Oreo Brownie Parfaits

Bars, Custard | September 27, 2015 | By

Hi guys! Who doesn’t love a good combo of different kinds of chocolate? It’s really undeniable, these things are pretty fantastic. 

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I just got my wisdom teeth removed this weekend, so my ability to eat normal food has been temporarily suspended, so a dessert like this is exactly what I needed. The great thing about parfaits, or their larger counter-part, trifles, is that you can really put whatever the heck you want in there. I basically always like to have several different textures, with at least one solid item like cake, brownies, or fruit. 

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My original plan was actually to make a full on trifle, but I couldn’t locate my trifle dish. It’s cool, mason jars are cute, amiright? Plus it makes a bunch of single-serve desserts, generous single servings at that. I don’t know about you, but I love it when I don’t have to share my dessert. 

Basically, this particular parfait recipe is made up of some of my favorite staple recipes; chocolate pudding, brownies, whipped cream, plus Oreo cookies. If you’ve never made your own chocolate pudding, today’s the day to start- it’s really quite easy, and it tastes amazing. If you’ve never made homemade whipped cream, you may have never known real love. 

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Here’s the breakdown of my favorite recipes that I put together in these pretty parfaits- layer in some chocolate pudding, a little whipped cream, brownie chunks, Oreo chunks, and repeat the whole thing until your jars are full. Share them with your friends, or hoard them in your fridge for your own enjoyment!

Oreo Brownie Parfaits

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Pudding

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs. butter

For the Brownies

  • 8 tbs. butter
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbs. instant vanilla pudding
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

For the Parfaits

  • 6 mason jars
  • 15 Oreo cookies broken into chunks

Instructions

For the Chocolate Pudding

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, cream, and vanilla.
  3. Whisk the milk mixture into the sugar mixture. Cook on medium heat until thick, whisking constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate and butter until smooth. Pour pudding through a mesh siv to remove any lumps, and refrigerate immediately.

For the Brownies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 8 x 8 pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt together the butter and the unsweetened chocolate. Remove from heat, and cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Add in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Then add the flour, salt, and chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into the baking sheet, and bake for 35 minutes or until set. Cool completely.

For the Whipped Cream

  1. Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until you have very soft peaks.
  2. Add in the vanilla pudding and the powdered sugar, and whip together until you've got stiff peaks.

For the Parfaits

  1. Layer your mason jars with chocolate pudding, whipped cream, brownies, and oreos as you see fit- no judgement here!

Peanut Butter Brownies

Bars | July 23, 2015 | By

Every time I bake, my husband asks for two things; pumpkin muffins, and peanut butter brownies. I rarely make either- that way when I do, it’s particularly special. 

And let me tell you, these are special. 

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In fact, these may just be the best brownies I’ve ever made. You should make them too- let’s all bask in the glory that is peanut butter and chocolate. 

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It all started because I forgot that there’s such a thing as a peanut butter chips in the baking aisle. They caught my eye the other day, and there’s a good chance that I ate every single one that didn’t go into these brownies- they’re so good! In my opinion, considerably better to munch on than just regular old chocolate chips. 

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I’ve always struggled with making brownies from scratch. I have a couple of good recipes, but I never loved any of them as much as a boxed-mix brownie, and I don’t think there’s any other baked good that I’ve felt that way about. This recipe, though, has finally broken through the boxed-mix brownies. It’s really pretty awesome, and it’s just about as easy as a recipe comes. Maybe that was the problem- I may have been over complicating it before. 

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So if you take what is already a very awesome brownie recipe, and add in peanut butter AND peanut butter chips, what do you get? Happiness basically. 

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The batter is made entirely in a pan, and there’s very few dishes involved which is always a plus. I used crunchy peanut butter for this recipe to give it some added texture, but you can use smooth and it’ll still be pretty fantastic. You can even add in more peanuts if you love them. For me though, the crunchy peanut butter was the perfect addition. 

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Enjoy this one guys- it’s really, REALLY awesome!

Peanut Butter Brownies

Ingredients

  • 8 tbs. butter
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbs. peanut butter chips
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a medium pot over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together. Cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Then add the 1/2 cup peanut butter chips.
  4. Stir in the flour and salt. Pour into an 8x8 greased pan.
  5. In a small bowl, microwave the peanut butter for 20 seconds, or until it's thin and smooth. Drop the peanut butter in teaspoon-fulls on top of the brownie batter, and swirl it in.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining chips over the top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until set.

Salted Caramel Brownies

Salted Caramel Brownies

Bars | July 20, 2014 | By

Salted caramel things are pretty fashionable right now, and I wanna be cool, so I’ve finally gotten around to making something with this flavor combo. 

