Posts Tagged ‘Brownies’


dinner 2

Lots of desserts

dessert table 4


bar 2

More meat

dinner 3

Delicious side dishes


Too many desserts

dessert table 2


guests guests 2 lauren sara

guests newlyweds



decor 2

decor 3

room 1

Much too many desserts

dessert table after

More food than one could imagine out of a NYC kitchen


More people than you’d usually fit in a 1-bedroom apartment

getting food

5 Years of Thanksgiving with Friends

Five years ago, in what started out as a “dinner club” with two other couples, Matt and I hosted our first mock Thanksgiving dinner with friends.  Four friends came to Matt’s apartment at the time for a turkey, sweet potato casserole, and some other dishes that aren’t memorable enough to stand out in my mind.  It was a fun night and such a success that in the years that followed, our intimate dinner party of six has turned into an annual event with almost twenty friends.  It gives us an opportunity to be in the kitchen together, share an evening with many of our closest friends, and show them how thankful we are for them through delicious food.

matt lauren cooking

This year’s dinner was so much fun and full of many tasty traditional and non-traditional Thanksgiving dishes: Turkey, Brisket, Turkey Meatloaf, Salad, String Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Parmesan, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Bread/Muffins

dinner 1

And of course, as you surely already know, lots of desserts

dessert table 5

Cookie sandwiches: Red Velvet Cookie Sandwiches with White Chocolate Buttercream, Chocolate Chip Cookies with Mocha Ganache and Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Filling

sandwich cookies 2

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake bars

bars on plate 1

Cookie Dough Topped Brownies

cooke dough brownies

Gooey Caramel Butter Bars

caramel bars

Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Bars

Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream and Mocha Ganache

I am excited about the recipes I have to share from the dinner party over the next few weeks!  There are definitely some new desserts that I know I’ll be making again

What is your favorite Thanksgiving-related tradition?

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Last weekend was very exciting, we celebrated the engagement of Adam and Sara (my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law)!  Lots of champagne was involved and of course I had to bake for the occasion.

The happy couple:

engagement 2

Me with the new member of the family:

engagement 7

Looks like Matt and I are now the old married couple of the group;-)

engagement 3

The celebration was just a few days after my father-in-law’s birthday so I made this cake for him.  For the new engaged couple, I made a personalized Ice Cream Brownie.  I was very excited when Adam decided to propose to Sara.  When I asked what Sara’s favorite dessert is, he said she loves brownies with ice cream.  It didn’t take me more than a minute to decide what to make.

This is a dessert I’ve made often in the past, but the flavors always change depending on who I am baking for.  The basics stay the same:  brownie bottom, hot fudge and oreos on top of that, then cool whip and an ice cream of choice.  Pretty easy and oh so delicious.  ALWAYS a big hit.

Like I’ve said in the past, when there are enough tasty ingredients, lower fat parts don’t take away from the final product.  These No Pudge brownies are perfect for this recipe.  They are chewy and chocolaty, even when frozen, but not too rich to layer in this dessert.

brownie ingred

Brownie mix + yogurt + stir = easy!

brownie mix and yogbrownie batter

Spread batter thinly in a 13 x 9 pan sprayed with cooking spraybrownie batter in pan

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until knife comes out cleanbrownie done

Next step- hot fudge and oreos

oreo and hot fudge

You can crush the oreos in a ziploc bag by hand while your brownie is baking

crushed oreo

Spread the brownie with hot fudge before it is completely cool, it will be very easy to spread that way

oreos on brownie 1

Then cover the hot fudge with a full layer of crushed oreos

oreos on brownie 2

Then cover this entire layer in cool whip

cool whip

Since Adam and Sara have different favorite flavors that don’t really go together, mint and peanut butter, I spilt the dessert in half with a wall of oreos

cool whip on brownie 1

Once you have a full layer of cool whip, freeze the dessert for about a half hour

cool whip on brownie 2

Next layer is ice cream

ice creamice cream on brownie 2

Spread your ice cream over the layer of cool whip

ice cream on brownie 1

While I was planning the dessert, I realized we might want a way to identify each side before digging in

reeses and pepp patties 1

Pepperment patties and peanut butter cups

pepp patties

reeses and pepp patties 2

Once all of the ice cream is covered in cool whip, sprinkle the corresponding candy flavors on each side

cool whip on ice cream

full ice cream brownie 1

And serve to the happy coupleengagement 10 inside of ice cream brownie 2 inside of ice cream brownie

