14 July 2012

Brownies, you're the BOMB!

I don't need much of an excuse to bake.
Any of these reasons would do:
  • Mr. Cranky-Pants birthday
  • Kristi's birthday
  • Lindsay's birthday
  • Mr. Cranky-Pants visit to Portland (and he insists that I bake him something every. single. time. he visits.)
  • and because of this...

Trader Joe's is now selling crack, er... Speculoos Cookie Butter. 

Since all of the above reasons happened within two weeks time, it wasn't just a good excuse to bake, it was a necessity - and it needed to be over the top good. I have been holding on to this recipe, waiting for a good time to pull it out and drop this sugar bomb. This was it!

A gal at Bible study bought these one week and they were unreal! I'm not sure what she called them, but I have dubbed them "Brownie Bombs" because they are deceptively heavy and fall with a thud, because they cause an explosion on your taste buds, and it feels like a bomb went off in your belly after eating one. A very tasty sugary bomb. 

Start with these essentials:
Okay, those who know me, will understand that I tend to tinker and rarely follow a recipe exactly as written. It's that rebellious spirit in me. So let me state up-front that it would be easier to buy a box brownie mix and fix it according to the package directions. And the original ones I based this on used creamy peanut butter instead of Cookie Butter. But, c'mon! Why? WHY? Why would you use peanut butter when God created Cookie Butter?!?!

1 box of chocolate flavored cake mix (such as Devil's Food Cake, Dark Chocolate, etc.)
2 eggs
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), very soft
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup of water
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Also needed...
- 1 1/2 boxes of chocolate sandwich cookies (I recommend Trader Joe's Joe-Joe's, or Whole Foods 365 sandwich cremes, but not the national brand that comes in the blue box.)
-1 jar of Speculoos Cookie Butter (or peanut butter, but not the natural kind like Adam's brand)

Optional toppings...
Trader Joe's "Way More Chocolate Chips Cookies"
8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 packet of Starbucks Via instant coffee powder

Preheat the oven to 350°
Add the cake mix and butter to an electric stand mixer (or a large bowl and use a hand mixer) and combine slightly, add in all of the remaining ingredients and mix for a couple minutes. It will be a very thick batter. Because of the fluffy thickness, again, it may be easier to mix up a regular brownie mix that is a bit runnier. But, I made a couple just brownie cupcakes (because I ran out of cookie butter. GASP! The horror!!) and they were pretty much the best brownie I've had in a long time. Just make the cake mix brownie batter. And if you are wondering why I made brownies using a cake mix, well... I'm trying to use up my stash of unhealthy food and get it out of my house. 
Set the brownie batter aside.

Take two (yes, 2. 1,2, do-si-dos) of the sandwich cookies. Smear one with a big dollop of cookie butter and sandwich it together with the second cookie. Like this...
Drop this into a cupcake liner in a muffin pan.

An alternative, if you are not using the nasty chemical blue box kind, is to twist a sandwich cookie apart and spread the inside with cookie butter and only use the one cookie. I tried lots of variations. Several variations on cookie to butter ratio, and methods of application, and various baking times. Each batch looked a little different.

Cover each cookie with brownie batter. One of the variations I tried was putting a scoop of brownie batter into the cup and pushed the cookie sandwich down into it - that didn't work quite as well. If it had been regular (read, runny) brownie batter, it might have been better. I was trying to get the brownie to encase the sandwich better. If you find a way that works, let me know.
Bake for somewhere between 18-24 minutes. (Sorry, you'll have to figure it out exactly.) 
While the brownie bombs are cooling, mix up the ganache by adding all the ingredients into a microwave safe bowl or to a double boiler. In the microwave, heat in 20 second increments, stirring in-between until it is smooth. Spread a spoonful of the ganache on top of the cupcake and top with a "Way More Chocolate Chips Cookie." 
You'll end up with this...

It is very nice!!

Wondering what it looks like on the inside? Are you prepared for this? These really are the bomb-diggity-dot-com best brownies.

Oh, yeah! You can thank me now - and later. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These look so good.. I want to try them...
Your posts always make me laugh at some point and that makes them even more fun to read.