Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gooey Cookies and Cream Double Chocolate Cake Bars

Gooey Cookies and Cream Double Chocolate Cake Bars - made March 1, 2014 from Picky Palate
I was making up care packages and needed a bar cookie to go with the Texas Sheet Cake I made earlier. I saw this on pinterest and had half a package of Oreos to use up so it seemed like a good one to try. You'll notice it has cake mix as an ingredient and you know my prejudice against those. One of the care packages I was sending was to my friend Kendra who, in the past, has unwittingly tormented me by making things from box mixes. It isn't so much that she uses the mixes (I try to tell myself that's none of my business, it's a free country, I don't have to be there to witness it, etc) but that she thinks the box mix product is just fine or "will do" in place of scratch when she wants something as convenient as "ripping open the box". I get it. Sort of. So I decided to try out this recipe and send it along with made-from-scratch baked goods to see if she (or I) will really think the box mix stuff is just as good.
Whenever I use a box mix, I always run it through my sifter first, not only to get rid of the lumps but to keep out the very hard lumpy lumps left after I finish sifting it all (pictured above). I kid you not - this is what's in every mix; particles so hard that they don't break up and can't be sifted through a strainer. They're not chocolate chips either but are rather like little pebbles. Ugh, I draw the line at including them in my baked goods.
Texture-wise, these didn't turn out very gooey but that was my fault. In a rare move, I think I baked these longer than I should have. The sweetened condensed milk was still "raw looking" so I baked it longer but in hindsight, I shouldn't have. The bar cookies weren't necessarily dry but just normal. But you don't want normal for "gooey" cake bars; you want - well - gooey. Did I subconsciously sabotage these bars because of my cake-mix prejudices? Maybe. So mine didn't turn out as good-looking as the ones from Picky Palate. Taste-wise these were okay but I think they would've been better had I not baked them for as long as I did. I liked the crunch from the Oreos but the rest of the bar cookie was just standard.
1 devil's food cake mix
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
14 Oreo cookies, broken into bite-size pieces
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13" baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place cake mix, butter and egg into a large bowl, mixing to combine. Press into prepared baking pan, making an even layer. Top with broken pieces of Oreo cookies.
  3. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over cookie pieces and top with chocolate chips. Bake for 23-25 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool. Lift out of pan using foil ends and cut into squares.

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