Saturday, November 17, 2012

Red Velvet Oreo Brownies

Red Velvet Oreo Brownies - made November 10, 2012, recipe adapted from Newly-weds blog

One of my nieces, Lauren, was going to be in town for her college's dragon boat race last weekend.  I don't get to see her as often as my other niece, Shyla, so, like any good aunt, I baked up a storm for both of them.  One of the recipes I baked was this one, adapted from Newly-weds' blog.  I only had one 1-ounce bottle of red food coloring so I went with half of the original recipe's amount which I think still made it plenty red.  (And now I have to stock up on red food coloring before I make red velvet anything this holiday season.)  I also decided to throw in some Oreos for no other reason than I had some on hand that I, er, happened to open one day.  And everyone knows an opened package of Oreos will lose their crispness even if stored airtight so it's best to eat use them soon after opening.

Oh, and funny story with this brownie - I was making it while Shyla was staying with me and we were baking these the night before we were going to see Lauren.  Shyla was helping me which mostly involved my putting the batter together while she did her homework but I did promise her she could "lick the bowl".  I'm not a batter bowl licker myself so I did what I normally do once the batter was made: I used a spatula to scrape the batter into the pan, automatically getting every bit I could so as not to waste any.  Then I called Shyla over to give her the bowl.  You should've seen her face fall when she saw how "clean" the bowl was and how she "could see the silver" of the bowl.  LOL!  I had to redeem myself and give her the spatula without scraping every last bit of batter from it.  I was unfavorably compared to her roommate who also bakes but has the foresight to give her bowls and mixing spoons still laden with dough or batter.  Oops.

Once it was baked (no batter for me), I really liked the texture of this brownie - it was fudgy and moist without being mushy.  Taste-wise, it wasn't sweet (that's code for my parents liked this one).  I would've liked the chocolate flavor to be a bit more pronounced though. I used Droste cocoa but I think it would've been better with a darker cocoa like Pernigotti.  The Oreos worked well to give it a bit of a crunch and I think adding chocolate chips instead or in addition would also punch up the chocolaty-ness of the brownie.
The winning team for the women's finals - yep, my niece is in here

Although probably the best news is my niece competed in 4 of the 5 dragon boat races and her team won the women's finals.  Rock on.

1 cup  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 oz red food coloring (I used only 1 ounce)
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Oreos, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9 X 13 baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in food coloring (if not using food coloring add 4 tablespoons of water or milk) and vanilla, mix until the color is fully incorporated. 
  3. Mix flour, cocoa and salt in a separate bowl.  Slowly add in the flour mixture being very careful not to over mix. The batter will be thick.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir up the batter with a rubber spatula once or twice just to ensure all of the flour has incorporated from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t anything stuck on the bottom of the bowl.  You’ll want one uniformly colored (red) batter.  Add Oreo chunks.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. 35 minutes for a thin crust on top and gooey underneath.  Set aside to cool, cut into bars and serve.
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