Triple Layer Brownies

This is the first of many Pampered Chef recipes that are going to show up on this blog.  Why?  Because they have SOOO many recipes to experiment with, it’s not even funny.  So, here’s to the first of many!  If you’ve made these before, you may notice a slight variation in the recipe from the original…but overall, it’s still the same basic recipe.  Bottom layer is a chocolate chip cookie, middle layer is an Oreo cookie, and the top layer is a brownie.  What?!  Yes!  Hence the name, triple layer brownies.  😉

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A lot of the Pampered Chef recipes are very easy.  This is one of those recipes, and they are equally as delicious as they are to prepare.  Since I didn’t have the brownie pan yet (where this recipe came from), I had to slightly alter the recipe to make these in a regular muffin pan until I could get my hands on a brownie pan…so I’ll just tell you how to make them in a muffin pan for now.

Triple Layer Brownies Recipe:

(makes two pans)

1 package chocolate chip cookie dough (24 count pop and bake)

24 Oreo cookies

1 box of brownie mix and ingredients to make

1 cup milk (for dipping Oreos)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.  Mix package of brownie mix according to package directions.  Place 1 square of cookie dough in the bottom of each muffin well, press down evenly.  Top with 1 Oreo cookie (dipped in milk) and 1 Medium Scoop of brownie mix.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

*Dipping the Oreo cookie in milk is optional.  This makes the cookie soft, so if you prefer crunchy Oreo cookies, just omit this step!

Black Bottom Pumpkin Pies

While reading through a Fall Recipes magazine, I came across a recipe for a black bottom pumpkin pie.  I tried out the recipe, but wasn’t all that impressed with how it turned out.  The pumpkin layer was literally like pudding, and when I think of pie, I think of actually being able to cut a slice, rather than having to use a spoon to scoop it out due to the texture.  Well, back to the drawing board.  I decided to give it another shot, but change a lot of things around.

black bottom pumpkin pies

This time, an Oreo crust was prepared, but in a two 12 cup muffin pans.  How about make these little guys individual portions instead of a whole pie?  Sure!  The waiting process of letting them set in the fridge seemed like it took forever, because I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into them.  Well worth the wait.  Wow.

For the Crust:

20 Oreo cookies

1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Process cookies into crumbs using small food chopper or food processor.  Mix together the melted butter with crumbs.  Using a medium size cookie scoop, distribute evenly between 24 lined cups between two muffin pans.  Bake for 5 minutes, cool completely on cooling racks.

For the Chocolate Bottom:

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy cream

In 30 second intervals, melt chocolate chips in heavy cream in microwave.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixed with cream.  Drop 1 teaspoon of chocolate on top of each Oreo crust in muffin pans.  Put in refrigerator to set, about 15-20 minutes.

For the Pumpkin Layer:

2 (8 0z.) blocks cream cheese, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl, and beat at medium speed with electric mixer until blended.  Using a standard ice cream scoop, distribute evenly between all muffin cups on top of chocolate.  Use a spoon to spread evenly.  Set in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.  Top with Maple Whipped topping.

For the Maple Whipped Topping:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup maple syrup

Using electric mixer, beat at medium speed until mixture is thickened and forms soft peaks.  Generously spoon or pipe on top of pies.

Mocha Cheesecake

If you’re thinking “Hey, is she making a lot of cheesecakes lately?” by looking at Facebook and some of the recent posts, the answer is Yes.  Actually, Heck Yes.  I’ve been a huge fan of cheesecakes throughout my life, and up until recently, I’d never made a REAL one from scratch.  I learn something new about the process from each cheesecake that’s made, and after I finish one, another idea pops into the ole noggin to try out another.  So, that means there will be quite a few more cheesecake flavors that I’ll be experimenting with, but will try to spread them out with the posts here and there so it’s not an overwhelming amount of cheesecakes showing up.  Not like that’s a bad thing, but if you’re not into cheesecake, it could pose a problem.

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I found a recipe for a cappuccino cheesecake, but changed a few things around to make it mocha…and it was a success.  And you know it’s a success when a child (who thinks coffee is yucky) loves it and wants more.  I actually used my homemade coffee liquor in this recipe, and it was absolutely delicious.  Doing a double duty by handling this way.  I thinned the chocolate out on top by adding a little bit of vegetable oil after melting it, so that it would be a little softer when cutting through that glorious piece of deliciousness and not be too crunchy or overwhelming.