But really though, it’s a pretty great flavor combination, and if you haven’t had the salted caramel hot chocolate at Starbucks, you gotta get that. 

Homemade Brownies

 

This time around, I decided to re-do my old brownie recipe. While it was always tasty, I thought it needed a bit of a texture revamp. Then, I topped it with a caramel sauce and coarse sea salt that popular flavor combo. Still, this new recipe is even better than the last, and it’s a great brownie all on its own. 

Salted Caramel Brownies

 

I added chocolate chips to the brownies just to add an extra kick of chocolate and sweetness, and you could also add nuts if you prefer. I prefer just straight chocolate because… well because nuts take up room for more chocolate. 

Salted Caramel Brownies

 

It’s a super easy recipe, and you can use any caramel sauce that you prefer, or you can make your own. 

Salted Caramel Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Caramel sauce for drizzling
  • Coarse sea salt for the top

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar.
  2. Add in the cocoa and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the water.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Slowly mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Grease a 9x13 pan or an 11x7 pan for thicker brownies.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until set.
  7. Cool, and then drizzle your caramel and sprinkle your salt. Enjoy!

Brown Butter Caramel Rice Crispy Treats

Bars | July 9, 2014 | By

Rice crispy treats are probably my most frequently made dessert item. Why? Because they’re super easy, duh! I mean come on, regular rice crispy treats are only three ingredients, and they take ten minutes start to finish. Start to eating time. That’s an ideal situation in my book.

I once sat with my friends around a table and we thought of every interesting and possible variation of rice crispy treats we could. Because they’re great. In all forms, easy and complicated, whoever thought of rice crispy treats is a genius in my book (Malitta Jensen and Mildred Day, to be exact).

This time I decided to spruce up the old crispy favs with some brown butter and caramel sauce. They’re kind of incredible, and really don’t take a whole lot more effort on the whole, which is great!

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To make brown butter, add the butter to your large saucepan, like you normally would for the treats. Bring the butter to a boil, then begin to stir constantly for 3-4 minutes until you start to see the butter really change in color. Don’t burn it, remove it from the heat once it starts to brown, and then add your marshmallows and put it back on the heat. 

The brown butter really just adds a touch of depth to the traditional flavor, and brings out the caramel sauce flavor too. I used a store-bought caramel sauce, and you can use whatever brand you like, or even make your own. I didn’t make mine because, well, rice crispy treats are supposed to be easy, and caramel is less than easy. 

Enjoy!

Brown Butter Caramel Rice Crispy Treats

Ingredients

  • 5 tbs. butter
  • 1 pkg marshmallows
  • 6 or so cups of rice crispy cereal I tend to eyeball this and then add more as needed
  • Caramel sauce

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, brown your butter. Remove from the heat to prevent burning. Then, add your marshmallows and put back onto the heat.
  2. Stir until marshmallows are completely melted.
  3. Add in your cereal and stir until combined.
  4. Pour about half of the mixture into a buttered cake pan.
  5. Drizzle caramel sauce on top of this layer. Pour in the rest, and press everything down firmly into the pan.
  6. Drizzle more caramel sauce on top. Cool and enjoy!

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

Bars, Custard | June 23, 2014 | By

I’m a huge fan of key lime pie, as is one of my best friends Gabby, so, I’ve made several traditional key lime pies over the last couple of years. That being said, I’ve also eaten a great deal of the stuff. For me, there’s just nothing like a really tart dessert, and key limes provide the perfect balance of tart and sweet. 

Once, I actually made a pie with fresh key lime juice. Bought myself a whole bag of key limes from the store, and it was a horrible decision. Seriously, those things are so flippin small, I must have squeezed at least 35 of them. My wrists and hands were killing me and honestly, it’s just not worth it. 

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Here’s the good news though- most grocery stores sell key lime juice in a bottle and it’s awesome. Super easy, not even expensive, and I swear you won’t notice any difference in taste. Don’t sacrifice your wrists for the love of limes. 

This time around I decided to combine two of my favorite loves- key lime pie and cheesecake. The result is something more rich and creamy than traditional key lime pie, but it still carries a great lime flavor. I also added pecans to the crust for a different texture and flavor. I love these bars, and if you cut them small, it’s a great bit-size treat. I added whipped cream to calm down the tartness and it’s a great mix. Enjoy!

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Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 9-10 graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans
  • 2 tbs. melted butter
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

For the filling

  • 2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice or lime juice
  • 1/4 flour

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor to pulse together the graham crackers and pecans into crumbs.
  2. Add in the butter and almond extract.
  3. Pour crust into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper, and press down firmly.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time. Then add the juice and flour alternating in two parts each, starting with the flour.
  6. Pour the filling over the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until the top starts to brown.
  7. Cool completely and chill before serving!
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