Surprise-Inside Brownies start with a heat safe recipe that even make shipping chocolate to the desert a possibility! Baked in an individual serving brownie pan, these brownies have a chocolaty crunch outside and a soft and fudge-like interior. The sprinkles are festive, BUT wait until you see the surprise hidden inside.
Why you'll love this recipe
Eating chocolate may be desirable year round, but shipping chocolate in warm weather (not to mention HOT weather) is a mistake. It's important to think about how heat can effect melting and spoiling.
Successfully mailing baked goods in the summer months is easy with the recipes using ingredients that are least likely to melt or to spoil. There are dozens of Monday Box recipes that were developed especially for shipping baked goods in hot weather!
Brownies are an ideal way to enjoy melt-free chocolate in the heat. The chocolaty goodness is baked in.
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 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 a 4th of July military care package, but they could be made with 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.
- Twist apart the cookies and scrape 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 Super 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.
I hid the patriotic sandwich cookies inside 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.
- Foil line or coat the pan with non-stick spray.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the shortening, sugar, and eggs.
- Stir in the flour mixture.
- Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
- If using a 9" x 13" pan, spread half of the batter into the pan, then press the cookies into the batter. Top with the remaining batter. Use a spatula or spoon to smooth the surface.
- If using an individual brownie pan, scoop 2 tablespoons of batter into each individual cup, then press a cookie into the center of each cup so that the batter comes up around the edges of the cookie. Top with a tablespoon of batter and smooth to cover completely.
- Bake for 20-28 minutes, depending on the pan being used.
More 4th of July recipes
Make dozens of melt in your mouth cookies in minutes with this Spritz Cookie Recipe with Shortening. Use a cookie press to make cookies in holiday colors and shapes!
Nothing is more patriotic than these crunchy Flag Cookies!
One microwave minute is all you need to make individual servings of Red, White, and Blueberry Mug Cake.
Check out the post about the Patriotic Miliary Care Package that included these brownies and 4th of July Cookies!
Surprise Inside Brownies
- 1 ½ all-purpose flour
- 1 cup baking cocoa I recommend Whole Foods 365 fairly traded brand
- 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 chocolate sandwich cookies Newman's Own, 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.
- If using a disposable pan, make sure to cool completely before wrapping the pan in foil then in plastic wrap.
- Cut brownies or brownies baked in individual cups can be double wrapped in plastic, or wrapped in foil then plastic, before storing in an airtight container or zip lock bag.
Originally published: June 19, 2016. Last Updated: June 19, 2021. Updated for better user experience.