The category was "muffins, scones, cookies" and Mile-High Walnut-Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies was judged the best.

The recipe is the creation of pastry chef Wes Foley of Bella Napoli bakery in Troy, N.Y., and the competition was the "Bake With the Best" contest sponsored by the Walnut Marketing Board and the American Egg Board.MILE-HIGH WALNUT-RASPBERRY


Brownie Batter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

6 1-oz squares unsweetened chocolate

6 1-oz squares dark chocolate

1 cup unsalted butter

5 large eggs

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups California walnut pieces

Raspberry Cheesecake Batter

1 cup cream cheese

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (soft)

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup seedless raspberry preserves

1/4 teaspoon red food coloring

3 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


3/4 cup California walnut pieces

For the Brownie Batter: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set the mixture aside.

Melt the chocolates and butter together in a microwave or the top of a double boiler.

While the chocolates are melting, beat the eggs, sugars and vanilla together in the bowl of a 5-quart mixer until well blended. On low speed, blend the melted chocolate mixture into the egg and sugar mixture until well blended, scraping the bowl down once during the addition. Add the flour mixture and beat until well blended. Remove and reserve 21/4 cups of the brownie batter, then add the walnuts to the batter remaining in the bowl and mix them in well.

Prepare a 9-by-13-inch pan by lightly greasing it. Create a liner for the pan by pressing either kitchen parchment or aluminum foil into the pan so that it sticks to the greased surfaces. Brush the liner with melted butter.

Pour the brownie batter with the walnuts into the pan and set it aside while preparing the cheesecake batter.

For the Raspberry Cheesecake Batter: In the bowl of a 5-quart mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Beat in the soft butter, followed by the sugar and mix until smooth, scraping the bowl down once during the mixing. Mix in the raspberry preserves and food coloring.

Lightly beat the eggs and vanilla until blended, then beat them into the cream cheese mixture until fully incorporated, again scraping the bowl down once during the mixing.

Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter in the prepared 9-by-13-inch pan. If necessary, smooth the cheesecake batter to the edges of the pan using a rubber spatula.

Final Decoration and Baking: Drizzle ribbons of the reserved brownie batter over the cheesecake layer in the pan, being careful not to completely cover the cheesecake layer.

Pull the tip of a knife in a zigzag pattern through the batters in the pan to marble them.

Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup of walnuts evenly over the batter and bake the brownies at 350 F for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes away barely clean. Be careful not to overbake the brownies.

Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the brownies overnight.

Turn the refrigerated brownies out of the pan and remove the paper or foil liner from them. Flip them right side up and, using a knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry, cut them into 2-inch squares.

Allow the brownies to come to room temperature and serve.

Makes 24 2-inch brownies.

- Nutritional facts per serving: 459 cal., 6 g pro., 110 mg chol., 131 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 28 g total fat, 13 g saturated fat.