turkey cuts the fat in half.

My general horoscope today is frighteningly correct too: Have you been planning a trip by air, Taurus, perhaps to a distant place associated with a specific spiritual tradition? Warm places like Egypt, Mexico, or Israel could be especially appealing now. You could be going with a group of friends. If you haven’t been considering such a journey, think about it. You might receive some surprising insights and revelations from such a trip. Start planning it now. Go for it!

The best food horoscope was Sagittarius: This week is about all the communication you’re going to be doing. You may feel that you’ve lost touch with some important people in your life and need to reestablish contact. Your work is booming, so invite your workmates out for a festive lunch, or do it one better by bringing in some homemade treats. Cheesecake brownies will not only cement your status as the Office Cool Person but also make you lots of new pals.


Then there was this one: The position of the heavenly bodies today brings you the chance to find out just how sweetly and tenderly someone close to you feels about you. Even though you may have found it difficult to trust, you will discover that your barriers begin to fall, from today onwards. You see something about the way they express themselves that shows you they really care. Why not tell them that you feel just the same.

Too bad these things aren’t really reliable. But we create our own fate, don’t we?

Cheesecake Brownies(From the food network)

  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1-inch. Spray with cooking spray.

Cheesecake topping: In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the sugar and the vanilla until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until well blended. Set aside.

Brownie layer: Put the chocolate, butter, and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat at 75 percent power for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again until melted and smooth, about 30 seconds longer. (Alternatively, put the chocolate, butter, and oil in a small heatproof bowl. Bring a small saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, not touching, the water, and stir occasionally, until melted and smooth.)

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl.

Combine the brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg whites, and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously until fully incorporated and the batter is thick and glossy. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir just until it disappears.

Reserve 1/2 cup brownie batter and set aside. Scrape the remaining brownie batter into the prepared pan. Pour the cheesecake mixture evenly over top. Drop the reserved brownie batter in large dollops over the topping. Draw the handle of a wooden spoon through the two batters to create a swirled effect.

Bake until the top is just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Lift brownies out of the pan by the foil and peel off the foil. Spray a knife with cooking spray and cut into 2-inch squares.


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