Saturday, October 29, 2011

Caramel Coconut Oreo Brownies - Take 2

Caramel Coconut Oreo Brownies revisited - made October 24, 2011, adapted brownie recipe from Cooking with Convection by Beatrice Ojakangas (book #173)

If at first you don't succeed, try another recipe.  I was determined to conquer this brownie since I pseudo-invented it for my Oreo fixation and it had to be better than my last attempt.  I think I finally got it right with this version or at least better.  I made the changes I suggested last time in that I baked them in a 9" baking pan so they wouldn't be so thick and take so long to bake and I tried a different brownie recipe.  This one is still fudgy but not so much as to be mousse- or pudding-like.  It also helped that I baked it longer than I might normally have if I was making this as standalone brownie.  This took about 40 minutes in my oven before I was satisfied with the toothpick test.

The Oreo crust makes a crisp contrast to the brownie and the chewy coconut caramel layer in between also offers a good texture contrast.  It did seem a trifle too sweet to me though but that's possibly because I've now tried variations of this brownie a couple of times and I was overloading on the sugar.  But at least this version has three distinct layers that you can see instead of everything mushing together.

Brownie baking tip: To make cleanup more easy, every time I bake brownies or bar cookies, no matter what the recipe says, I line the baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  When the brownie is done, all you have to do is lift it out using the foil and lay it out on a cutting board to cool and cut.

Oreo Cookie crust
1 regular-size package of Oreos (minus the 3 or 4 - cough - that I ate), processed to crumbs in a food processor
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla

Caramel Coconut layer
1 11-ounce package of caramel bits
3-4 tablespoons of milk (I didn't measure exactly but you want the caramel to be fairly free-flowing liquid, not too thick)
1 cup of coconut (add more if you're a coconut freak like me)

Brownie layer
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup flour

1.    Preheat the oven to convection bake at 325F (or 350F for a non-convection setting).  Line a 9-inch square pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2.   Combine crust ingredients and spread evenly in the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes. 
3.   Melt the caramels and milk.  Add coconut.  Spread carefully over hot crust, taking care not to disturb the cookie crumb crust.  It's easier if you drop in small dollops over the crust rather than trying to spread it out from one big clump.
4.    Place the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over the lowest heat and stir until melted together.
5.   With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt on low speed in a mixing bowl until light.  Add the chocolate and butter mixture.  Stir in the flour.  Pour the batter into the baking pan. over the caramel layer.
4.    Bake on the center rack for 35-40 minutes or until the brownies are just barely set.  Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.



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