Chocolate Chip Oreo Brownie Bars

One of the biggest downfalls of being a Pinterest addict is seeing all the fabulous ideas that other individuals so helpfully and conveniently post for your viewing pleasure.

Between the clothes, food, decorating tips, nail polish colors, hair styles… I want to do and try it all.

It’s complete madness I tell you!

It’s no wonder that I have fallen behind in my blogging….I didn’t realize how long it had been since I’d posted a recipe here until Katrina called me out on it two days ago. I actually made these brownies last week, but had them safely stashed in the freezer …. for my own good, of course. 🙂

And while I’ve seen several variations of them floating around between Pinterest, Serious Eats and Google Reader, I decided to go with a recipe that I found on Anna’s site, mostly because she doesn’t utilize boxed mixes like many of the other recipes do. Not that there’s anything wrong with using mixes, I just prefer to not to.

My opinion on these?

Make them soon.

Or now.

Whichever comes first.

You won’t regret it.

Chocolate Chip Oreo Brownie Bars – adapted (barely)  from Cookie Madness

Cookie Base:

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup chocolate chips

9  Oreos (regular, double stuff, whatever you prefer)
Brownie Layer:

6 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal baking pan with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.
Cream the butter with the brown and granulated sugar. Beat in the vanilla and egg and beat just until the egg is mixed, then beat in the baking soda. By hand, stir in the flour until it is incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Press dough into the bottom of the pan as evenly as possible. Press 9 whole Oreos directly into the dough.
Wash out the mixing bowl. Add the cocoa powder and oil and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth; stir in the flour. Spread this batter over the Oreos. Bake on the center rack at 350 for 38 to 40 minutes or until brownies appear set and edges are puffed up. Unfortunately, the toothpick test doesn’t really work here. Cool on a wire rack. When cool, chill the brownies for about 2 or 3 hours. Lift from pan and cut into 16 squares.

Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

And just like that, I’m back 🙂

Welcome to another exciting year of The Brownie Project ~ I’m very happy to be back in the blogging world, sharing my tasty brownie discoveries with you!

Don’t these look marvelous?

I made these several weeks ago for a get-together my daughter hosted at our house – her friends went absolutely crazy for them. Ultra rich, super fudgy, and very dense, they really were over-the-top delicious ~ and will definitely make my next Top 10 list.

And as a friendly “FYI” – they are outstanding frozen 🙂

Note: As with all marbled/swirl recipes, less is always more ~ go easy on these, you don’t want the cheesecake to end up on the bottom of the pan.

Cheesecake Swirl Brownies – adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart

½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup plus all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
4 oz. bar cream cheese, softened
Dash of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan; line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Grease the parchment paper. Whisk  together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a bowl.

Melt the butter and the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water; remove bowl from pan. Add 1¼ cups sugar; stir to combine. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine. Stir in flour mixture just until moistened (do not overmix).

In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth . Mix in remaining ¼ cup sugar, 1 egg, and a  dash of vanilla extract until smooth. Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out with an offset spatula. Dollop the cheesecake mixture on top of the brownie batter, and with the tip of a paring knife, swirl to marble.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Use parchment to lift brownies from pan; transfer (on parchment) to rack to cool completely. On a cutting board, with a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

I’m back!

Hello brownie fans!

Lest you think I’ve been abducted by aliens or taken away by zombies, I am back and ready to fire this blog up again and continue my quest to conquer all the brownie recipes I can!

Stay tuned, I will have a recipe and photos for you soon ~

Thanks for all your continued support and kind comments!

Megan 🙂

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies

Welcome back to another tasty year of The Brownie Project!

My goal this year is to be a bit more consistent with recipes ~ and let’s kick things off with one of my favorite flavor combinations:

Peanut Butter and Chocolate!

This recipe, which originally comes from the Food Network website, was something that caught my eye when I saw it on another blog several months ago ~ I was intrigued enough to make them but for reasons still unknown to me, they actually sat in my freezer for about two months.

Odd – yet it happened.

Anyway, I brought them out of cold storage to give to my nephew ~ as a “thank you” for helping me out last week ~ but alas, he has been busy working, my willpower ran out…………

And the rest is history ~ or should I say, the brownies are history. 🙂

These really are perfect in every way – the brownie has just the right amount of fudgy-ness, the peanut butter layer is smooth and a touch salty – and although I passed on the ganache topping, I really don’t think they needed it.

