Make The Best Brownies Ever With This Secret Ingredient

The brownie is a delectable sweet treat that made its debut in the mid-20th century. A woman named Mildred Brown Schrumpf, a Bangor, Maine-based home economics teacher and food writer, widely spread the belief that a fellow Bangor woman invented brownies after her failed attempt to bake a chocolate cake (per Press Herald). As it turns out, forgetting to add baking powder — the traditional leavening agent that gives most cakes their emblematic fluffiness — was one of the most noteworthy brownie mistakes in modern culinary history. (Thanks, Maine!)

Since then, brownies have been a staple at birthday parties, bake sales, and holiday get-togethers. Over the past several decades, they have taken on many different forms. Bakers around the globe have created their own twists on the classic recipe by incorporating ingredients such as nuts, nut butters, caramel, toffee, fruits, fudge, and candies. However, there is one fairly unorthodox ingredient that can be mixed into your brownie batter that results in a flavor and consistency you'll dream about forever.

Add mascarpone cheese to your brownies

Next time you're craving an ultra-rich chocolate brownie (or five), remember to include mascarpone cheese on your shopping list. Yep, you read that right. Cheese in brownies! There's no need to be alarmed by this savory suggestion. Italian mascarpone is commonly considered a dessert cheese due to its sweet tang and effortless spreadability that's similar to that of to cream cheese. The product can be found in the specialty cheese section of most grocery stores. If you've ever enjoyed a slice of tiramisu, you've tasted mascarpone.

Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, an award-winning family-owned dairy farm in Waterloo, Wisconsin, produces a specialty chocolate mascarpone that offers a creamy, velvety texture to just about any dish. Fittingly, it shares a recipe for chocolate mascarpone brownies, which calls for all the basics — butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, and chocolate — plus the cheese for a subtly acidic kick. If you don't have chocolate mascarpone, of course, you can use the standard kind and still enjoy that extra creaminess and complexity. To properly celebrate National Brownie Day on December 8, there is, without a doubt, no better activity than whipping up a giant tray of the chewy, scrumptious dessert. And remember: Just add mascarpone.