Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Oreo Cream Cheese Brownies

Brownies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 ounces dark or bittersweet
   chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brewed coffee
   (leftover or cold coffee is
   okay), optional but
   recommended
1 teaspoon instant espresso
   granules, optional but
   recommended
pinch salt, optional and to taste
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
15 Oreo Cookies, broken into
   pieces by squishing one cookie against another

Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces brick-style cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 350F. 
  • Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil leaving overhang and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and chocolate, and heat on high power to melt, about 2 minutes. Stop to check and stir after 1 minute. 
  • Mix together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, coffee, espresso granules, salt, melted chocolate/butter mixture, and whisk vigorously to combine.
  • Add the flour and most of the diced Oreos, reserving a small handful to be sprinkled on top, and stir until smooth and combined without over-mixing.
  • Turn half the batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula as necessary; set aside while you make the Cream Cheese Filling.
  • In a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and beat to combine.
  • Turn cream cheese filling out over brownie base to create an even, smooth, flat layer. 
  • Turn out remaining brownie batter over cream cheese layer and take your times spreading the batter over bare patches and into the corners. 
  • Evenly sprinkle the reserved handful of Oreos over the top.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until centre has just set and is no longer glossy. The toothpick test is fairly unreliable because you'll hit white gooey cream cheese, but toothpick should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no brownie batter. 
  • Allow brownies to cool in pan on top of a wire rack for at least 2 hours. Then cover with a sheet of foil and place pan in fridge for at least 2 hours, or until sufficiently chilled for slicing. Do not rush the cooling process because the cream cheese will ooze everywhere and the brownies need time to really set up before slicing. 
  • Lift brownies out using foil overhang, slice, and serve.