Of course, you may feel differently, but that’s your prerogative.

These are a definite keeper.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies – adapted from The Food Network

Brownie Layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Layer:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ganache Layer:
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8-inch pan with cooking spray.

Brownies: microwave the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a microwavable bowl at high power until the butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir until combined, then mix in the vanilla extract. Meanwhile, beat the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and add in the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chunks. Spread the brownie mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the brownies are set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean, about 22 to 28 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.

Peanut butter cookie dough: Add the butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and mix until creamy. Mix in the milk and the peanut butter, then stir in the flour and salt. Spread the peanut butter cookie dough evenly over the cooled brownies.

Ganache: In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the dark chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream, uncovered, on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Continue stirring until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Spread the ganache over the peanut butter layer and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts. Refrigerate until the dough and ganache are set, about 1 hour. Cut into 16 squares and arrange on a serving platter to serve.

S’More’s Brownies

First ~ an apology for the lack of brownies. Three months between posts is too long!

Second ~ congrats to me, because The Brownie Project was nominated as one of the best dessert blogs of 2010! How awesome is that?!

Third ~ thank you to everyone that has sent me recipes ~ I have not been able to try all of them yet, but I will!

Now, the moment you’ve all come here for…….

I’m on the fence with these brownies. I suppose it’s my own fault, because I got carried away with my own creativity. The original recipe was for Rocky Road Brownies – but I wanted to incorporate the s’more’s theme because that’s what the kids wanted.

The graham cracker crumbs seemed like a great idea – but in reality, they prevented the chocolate chips and marshmallows from adhering to the brownie base. Maybe I should have put the chips and marshmallows on first, then added the crumbs. Or baked the crumbs into the batter? Wait – what if I put a layer of crumbs in the middle of the brownie base, like you would for a coffee cake?

This will require more research. 😉

S’More’s Brownies – adapted from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan

1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup miniature marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan. Line pan with foil, leaving an overhang on two sides, then grease foil lightly.

In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine butter and 1 cup chocolate chips. Heat, stirring occasionally, just until melted, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove mixture from heat; stir in sugars and salt, then eggs, and finally flour, stirring just until combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs, remaining chocolate chips, then marshmallows. Bake until chocolate is shiny and marshmallows are puffed, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownies onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares.

Oatmeal Brownie Bars

These bars were fun, fun and more fun!

I procured the recipe from the Land O’ Lakes blog site – and let me tell you, make them sooner rather than later.

Crunchy from the oatmeal base and topping, with a mild chocolate center, plus they are easy to pack/transport – these bars are a winner all around.I can’t say enough good things about them!

Oatmeal Brownie Bars – adapted from Land O’ Lakes

Oatmeal Layer
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup uncooked oats
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold butter, cut into chunks

Brownie Layer
1/3 cup butter
3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all oatmeal layer ingredients in large bowl except butter. Cut in 2/3 cup butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 1/4 cups crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining crumbs into greased 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100% power), stirring twice, until chocolate is melted (30 to 60 seconds). Cool slightly.

Combine sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add melted chocolate mixture; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add 1 cup flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.

Drop chocolate mixture by tablespoonfuls over warm, partially baked crust. Carefully spread brownie layer evenly over crust; top with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are set. (DO NOT OVERBAKE.) Cool completely; cut into bars.

Nut Brownies

About three weeks ago, my boss discovered that I love to bake.

At that moment, he leaned across my desk and said, “I love brownies – with nuts. Pecans, if you have them. Otherwise, walnuts will do just fine.”

And as fate would have it, the Cookie of The Day (from Martha Stewart) that was delivered to my email inbox was (surprise!) Nut Brownies.

I baked up a full batch and took them to work the next day – and soaked up the praise and compliments. These were thick, cakey and really good. The baking powder in the batter helps them achieve their cake-like status – and they had just the right ratio of chewy-ness to cakey-ness. Not too strong, not too weak –  these were, to paraphase Goldilocks, “just right”.

I plan on making them again, without the nuts, so my family can enjoy them.

Nut Brownies – adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Spray the foil with nonstick spray, and set pan aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Place butter and chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan. Add sugar; mix to combine. Add eggs one at a time, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on foil). On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days, if they last that long. Otherwise, freeze for longer storage.