Cream Cheese "Spiderweb" Mixture
from King Arthur Flour
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature*
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp AP flour
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp mint flavoring (optional)
Mix all ingredients until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag and set aside. *Note: cream cheese MUST be very soft. I was impatient and didn't let it completely soften, hence my disappointing results.
1 c vegetable oil
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract (variation: 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp mint)
1 c AP flour
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 baking pan (or two 8x8, like I did) and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper for good measure.
Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment (or you can use a hand mixer if you'd like). Mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and walnuts (if desired). Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until fully incorporated. Spread batter into pan(s).
Take up your pastry bag with the cream cheese mixture. Draw a small pool of cream cheese mixture in the very center of the brownies. Continue drawing cream cheese circles around the pool, moving one inch or so out from the center for the first circle, another inch out for the second circle, and so on. Then, take the back of a knife and drag it back and forth through the circles. This will draw the "arcs" of the web. Take your cream cheese mixture and draw over the knife tracks to fill in the "spokes" of the web.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until brownies just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Now, before we go any futher, you need to promise you won't laugh at my end result.
Ok, if you promise...