Ha, that rhymed and I didn't even even mean to...
Obviously my February SRC post has me completely giddy. And I bet you can guess why by simply taking a glance at these photos, which do not do these bars of over-the-top goodness any justice. I really need to work on my photographic and creativity skills.
For my fourth round of SRC, I was assigned to one of the most intriguing blogs to date: The Kitchen Witch by Rhonda. However, it wasn't simply because of her wondrous recipes. No, I'm mainly saying this because of the blog name! The Kitchen Witch? I mean, at face value it's not completely outrageous but what caught my attention was Rhonda's background section, which explained all about her and how the name 'Kitchen Witch' caught on. To begin, Rhonda is basically a bad ass. Excuse my French, but she is. Rhonda describes herself as "a middle-aged blogger, above average home cook, and avid motorcycle rider." Wha, wha, what?! Yea, like I said. BA and I love it. And as for the blog name, here's what Rhonda has to say about the history of the Kitchen Witch:
There is some debate over the exact country where the kitchen witch originated, some claiming Norway and others Germany, but consensus points to it stemming from older European customs. The poppet is supposed to depict a “good” witch who inspires productivity and safety in a kitchen, but also counteracts any ill-will directed to the home. It is considered good luck to give a kitchen witch to a friend or family member. So that those unfamiliar with the kitchen witch can understand its meaning, sometimes a note will be hung around the witch’s neck stating something similar to:
"The Legendary Secret of Goof-Proof Cooking: The Famous Kitchen Witch"
For centuries, Norwegians have hung this good witch in their kitchen. They believe she has the power to keep roasts from burning, pots from boiling over, and sauces from spilling.
No more baking flops? Hmm, I think someone needs to give me a kitchen witch, dang it. But aside from that, isn't that such an interesting tid bit of info?! I had never heard of a Kitchen Witch before but I've absolutely fallen in love with the idea...and Rhonda's blog!
So to begin my search through the Kitchen Witch recipes, I knew I wanted to find a recipe that I could use for Valentine's Day. I know, you've probably been overloaded with hearts and sappy stories, but this will be my last one for this holiday. I [kind of] promise. So I narrowed down my list of Rhonda's recipes to Maple Rum Pecan Cupcakes with Candied Bacon, Chocolate-covered Cherry Cookies, and Oreo Cookie Brownies. Okay, the first two options sound delish, right? But can you blame me for opting for the Oreo-filled bar? I think not.
You can see from my picture illustration above that these brownies are anything but ordinary. Let's see, where to begin? We'll just start from the bottom up. Rhonda's original recipe called for a boxed brownie mix and canned frosting, but if you know me, I try to make almost everything I can from scratch. Don't get me wrong, boxed mixes are fabulous, quick, and easy, but when I have the time, I go the homemade route. So I decided to use the brownie recipe from my Raspberry Truffle Brownies, because those are dang good. Tender, super fudgy, rich brownie? Check. Next, we move onto what I now call the Oreo Crunch. In Rhonda's recipe, her treat had an Oreo crust. Now, I followed the directions just as Rhonda's listed them but I noticed that the crust tended to crumble a bit during handling. So to mitigate this issue, I flipped the brownies upside down and the crust became the 'crunch'! Finally, the brownie-crunch combo is topped with an outrageous homemade Vanilla Buttercream. Robbie went as far to say that this was the best buttercream I had ever made. And we've had our fair share of buttercreams! So I'm sure you can imagine the decadence eminating from this dessert. Brownies. Oreos. Buttercream. WHEW!
Thanks again, Rhonda, for this wonderful dessert. I will most definitely be making these again, as they were a hit at both my work and Robbie's! Yes, I made them TWICE in two days! Enough said .
- As you can see, I went Valentine's Day festive and cut out my brownies in the shapes of hearts. Too cute, right? Right. But be mindful that you must be careful when cutting these suckers out and taking them from the cookie cutter, because the brownies are very soft and the crust can be a bit fragile when not completely cooled.
- As you can see below, I included the directions that Rhonda lists on her blog, using boxed brownies and canned frosting. But if you want to use exactly what I did, click on the links above to take you to the recipes.
- To make the cookie crumbs, you can either use a food processor or place the Oreo's in a ziploc bag and roll over the cookies using a rolling pin until finely crushed. Don't forget to take out the filling before you do either though! Also, the entire package of Oreo's makes more crumbs than you need for the crust, so keep the remaining crumbs and sprinkle them over top the brownies once they're frosted.
Oreo Crust [Crunch]:
2 c. cookie crumbs (from 1 package of Oreo's)
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 box brownie mix, including ingredients listed on box
1 container vanilla frosting
Reserved cookie crumbs (for sprinkling)
Mini Oreos (optional for decorating)
- Heat oven to 350F. For the crust [crunch], mix the cookie crumbs and butter together in a small bowl. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of a 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes and let cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare brownies according to package directions. Pour the batter evenly over the crust. Bake according to package directions. Let brownies cool completely.
- Frost brownies as desired and sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. Top with mini Oreo's as decorations.