The problem with brownies is that they are life-ruiners. They ruin people’s lives. One minute you’re happy and carefree, doing yoga in the sunshine in your pyjamas — and then suddenly you’re sacked out on the floor, chocolate around your mouth, a third brownie in your hand with no idea how it or you got there.
Or maybe that’s just me.*
Regardless of their life-ruining qualities, they are also delicious, and about as far from being classified a health food as I am from running my own country (although in the current political climate I’m probably overqualified). Brownies are great for sharing (or not), which makes them good for parties too; corrupting those around you with baked goods is a noble pursuit.
I used to make these a lot, but now I have a lot more experience under my belt and I think I can make them even better than they once were. I’ve used the basic brownie recipe from my Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Brownies, but I’ve replaced the chocolate orange and added a couple of layers of sexiness just to keep you on your toes. There will be a fair number of ingredients, but it’s for a great cause, my friends. Stick with me.
Let’s get this road on the show.
Triple Decker Brownies (Vegetarian)
Makes 24-30 brownies
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 30-35 mins
(this will be dependent on your oven,
and the baking tray you’ve used,
so use common sense here)
32 x 19cm tray, lined with greaseproof paper; two large bowls (or just one – you can be thrifty and re-use in this recipe); one medium, microwave-safe bowl; electric whisk or regular whisk if you want to punish yourself for past crimes; spatula; cooling rack; the self-restraint of a recently resurrected Mother Teresa.
For the cookie layer (yes, there’s a cookie layer):
- 175g plain flour
- 110g spread/butter
- 180g golden caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 100g white chocolate chips
For the brownie layer:
- 95g unsalted butter
- 95g dark chocolate
- 60g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 140g caster sugar
- 1/2 large bar Oreo chocolate (or similar)
For the middle layer:
- 2 x 154g packs double-stuff Oreos (or cookies & cream sandwich biscuits – you might not need the whole packet, but you can definitely eat the leftovers. Chef perks)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Start making the cookie layer in the first bowl by beating together the butter/spread and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat again until combined. Sift in the flour (or go crazy and buy pre-sifted flour) then beat again. Stir through the chocolate chips and turn out the mixture into the lined tin, spreading it evenly and pressing down until you have an even layer of cookie dough. TOP TIP: if you do this with slightly wet hands, it will be a whole lot easier.
- Either give your bowl a quick wipe or switch to your second mixing bowl to make the brownie batter. Add the egg and egg yolk and pour in the sugar, then beat together with a whisk (regular or electric – whatever your poison) for around 5 minutes or until pale and roughly doubled in size. Finely chop the dark chocolate and cube the butter, and place them together in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30 second bursts, stirring together until it’s melted. Just like with the choc orange brownies, be careful not to burn it, because burnt chocolate will make you sad. Set the chocolate mixture aside to cool while you chop up the Oreo chocolate into rough chunks, then set this aside too.
- Get your Oreo biscuits out (for the lads). Lay them in rows across the cookie dough, filling the space as much as possible until completely covered. You may need to break up a few to fill in the gaps, and you may not necessarily be able to cover the whole layer totally evenly, but it doesn’t need to be perfect so don’t fuss too much with this step.
- Back to the brownie mix! Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl holding the sugar and eggs, and use a rubber spatula to get all the bits of buttery melted chocolate from the bottom and sides. If it’s still quite warm, pour the mixture down the side of the bowl, as this will be cooler, and means less likelihood of getting chocolatey scrambled eggs. Gross. Carefully stir this in until almost combined, then add your flour. Fold everything together until combined, but don’t beat too hard.
- Pour the batter over the cookie dough and biscuits and smooth out as much as possible. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES: scatter over the Oreo chocolate and press it down so that it sinks into the batter, as spreading a really chunky brownie mix is no fun at all.
- Put into the middle shelf of the oven for around 30-35 minutes until the top is starting to darken in spots across the surface. If it starts to brown too much on top, you can cover it with foil or turn the oven down a little if need be. Leave to cool on a cooling rack for at least an hour, then turn out onto the rack and transfer to the fridge. Once it’s cooled for a further hour or so (or overnight, which is best), cut it into squares and tempt all the locals into your den of debauchery. Or just give them to your friends – whatever.
Sweet, oozy goodness. Christ. I’m slightly regretting saying I would give the majority of these away, but I think my arteries will thank me.
(Also can you tell I just found out about different photo layouts on here? This is the funkiest post I’ve ever made)
*I’ve done some research and it’s definitely just me. Sorry for the confusion.
Bonus pictures of the illicit love child of these brownies and the Chocolate Orange Cheesecake ones: