Pistachio Cream Cheese Brownies

Pistachio Cream Cheese BrowniesEarlier this year, I was looking for a pistachio brownie online when I found this recipe on the blog What a Dish!, originally from Taste of Beirut.  I wanted to make a brownie that would pack well on a trip to the beach, but also a brownie that was a little different from the standard chocolate.  After the first batch turned out so well, we ended up making these several more times for nights out in the summer – One night we brought these to a picnic in Vanier park to watch the English Bay fireworks and another night they served as the perfect movie snack during an outdoor showing of ‘The Breakfast Club’ in Stanley Park.  

The combination of pistachio and chocolate is a great pairing, and while these certainly make a great summertime picnic dessert – with the bright green color of the pistachio layer cutting through the traditional chocolate brownie the presentation will also work very well during the rapidly approaching Christmas season.  

I use semi-sweet Callebeaut chocolate and a dutch processed cocoa to get the richest color and flavor for the brownie portion.  Most recently I’ve used a 100% Valrhona cocoa (available at Gourmet Warehouse) and it improves the brownies considerably.

Give these a try… I’m sure you’ll enjoy them

Ingredients / Ingredientes

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter / onzas de mantequilla sin sal
  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate / onzas de chocolate semi dulce
  • 3/4 cup flour / taza de harina
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder / cucharilla de levadura en polvo
  • pinch of salt / pizca de sal
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder / cucharilla de cocoa en polvo
  • 2 eggs / huevos
  • 3/4 cup sugar / taza de azúcar
  • 1 tsp vanilla / cucharilla de vainilla
  • 4 1/2 ounces pistachio paste / onzas de pasta de pistacho
  • 3 ounces cream cheese / onzas de queso crema
  • 1 egg / huevo

Pistachio paste / Pasta de Pistacho

  • 2 cups peeled pistachios / tazas de pistachos pelados
  • 1/2 cup almond flour / taza de harina de almendra
  • 1/2 cup sugar syrup (2 to 1 ratio of sugar to water brought to a boil to dissolve the sugar) / taza de jarabe de azúcar (azúcar disuelta en agua)
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil / taza de aceite de semilla de uva
  • green food coloring (optional) / colorante verde (opcional)
Shelled pistachios - skin on

Shelled pistachios – skin on

  • To remove the pistachio skin – pour boiling water over the shelled pistachios and allow to cool completely, the skin should slide off when the pistachios are rubbed between your fingers  – a bit tedious – yes – but it will make for a brighter coloured pistachio paste / Para remover la cáscara de los pistachos tienes que remojarlos en agua caliente y dejar a un lado hasta que estén frío. La cáscara debe salir cuando agarres los pistachos con los dedos. De esta manera los pistachos tendrán un color más verdes.
  • Blend everything together in a food processor until it forms a paste / Licuar los ingredientes en un procesador de comidas hasta que se forme una pasta.

Brownie Instructions / Instrucciones

  • Melt the butter and the chocolate together over a double broiler (aka a metal bowl over a simmering pot of water) / Derretir la mantequilla con el chocolate en baño maria a fuego lento.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder together and set aside / Mezclar la harina, levadura en polvo, sal y cocoa en un recipiente, poner a un lado.
  • In a stand mixer beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale. / En una batidora de pie batir los huevos y azúcar hasta que la mezcla esté espesa y pálida.
  • Add the chocolate/butter, and vanilla and mix together. / Agregar el chocolate-mantequilla, la vainilla y mezclar todo junto.
  • Add the flour mixture until just combined / Agregar la mezcla de harina hasta que estén bien mezclados.
  • In a food processor blend the cream cheese, pistachio paste and egg until completely blended / En un precesador de alimentos colocar la crema de queso, pasta de pistacho y huevo y licuar bien.

layers of brownie batter and pistachio cream

  • Pour half of the brownie mixture into an 8 inch square pan lined with parchment / Colocar la mitad de la mezcla de brownie en una bandeja para hornear cuadrada (nosotros usamos una de 8 pulgadas) forrada con papel pergamino .
  • Top the brownie mix with the pistachio/cream cheese/egg mixture and finish with the rest of the brownie batter / Encima colocar la mezcla de pistacho y queso crema y después colocar  la otra mitad de la mezcla de brownie encima.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until it passes the cake test with a toothpick or skewer / Poner al horno a 350 grados por 20 a 25 minutos o hasta que esté listo
  • Cool completely, cut into squares and serve / Dejar enfriar, cortar en cuadrados y servir.

Pistachio cream cheese browniesPistachio cream cheese brownies… Provecho!