Maida Heatter’s Santa Fe Brownies

I got this recipe from Joy, after seeing them on her blog, “The Cooking Of Joy“. (Clever title, isn’t it?)

She was gracious enough to send me the recipe – which she didn’t post because of uncertainties with copyrights and permission from the author.

On the advice of my attorney, I’m posting the recipe (insert tongue in cheek here). Seriously, most professional bakers/chefs are thrilled with exposure, and these brownies are something everyone should be exposed to.


These reminded me of Nick Malgieri’s cheesecake brownies – because it’s essentially brownies and cheesecake batter, just presented differently. I don’t think I followed her directions precisely with respect to the layering, but no matter – these were really, really good. Super chocolatey and dense, with a nice tang from the cream cheese batter – definitely worth making again.

And, these are great straight from the freezer – since they don’t freeze solidly, they just get super cold and a bit chewy.

The only changes I made to the recipe was to omit the nuts from the chocolate mixture, and omit the butter from the cream cheese mixture.

Santa Fe Brownies – adapted from Maida Heatter

Chocolate Mixture*
1 ½ c unsifted unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 oz semisweet chocolate
8 oz unsalted butter
5 large eggs
1 ¼ c granulated sugar
1 ½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract

Butter and foil a 9×13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Place both chocolates and butter in double boiler on moderate heat, cover and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Take off heat and set aside briefly.
In large bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs just to mix. Add both sugars and vanilla and beat only til mixed.
On low speed beat in the melted chocolate mixture (should still be warm), then the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl and beating only til incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer. Pour half of chocolate mixture over bottom of pan.

Cream Cheese Mixture*
12 oz cream cheese at room temp
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
In small bowl of electric mixer beat cream cheese and butter til smooth. Beat in vanilla and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat only til smooth. Pour the cheese mixture slowly in a wide ribbon all over the chocolate mixture in the pan. With the bottom of a spoon, spread cream cheese mixture to edges of pan. Stir remaining chocolate mixture to soften it (it will be quite thick) and pour in wide ribbon (or globs) over the cheese layer. It doesn’t have to cover all the cheese layer and does not have to reach the sides of the pan. With a table knife, cut through the top chocolate and cheese layers in a zigzag pattern to marbleize the mixtures slightly.
Bake 1 hr and about 15 min til cake tests done, be careful not to overbake. Once reverse the pan, front to back. Cool in the pan. Then cover with board or cookie sheet and turn the pan and board or sheet upside down. Remove the pan and the foil lining. Cover the cake with was paper or plastic wrap and then with another board or sheet and turn upside down, leaving the cake right side up. Refrigerate overnight, or at least for several hours.


9 thoughts on “Maida Heatter’s Santa Fe Brownies

  1. This is delightful! My mom and I used to have a cutout from a newspaper where this recipe was published; it was lost when we moved, what, 10 years ago?

    These are a classic holiday gift from our family. Can’t wait to pull them out again!

  2. My boyfriend and I made these earlier this afternoon and unfortunately they turned out horribly. We followed the directions to a t. But they turned out to taste very egg-y. The brownish were also very fluffy, not at all dense like you mentioned. I’d suggest looking at the recipe again because these were definitely not worth making again or the trip to the store or time it took to make them in the first time.

  3. Years ago, my mother-in-law introduced me to these brownies. I could eat a whole recipe myself. This is a recipe created by the devil. Thanks for posting.

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