Oreo Brownie Cake

Addiction: a persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful. This is a very broad definition but I felt it best matched the substance in question.

Oreos.

I wish I was kidding.

The boy said he loved Oreos- they're his favorite cookie of all time. Not even Thin Mints can compete. He warned that all control and self-restraint vanish when a bag of oreos is placed nearby. I found that hard to believe considering his overall healthy lifestyle. On a whim, I picked up a bag at the grocery store.

Big mistake.

In one night.... they were gone. ALL of them. I watched an entire row demolished with a single glass of milk. Part of me was horrified. Another part fascinated. This guy has an Oreo problem.

To celebrate his birthday, I wanted to make an Oreo cake but couldn't find a recipe that really stood out. That's when my brother's long-time wish came true:the Williams Sonoma Giant Cookie pan. For years, he thought this was the coolest pan ever. It didn't do it for me- it's just a giant cookie. Now that it's in my house.... I'm kind of smitten. It's a cute pan.

A recipe is included for a basic cookie cake that resembles an Oreo. It's butter cream frosting sandwiched in between two chocolate cakes. I would not classify this as a real "cake"-- it's much more like a cocoa brownie. It crumbles a little bit, is on the dense side, and dry. The flavor is simple cocoa and not super sweet because the rich butter cream compensates. Throw a few oreos into the frosting if you want to rev it up!

The ingredients are basic and the assembly is easy. However, cleaning the pan with all it's details is a pain. Make sure you butter this pan thoroughly!

Overall- it achieves the flavor/texture of an Oreo well. Visually it's adorable and I appreciate what the recipe tries to capture. However, I like dipping my cookies in milk and the cake/brownie alone was too dry. Next time- I'll use a devil's food cake or dark chocolate brownie recipe (nothing super sweet).

Note: If you don't have the cake pan- it's cool; use two standard 9 inch round pans. Get creative by making the cookie indentations yourself.

PS. Sorry the picture's aren't that great-- it's hard to make a surprise cake and sneak in nice photo ops at the same time : )

Oreo Brownie Cake
by Williams-Sonoma

1/2 cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
14 Tbs. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Using a small pastry brush, grease 2 sandwich cookie cake pans with shortening or softened butter, making sure to coat the details and crevices in the pans. Dust thoroughly with cocoa powder; tap out excess.

To make the cakes, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave until melted, stirring once, about 1 1/2 minutes. Alternatively, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until blended. Let the chocolate mixture cool slightly.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, the 1/2 cup cocoa powder, the baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in the flour mixture until combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread evenly. Gently tap the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until the tops of the cakes are shiny and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 35 minutes.

Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a cutting board.

Oreo Buttercream Frosting

4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 Tbs. milk, plus more, if needed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
5-8 oreo cookies (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, the 3 1/2 Tbs. milk, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks. Toss in a few oreos and let the mixer crush them- I like big chunks as opposed to fine remnants.

Using a large spatula, carefully turn 1 cake over so the printed side faces down. Spread the buttercream evenly over the flat side of the cake. Place the second cake, printed side up, on top. Cut into slices and serve.

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