- ¾ cup butter (1½ sticks), preferably organic
- ⅔ cup cocoa
- 6 large eggs, room temperature, divided use
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1¼ cups sugar
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (or dark roast instant coffee)
- 1–1½ cup chopped or broken-up walnuts or pecans (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch salt
Preheat oven to 325°.
Melt butter in saucepan, add cocoa and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes; then transfer to a large bowl.
Whisk 4 eggs into cocoa mixture, one at a time. Stir in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, espresso powder, nuts (if using) and salt. Add to the cocoa-butter mixture. Stir until just combined.
Pour batter into a greased 9- by 13-inch pan. Set aside.
For the topping: Beat remaining 2 eggs, cream cheese, rum, powdered sugar and pinch of salt until smooth in a stand mixer, or with an immersion (stick) blender. Pour over batter and gently smooth top with a rubber spatula.
Bake in lower third of oven 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out with moist, clumpy crumbs. Brownies will be a bit jiggly. Do not overbake; brownies should be gooey.
Let cool, and cut into bars. Dust tops of brownies with additional cocoa and powdered sugar right before serving.
Store brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze leftover brownies, wrapped well, for a later use.