Tuesday, June 13, 2017


I knew I wanted to make brownies for a coworker's going away party last weekend. Chocolate helps me cope, and thankfully, I work in an office with like-minded individuals who also appreciate the therapeutic effects of sweet, delicious chocolate. So to say I wanted to find a way to make the chocolatiest brownies ever was a massive understatement (we're really, really gonna miss that coworker. We really, really needed a lot of chocolate to deal with it). I decided to go with fudge brownies stuffed with Oreo's and topped with cookies and cream frosting. Essentially, a chocolate-in-chocolate, topped with more chocolate, inception-type situation, or a brownieception, if you will. I don't believe that time heals all wounds--but an artfully crafted chocolate dessert certainly is the first step in the right direction.
If tasty is a direction...
There were two things that made these brownies nearly impossible to make. The first being the fact that I had literally no idea there are now over 30 flavors of Oreo's. I lived in a world where I was only aware of the existence of regular Oreo's, Double Stuff's, and Mint Creme Oreo's. Needless to say, when I turned down the cookie aisle at the commissary I was immediately flabbergasted. Red Velvet Oreo's? Cake batter Oreo's? Oreo's that aren't even chocolate? Blasphemy. So imagine my reaction when I found out Cookies and Cream Oreo's are a thing. Think about that for a minute--yeah--those are Oreo's, stuffed with other Oreo's. The people at Nabisco clearly need to be stopped. They've taken this way too far. After I was done having a small meltdown over what kind of Oreo I wanted my brownies to be filled with (I settled on the classic Double Stuff after staring longingly at the Peanut Butter Oreos for a solid two minutes), another conundrum smacked me in the face when I looked to the right only to see Chips Ahoy has clearly followed the Oreo-every-flavor-we-can-think-of marketing strategy. My childhood is officially in the dust. I carried my head lowly and wondered if opening and eating half a sleeve of Oreo's would be frowned upon while I finished grocery shopping.
Although, probably still worth it.
The second thing involving these cookies and cream brownies that made me weep was calculating the calorie count. I didn't take any healthy shortcuts since I was going to be feeding normal people who aren't obsessed with health food like I am. It's all fun and games when you're baking a 9x13 pan of chocolate on chocolate when you're leaving them in someone else's home, but if they were staying at home with me, I would've subbed a few things (notes below) to cut calories. But like I said, we were all sad and in desperate need of a real, no-applesauce/honey substitutions brownie. I still wanted to deliver some nutritional tidbits on the blog since I've gotten used to bequeathing you the unfortunate calorie count of everything you love to devour post-dinnertime. A 9x13 pan made as directed below will run you 293 calories a cookies and cream brownie for 20 servings total. You could be like me and have a sliver of one piece to indulge with minimal guilt...I ended up cutting these in smallllll pieces not just for that fact but also because they are very rich. I'd estimate I ended up with 36 actual servings for 163 calories a brownie (which is wayyyyyy better).
Spot the pirate!
I took ALL of the shortcuts with this recipe, down to a box mix instead of my fudgy homemade brownie recipe because, let's face it, I wanted to take a nap since 1. I have to wake before the sun to walk the dogs or we'll all melt, and 2. Having human emotions is absolutely draining (which is why I avoid them in most cases). To make the simplest, yet most delicious cookies and cream brownies ever, all you need is:
  • 1 box of Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie mix 
  • 2 eggs (can use just egg whites to lower calories)
  • 1/2 cup of veggie oil (can sub applesauce to lower calories)
  • 3 TBS of water
  • 10 Oreo's (can use Oreo Thins to lower calories)
Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan. Mix together the brownie mix, eggs, oil, and water for 2 minutes on medium speed in your stand mixer. Take this time to count out 10 Oreo's, think about eating a few, suffer that moral dilemma, and then turn off the mixer.
And get ready to get hammered.
I've recently acquired a meat tenderizing mallet, which I loving call "The Pulverizer." I placed my 10 Oreo's into a plastic bag and, well, pulverized them into chunks. Dump this into your brownie mix and give it a good stir.
After you admire your handy work. Thanks, Pulverizer!
Take your batter and turn it out into the greased pan. Be sure to smooth out the batter and tap the pan on the counter a few times to get out any air bubbles. Place into the oven and bake 22-27 minutes. With the addition of the Oreo's, my mix took a little longer than the box directed.
I had forgotten how messy powdered sugar is...the benefits of eating healthy-ish, I suppose?
Let your cookies and cream brownies cool off on a cooling rack either on the counter or in the fridge depending on how impatient you are. While you're resisting the urge to dive into the pan, get out your frosting ingredients:
  • 4 TBS butter at room temp  (can sub with reduced fat cream cheese to lower calories)
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2-3 TBS skim milk 
  • 8 Oreo's (can use Oreo Thins to lower calories)
Mix together the butter, sugar, and 2 TBS of milk until smooth. Really grind up the 8 Oreo's to a fine pulp and then add them to your frosting and mix. Depending on the consistency you'd like, either add a half to another whole tablespoon of milk after you've added the Oreo crumbs. I went with another 1/2 TBS (for a grand total of 2 1/2 TBS) to get a smooth enough frosting that was easy to spread but would still set.
And look pretty. This is important.
Simply frost the brownies once they are fully cooled and place them back in the fridge to let the frosting set up for an hour or two. You could also crush up more Oreo's to sprinkle on top, cut Oreo's into halves and place a half onto each individual brownie, etc. I went for classic and plain, and that did not disappoint. These are soooooo good (thanks, butter!), and I am so very happy the whole pan is not sitting in my house, or I would've eaten them all in one sitting. I adore cookies and cream ice cream (Halo Top or Blue Bell--they know what's up), and these brownies are a great take on what typically gets eaten as a frozen dessert. Not to mention they require about as much effort to make as a bowl of cookies and cream ice cream. Easy, quick, and delicious--all prerequisites when it comes to feelings eating. Or just regular eating, I suppose. A magical thing happens when Oreo's get cooked into brownies, so needless to say, I'm going to brave the Oreo aisle again soon to try the peanut butter version of this. Do I need to be stopped? Probably. But you better be one brave individual to stand between me and a pan of brownies...'Til next time, my fellow eaters!
Can you blame me? I mean, these are drool-worthy.

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