Monday, 25 May 2009


So, these are truly the brownies that have used up all of my spare ingredients. I have no more sugar, no more cocoa powder, no more eggs, and only a little bit of flower left. That being said, I still have at least half a bottle of vegetable oil kicking about. I’m afraid it will be consigned to the gathering heap of abandoned food on the counter of the annexe kitchen.

As well as baking these to use up the last of my ingredients, a large group of my friends also have their last exam tomorrow. I plan on greeting them outside with goodies and a huge hug. The poor guys have been studying like mad for their biology of organisms exam, whilst I’ve been free since last Wednesday.

I got the original recipe from Baking Bites, the food blog that got me interested in food blogging. I have to say, that although these brownies are undoubtedly good, I’m not sure if they’re my favourite. Now, please let me explain myself.

There is nothing wrong with this recipe, at all. But I made some changes because of the equipment and ingredients I had on hand. So perhaps this is what has made the difference. First of all, the recipe called for butter. Like I said, I had a large amount of vegetable oil to use up, so I decided to opt out of buying butter and just use the oil. Most websites said that this was a perfectly legit substitution.

Secondly, I did not put as much cocoa powder in as the original recipe suggested. It said to add a 1/3 cup and I probably had just over a ¼ cup left. This is possibly why the brownies are “good” but not “omg, I could eat a whole pan” good. I love the rich, rich taste of cocoa and dark chocolate. These brownies are to my dream brownies as milk chocolate is to dark chocolate. Don’t get me wrong; I love milk chocolate. But I was hoping – perhaps a bit inanely considering I didn’t have that much cocoa powder – for a darker taste.

Thirdly, the recipe called for crushed up mint Oreos. Sadly, as a student in Scotland, mint Oreos are a) hard to find and b) out of my pathetically cheap budget. Instead, I picked up some bourbon biscuits, which consist of a dollop of chocolate icing sandwiched between two chocolate biscuits. Perhaps the mint flavour is what is missing?

Lastly, I had a 9”x13” pan at the beginning of the year. Heck, I can remember using it in March. But I had a look in my bag of baking/cooking supplies and lo and behold, it has evaporated. So, I had two options: not make the brownies (not really an option at all), or use my two 8” cake tins. Obviously, I opted for the cake tins. The recipe indicated that the brownies should be done after 35 minutes. Mine were in there for 50 minutes and the insides are still quite fudgy. Granted, the surface area of the two cake tins is about square inches smaller than that of the 9”x13” pan.

So, all in all, I’d say these are a fudgy, chocolatey brownie for those with a serious sweet tooth. The edges are crispy, whilst the centre is like eating fudge – something that made them a bit tricky to cut cleanly. Still, I’ll see how they’re received tomorrow and give them another taste to see how they have fared the day after.

Edit: I have to say, they are good the next day. The centres have solidified a wee bit, so that they’re at the nice stage of fudgy and not the undercooked stage. They were much enjoyed by all of my much-relieved-to-be-done-first-year-uni friends. Still, I wish there was a bit more of a cocoa-y “oomph” – like the centre of a dark chocolate truffle (divine!).

Bourbon Cream Biscuit Brownies

Adapted from Baking Bites

Peppermint Cookies n’ Cream Brownies
1 cup vegetable oil
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups roughly chopped Bournon cream biscuits (approx 18)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 8" cake tins with baking paper.
In a medium-large saucepan over low heat, melt together oil and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Whisk in sugar, salt and vanilla, then turn off heat. Whisk in eggs one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in flour and cocoa powder until mixture is uniform. Stir in Bourbon cream biscuits and pour batter into prepared pan. Crush 3-4 additional cookies finely and sprinkle on top of batter, if desired.
Bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, but not coated with batter.
Cool brownies in pan for about 20 minutes, then lift brownies in the foil out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Makes 36 brownies.

So, what do you think? Should brownies be sweet and fudgy, like the best bits of a chocolate bar? Or like the inside of a dark chocolate truffle. Mmmm. I think you know my vote already. ;)

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