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Cooking with kids: double-cool brownie and cream bars

Use vegetable oil spray to grease your pan - just not a pan like this.
Use vegetable oil spray to grease your pan - just not a pan like this.

It is a rare child who does not like chocolate, particularly when presented in the form of a brownie. The brownies being presented here are doubly good due to the delicious filling nestled in the middle.

chocolate and cream cheese, too!

The recipe for double-cool brownie and cream bars is found in The Math Chef, written by Joan D’Amico and Karen Eich Drummond. It yields 18 (3” x 1 ½”) brownies.

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
  • 4 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable cooking oil

Filling Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons softened margarine
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature for 1 hour
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray baking pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  3. Put margarine and semisweet chocolate squares in saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, with wooden spoon until margarine and chocolate melt. Turn off heat and set aside.
  5. In medium bowl, use a different wooden spoon to combine sugar and flour.
  6. In small bowl, whisk eggs together.
  7. Add salt, baking powder and vanilla extract to the eggs. Whisk again.
  8. Add egg mixture and melted margarine and chocolate to the flour mixture. Stir until well combined (about 50 strokes).
  9. Spread half the brownie mixture in the sprayed baking pan.
  10. To make filling, use electric mixer, on medium speed, to beat sugar and margarine together in a second mixing bowl.
  11. Add softened cream cheese and continue to beat until smooth.
  12. Slowly mix in flour and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  13. Pour filling over brownie mixture in baking pan. Spread evenly with rubber spatula.
  14. Spoon remaining brownie mixture over filling. Spread with rubber spatula.
  15. Bake 45 – 50 minutes, or until firm.
  16. Let brownies cool for at least 1 hour.
  17. Cut brownies into 18 (3 ½ x 1 ½ inch) bars.
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