Thursday, September 25, 2014

Oreo-Crusted Hot Fudge Caramel Brownies

Oreo-Crusted Hot Fudge Caramel Brownies
Proof that you CANNOT shove too much goodness in one pan!!! These brownies have a slightly crunchy Oreo crumb crust, topped with a layer of hot fudge and hot caramel, then a brownie that is just heaven on its own. The real kicker is that they are incredibly easy to make, because an inexpensive boxed brownie mix is the base, dressed up with some pantry staple goodies! I came up with these for tailgating, looking for something sweet and decadent that didn't require bank-breaking specialty ingredients. They really couldn't be easier, especially if you use the baking parchment, then use the parchment to lift the cooled brownies out and cut them into SMALL pieces with a pizza cutter!

Crust: 

  • 1 pkg Oreos
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup Smuckers Hot Fudge Topping
  • 1/2 cup Smuckers Hot Caramel Topping (OR use 1 cup of either one instead of half of each!) 


Brownies:

  • 1 9x13 size Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix (Save the Box Tops for your local school!) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup chocolate syrup
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper, long enough to overhang the sides after it's pushed tightly into the corners.

Melt the butter in a large glass bowl. Pulse the Oreos into fine crumbs and mix into the butter. Pat into the pan, using the weight of the crumb crust to hold the paper down and pushing it into the corners. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes.

While the crust chills, heat the oven to 325.

Mix the eggs, oil, water, instant coffee, chocolate syrup and vanilla until well combined and the espresso is dissolved. Stir in the brownie mix and chocolate chips. Set aside.

Take the chilled crust out of the fridge and spread evenly with half a cup each of hot fudge and hot caramel sauces, or a full cup of one alone.  (If using the plastic squeeze bottles, you will need to heat it up to get the sauce you need!)

Top the sauce layer with the brownie mix. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes and then check every 5 minutes until done. A tester inserted in the middle should be a little sticky when removed. Cool completely before lifting out of the pan and cutting.

HINTS: Try other flavors of Oreos for a twist! Mint? Peanut Butter? You could mix in different chips for other flavors too!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Red Velvet Cheesecake-Swirled "Brownies"

Red Velvet Cheesecake-Swirled "Brownies"
I wanted something special for the first football game of the year, and since it was also meant to celebrate a few special birthdays, I thought "red velvet." Pretty much everyone likes it, but it looks impressive, and it's easy. That said, layered cake with creamy cheese frosting is not going to hold up well to September's heat and humidity in Miami! So I did some research, and of course, found some "red velvet brownie" recipes. I wanted the cheesecake component, and none of the recipes I found had what I wanted as a balance of simplicity and impressiveness, so I cobbled a couple of recipes together. This is the result!

Brownie base:

  • 1 Box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Supreme Cake Mix
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 standard bag) 

Cheesecake layer:

  • 2 8-ounce pkgs cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

Heat the oven to 325. Mix the cake mix, melted butter, vanilla, water and egg until thoroughly combined and there are no dry lumps of cake mix left, about 3 minutes. Take 1/2 cup batter out of the bowl. Stir in chocolate chips and spread evenly into a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth and beat in the sugar and then the eggs, one at a time. Stir in
vanilla. Pour over the brownie layer. Drop the reserved 1/2 cup batter on top of the cheesecake layer in random small spoonfuls, then swirl with the tip of a sharp knife until well-marbled.

Bake on the center rack at 325 for 40 minutes and check doneness. They may need up to 55 minutes to bake. Cool completely before cutting, and refrigerate if desired, up to a day ahead, before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.