Ice Cream Brownie

Adapted from the Original Baker

Serves 12, generously


1 box No Pudge Brownie (or brownie mix of choice) and ingredients listed on box

1 cup hot fudge

12 oreos

4 8 ounce containers of cool whip, defrosted

1/2 gallon ice cream (or 1/2 container each of 2 different flavors), slightly softened

20 pieces chocolate candy


Bake brownie in a 13×9 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray, following instructions on box; bake for about 20 minutes or until knife comes out clean

While brownie is baking, crush oreos in a ziploc bag and set aside

Allow brownie to cool for about 10 minutes and then spread full layer of hot fudge

Layer crushed oreos over hot fudge

Spread 3 of the 4 containers of cool whip over oreos

Freeze layered dessert for about 30 minutes, or until cool whip layer is firm

Chop candy pieces while dessert is in freezer and set aside

Spread ice cream over top of cool whip

Cover ice cream with a thin layer of cool whip using 4th container

Sprinkle candy pieces over cool whip

Serve immediately or cover baking pan with tightly foil and freeze until serving

Have you celebrated anyone’s engagement recently?

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When I saw this recipe on Annie’s Blog, I knew I had to make it for Matt’s birthday.  It combines Oreos and cream cheese, 2 of his favorite dessert elements.  Plus, these are the perfect pick-up dessert for a day of guys watching football and eating chips and wings.  Oreo Cream Cheese Brownies it was.

I made very few changes to the original recipe, and they turned out really delicious.  There was only 1 brownie left on the plate by the time the guys left our apartment.  Next time I will definitely double the recipe as suggested.

I used this specialty Oreo which we had on hand.


The taster says he likes regular Oreos better.

I chopped my Oreos in a food processor leaving big chunks for a nice surprise when you bite into a brownie.  I used extra Oreos because, well, why not?

crushed oreos 

1 stick of butter? Check. 3/4 cup of sugar? Check.

sugar and butter

Boiling the sugar and butter brings out an amazing aroma.  It smelled like a candy factory in the kitchen!

butter sugar boiling

Dry ingredients mixed separately as usual.

 dry ingred

All the liquids together.

wet ingredients

I liberally poured in the Oreos.

pouring oreos

batter in pan 

I used a full 8-ounce package of cream cheese and increased the powdered sugar and vanilla as well.

mixing cream cheese

Blob it on.

all of batter in pan

Swirl and bake!  Although you can stick a knife in to assess if the brownies are done, you will still see some batter when you pull it out.  Since the cream cheese mixture stays moist, it is a little more tricky than usual.  I suggest moving the pan from side to side to see if they are firm.

baked in pan

They might be easier to cut if you let them cool, but they taste delicious warm!

brownies stacked

brownies on plate

brownies on plate 2

This recipe is very slightly adapted from Annie’s.

Oreo Cream Cheese Brownies


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 dash of salt
2 large eggs
¼ cup milk
2½ cups chopped Oreos
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9×9 pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter and sugar over medium level heat, whisking frequently until boiling.  Allow to boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.  Set aside.

Combine remaining dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Once butter and sugar mixture has cooled slightly, whisk in eggs and milk.

Add wet ingredients to dry and combine.

Stir in Oreo pieces.

Spread brownie batter into pan.

Using an electric mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat the cream cheese until fluffy. 

Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until well combined.

Drop cream cheese mixture onto brownie batter. 

With a knife, draw lines back and forth through mixture to swirl.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until firm.  Do not overbake.


I used light cream cheese which worked out nicely.  However, regular cream cheese would make for a richer brownie.

Next time I’d consider doubling the cream cheese mixture to make it a thicker layer.

I’d definitely double this recipe and cook in a 9×13 pan as suggested by Annie.  I think these would freeze really well if you manage to have any leftovers.


What are some baking questions that you have?  I am putting together a page with different tips I have learned and come up with over the years.  If there are any you are embarrassed to ask, feel free to send me a message on the Contact page.

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