This post is short and sweet, just like these Surprise-Inside Brownies. Eating chocolate is desirable year round, but shipping chocolate in warm weather (not to mention HOT weather) is a mistake. Brownies are the ideal way to enjoy melt-free chocolate in the heat. Surprise-Inside Brownies start with a desert-safe recipe that make shipping chocolate to even the desert a possibility! When baked in an individual serving brownie pan, these brownies have a chocolatey crunch outside and a soft and fudge-like interior. The sprinkles are festive, BUT wait until you see the surprise hidden inside.
I explained in my last post that I was trying to keep things simple right now. So, would you think I was crazy or creative if I told you that I scraped the cream filling out of 20 double stuff Oreos, colored the filling, then piped it back onto the Oreos? Don’t answer yet! What if I said that the entire process took only 30 minutes? Perhaps I already know your answer. I admit that even at 30 minutes it sounds a little bit crazy, but making your own colored Oreos is so much fun and full of potential uses. Holiday colors. Gender reveal. School colors. The color filled Oreos can be served on their own or hidden inside a brownie as a surprise!
Surprise-Inside Brownies were created for my 4th of July military care package, but they could be made any colors appropriate for your occasion. I used Double Stuff Oreos (and the filling of 3 extra cookies) so that I would have plenty of filling to work with. To make red, white, and blue Oreos, I twisted apart the cookies and scraped the filling into three small bowls. The white filling only needs to be mashed with the back of a spoon until smooth. For the blue and the red, a drop of gel food coloring (Americolor Sky Blue or True Red) is added to the filling and mixed until smooth and evenly colored. Transfer each filling into the corner of a separate small sandwich bag. Snip a small piece of the corner off each bag, then pipe alternating rows of frosting back onto an Oreo half and top with the other half, pressing gently to adhere. Crazy easy.
I hid the patriotic Oreos inside these fudgy (desert-safe) brownies. This recipe can be prepared in individual portions in a pan with square cups, or in a cupcake pan. The batter also works well in a 9” x 13” pan. Stored at room temperature in an airtight container, Surprise-Inside Brownies will stay chewy for at least 2 weeks.
Appropriately for July 4th, Surprise-Inside Brownies are sure to make a bang when a bite is taken and the surprise is discovered! Watch for my next post to read about the rest of the patriotic military care package contents, including directions for Fireworks Cookies!
- 1 ½ all-purpose flour
- 1 cup baking cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark for deep brown color and richer taste)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- ⅔ cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening
- 2 cups granulated (white) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 21 Double Stuff Oreos
- Food coloring gel (I used Americolor Sky Blue and True Red)
- Decorative sugar or sprinkles
- TO PREPARE COLOR FILLED OREOS: To make red, white, and blue Oreos, twist apart the cookies and scrape the filling into three small bowls. Mash the white filling with the back of a spoon until smooth. For the blue and the red, add a drop of gel food coloring to the filling and mix until smooth and evenly colored. Transfer each filling into the corner of a separate small sandwich bag. Snip a small piece of the corner off each bag, then pipe alternating rows of frosting back onto an Oreo half and top with the other half, pressing gently to adhere.
- WHEN READY TO BAKE: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare a baking pan of your choice. A 12-cup pan should be sprayed with non-stick spray. If you plan to mail an entire pan of brownies in a disposable pan, lightly grease the disposable pan with vegetable shortening. If you plan to remove the brownies from a 9” x 13” pan baking pan ( to wrap whole, to wrap after cutting, or to cut and eat at home), foil line the baking pan, allowing for a little overhang (for easy lifting later) and spray with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the shortening, sugar, and eggs. Beat until light in color and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Gradually add in the flour mixture, until combined.
- Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
- FOR A 9” x13” PAN: Spread half of the batter evenly into the pan. Gently press the Oreos into the batter. Top with the remaining batter. Use a spatula or spoon to smooth the surface.
- FOR INDIVIDUAL BROWNIES: Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter into each individual cup. Gently press an Oreo into the center of each cup so that the batter comes up around the edges of the Oreo. Top each cookie with a tablespoon of batter and smooth to cover the Oreo completely. The cup will be almost, but not quite, full.
- Bake for 20-28 minutes, depending on the pan being used. The toothpick test doesn’t work very well because of all of the melting chocolate chips. If the top is firm, take it out. Cool completely in the pan.
- Store brownies at room temperature in an airtight container or zip lock bag for at least 2 weeks.