Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Every year I try to make my boyfriend (now fiance) a tasty treat for Valentine’s Day. Last year I made him these red velvet cheesecake brownies. They weren’t as fabulous as I had hoped so this year I decided to try these red velvet Oreo truffle brownies that I found on Pinterest instead! I went out last night and bought all of my ingredients so I could start making the treats as soon as I got home from work today so they would be ready for V-Day.
I started baking – I preheated the oven, got out all of my ingredients and started reading step 1. “Combine cake mix, melted butter, eggs, pudding mix, vegetable oil…Wait, what? Pudding mix??” Oops. Somehow when I was reviewing the recipe for the ingredients I had missed this one. I had no pudding mix – I didn’t buy any and we don’t keep it in the house and I was NOT going out to buy some at this stage. Hmmmmm, what to do?
To fix my problem I had to go rogue and go OFF of Pinterest. I googled “brownies from red velvet cake mix” and found this recipe on the Duncan Hines site (shhhhhh…don’t tell them I used a Pillsbury mix!) Success! Well sort of…of course now the entire front end of the recipe I was trying to make was going to be completely different but oh well – you win some, you lose some.
I followed the Duncan Hines recipe exactly except for I didn’t measure the chocolate chips that I added – I just used one half-ish pour right from a bag of mini chips. I was concerned at this stage…I’ve never had a dense brownie mix that didn’t pour out of the pan…and I mean DENSE. But I was this far in so may as well carry on. I popped the “brownies” in the oven and went back to my original recipe.
At this point I was on step 4 – crushing the Oreos. I’ve had to crush Oreos before and I don’t know what it is but the food processor method never works for me. I need to do them in small batches and they never get as crumbly as I want. So I went with the rolling pin and plastic bag method this time (be sure to double bag in case the one the cookies is in breaks!) I pounded away for 5 or so minutes and got my cookies perfectly crumbled. I poured them in the bowl for my stand mixer and added 1 package of neufchatel cheese (I know the recipe says to use actual cream cheese but come on, these are decadent enough, let’s lighten them up at least a little!) and mixed until smooth.
What Your Cookie Mixture Should Look Like
My brownies only took about 30 minutes to cook as opposed to the 40-45 that Duncan Hines suggests in the recipe.
Now all that was left was to assemble the layers. I added the Oreo layer…it is very difficult to spread. I couldn’t even get it out to the edges and it comes out kind of lumpy. I honestly was going to skip the last step of adding the melted chocolate, throw some chocolate chips on top and call it a day but the naked Oreo layer just looked so ugly I couldn’t even bring myself to photograph it to show you.
So I melted down 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips and 1 cup of semi-sweet together. Why you may ask? Because this is what I had in the house – if you haven’t realized by now I keep things very loosey-goosey-fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants in the kitchen. I poured the chocolate on top, added some more mini chips on top and I was done! Yay!
I can’t really critique the recipe since let’s be honest I barely followed it. I also can’t comment on the taste since I won’t give them to my fiance until tomorrow night. But I will come back and update you all with how it went!
Now go bake some treats to enjoy with your sweetheart or just to pamper yourself this Valentine’s Day!
UPDATE: February 14th, 2013
The finished product is amazing! The brownie layer is actually the perfect consistency to hold the other two layers. Its a little denser than your traditional layer but still moist like a brownie and they have great red velvet flavor!
Here’s a pic of them cut…