Mocha Cheesecake Recipe:

25 Oreo cookies, crushed into crumbs

1/2 stick butter, melted

5 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

4 eggs

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

2 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

3 tablespoons coffee liquor

8 oz. sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place 25 of the cookies in a food processor or food chopper.  Cover and process until finely ground.  Add butter, mix well.  Press firmly into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, cocoa, and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add sour cream, mix well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Stir together coffee granules and liquor until the granules dissolve.  Add to bowl and mix on low speed just until combined.  Pour over crust.  Wrap aluminum foil around edges of pan, so that all of the bottom and sides are completely covered (to make sure it’s completely covered, wrap the pan with two pieces of foil in opposite directions).  Place inside a larger pan, pour water to make a 1 inch water bath around the outside of springform pan (this will keep the cheesecake from cracking during the baking process).  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, until cheesecake is puffed up, the edges are a light golden brown, but the center is still a little jiggly.  Remove from oven, cool on cooling rack for 1 hour.  Place in refrigerator and to let set overnight.  Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval until completely melted.  Drizzle over cheesecake.  Store in refrigerator.

Chocolate Covered Reese’s Stuffed Oreos

Wow, that’s a long name.  Well worth it though, considering all of the chocolate and yumminess inside.  When I made these, my brother and friend were at my house.  They were in another room, chatting away, with no clue as to what I was doing in the kitchen.  I figured it would be best to surprise them when I was finished.  My brother was getting ready to walk out the door when I stopped him, a big glob of chocolate on a paper towel in my hand, holding it out for him.  He immediately took it and looked at it.  “What is it?” he asked.  “Don’t worry, you’ll like it,” I responded.  He said, “Well, I’m sure I’ll like it, but what is it?”  “Just take a bite and you’ll see.”  It’s a good thing he trusts me.  He took a bite, and looked at the inside.  When I explained exactly what was inside the big glob of chocolate in his hand as he gobbled away, he looked at me and said, “I outta beat you for giving me this.  I guess this is lunch AND dinner!”  He still finished it off, and I got a good chuckle out of it.  When my friend ate it, she said, “This is STUPID good.”  I’m going to take that as a compliment.

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First, get your ingredients.  Double Stuf Oreo cookies, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and dark chocolate melting wafers.  That’s it, just three ingredients.  Separate the Oreos, disgarding the side of the cooke that doesn’t have the cream.  Or, save it for something else.  Or, just eat it.

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Sandwich one of the peanut butter cups in between two of the cream-coated Oreo cookies.

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Melt your chocolate wafers in 15 second intervals in microwave safe dish (I use a coffee cup or glass measuring cup), stirring in between each interval.  Dip each cookie in melted chocolate using tongs, then place on wax paper for chocolate to harden.

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Eat, and enjoy.  Beware, because it’s a LOT of chocolate and tends to be quite rich…but I noticed that after I gobbled one down, I was talking myself out of eating another one and just staying away.  It worked long enough for them to get out of the house.  Whew!

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

During college, I worked on a dinner cruise boat as part of the waitstaff.  Cheesecake was the usual dessert at the end of the meal, and after everyone was served, you could find me back in the kitchen, hunting for extra dessert that wasn’t used.  That may have been my favorite part of the evenings when I had to work…the cheesecake reward for working so hard.  Sometimes it was the original, but sometimes they would pick up the variety pack with four different flavors.  The only part that I didn’t like about that was the fact that I could only pick one.  Boo!!!  But, now that I’m starting to break the seal by making cheesecakes on my own means that I get to pick the flavor AND taste it.  Yay!!  Makes up for those lost times.  😉

This recipe was actually the first time that I’ve made a cheesecake, so I was very excited about it.  When I placed the Oreos in the bottom of the cupcake liners, the thought flew threw my mind, wondering if the Oreo would be too hard to cut into with a fork when it was ready to eat.  Yep, that was the case.  If you decide to pick it up and eat it like a cupcake, no problems…but trying to pierce through the Oreo with a fork was somewhat challenging.  Next time, I’ll have to dip the Oreos in milk to soften them, so using the fork will be an easy process.  Problem solved!

I borrowed this recipe from allrecipes.com…one of my favorite recipe websites.

Ingredients

2 (250 g) packages PHILADELPHIA Brick Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

12 Oreo Cookies

3 (1 ounce) squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate

1 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each just until blended.  Place 1 cookie in bottom of each of 12 paper-lined muffin pan. Fill with batter.  Bake 20 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours. Melt chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over cheesecakes. Top with Cool Whip.
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