Monday, August 29, 2011

Mint Oreo-Stuffed Brownies

These are the kind of brownies that you wanna hide in the closet and eat, like you know you're doing something dirty... but it feels so freaking good! They are rich and fudgey, ultra decadent. They don't come from a box, and they don't use cocoa powder. They use all real chocolate! REAL CHOCOLATE! In brownies! The way brownies should be made! The basic recipe comes from Sherry Yard, the incredible pastry chef at Spago Beverly Hills. Her cookbook, Desserts by the Yard is a lesson in storytelling through recipes that span her life in pastry, from her childhood in Brooklyn to the Oscars. Her recipe is entitled Out-Of-This-World Brownies, and they are. In fact, she discusses how she made them for astronaut Marsha Ivins, who has literally traveled "out-of-this-world" and absolutely loves them.

I took Sherry's perfect brownie recipe and added Oreos, as I had seen done in brownies on Dana's Food For Thought. In my version, I wanted (quite obsessively, in fact) to use mint Oreos. Mint and chocolate is one of my all-time favorite combinations. I'll take it any way I can get it. You can easily use regular or Double Stuff Oreos here, or be a little wild and try the peanut butter ones. I would ;-) These brownies really are the best of both worlds... fudgey chocolate-chocolate-chocolate brownies with the deep satisfaction of milk's favorite cookie. With mint. You can easily omit the Oreos, and just make regular brownies, but why would you? A tall glass of milk wouldn't be unwelcome here either.

Mint Oreo-Stuffed Brownies
Makes 9 to 16 brownies (depending on size)
(Adapted from Desserts by the Yard)

3/4 cup plus 2 T. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, chopped
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
7 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
12 mint Oreos (or any flavor you like)

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-by-8 inch square baking dish with pan spray. Sift together the flour and salt and set aside.

Melt the butter, unsweetened chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at 50 percent power for about 2 minutes or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool to tepid (90 degrees F).

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Gently beat in the butter and chocolate. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour.

Scrape half the batter into the prepared baking dish. Line the Oreos on top to evenly cover the batter (you can cut cookies in half in order to make them all fit). Top with the remaining batter and smooth out the top. Bake, rotating from front to back halfway through, for 25 to 30 minutes, until slightly firm to the touch and a crust has formed on top. A toothpick will NOT come out clean.

Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut into squares.


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