It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s exactly how these brownies were born. I NEEDED dessert. What I didn’t want was to go to the grocery store. And so I started rummaging through my baking supplies to see what I could play with. I remembered that I still had Oreos leftover from the Peanut Butter Torte that I made the week before. Score. I thought and thought, and decided that since brownies are easy and virtually mess-free with only one bowl, that Oreo brownies would be quite suitable. Then I opened the refrigerator and saw cream cheese leftover from the same torte. Hmmm, I love Oreo cheesecake… I love brownies… surely an Oreo cheesecake brownie (or something to that effect) would be good, yes? YES!
Don’t be intimidated by the cheesecake part of these brownies – they only take approximately 5 minutes longer to make than your typical brownies. And you’ll only use one extra bowl (a small one) and one extra spoon – still no KA mixer required. Stir the chunks of Oreos into the cream cheese mixture gently so you don’t end up with tons of extra crumbs. Once the dollops of cream cheese are lopped onto the top of the brownie batter, take the conservative route when swirling. Not only will it look prettier, but you’ll have a much better appreciation of the contrasting tastes of the brownies and cheesecake if it isn’t all swirled into one homogeneous mass. Most importantly: ENJOY!
For the brownies:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
For the cheesecake swirl:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 Oreo cookies, chopped
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.
2. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
3. Stir together the cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar with a spoon until smooth and well blended. Gently stir in in the chopped Oreo cookies.
4. Using a spoon, spoon the cream cheese/Oreo mixture in nine evenly-spaced dollops on top of the brownie batter. Using a dull knife or icing spatula, gently swirl the cream cheese mixture with the brownie batter. Remember, less is more here.
5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan and the batter in the center of the pan feels just set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.