Why then did I feel compelled to make these brownies and these oreos for his birthday? I must be an awful sister. I let my sister--in-law order a carrot cake for my brother and instead I decided to indulge the rest of us in retro-chocolate heaven.
Let's face it, I just don't really like carrot cake and being a slightly selfish baker, the thought of baking something I didn't plan on eating didn't seem quite right. On top of that, I probably wouldn't have been able to recreate the tree that decorated his professionally prepared cake. Ultimately my decision may have been for the best.
I chose to make these homemade oreos, taken from Smitten Kitchen a food blog with an impressive roster of incredibly sinful, delicious sweets. I had great success with them the first time and knew that they would be a hit. I doubled the recipe and was up til all hours filling the cookies and cleaning up errant flour and confectioner's sugar.
Since M. had also requested brownies, I took the easy route and I chose Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Cream- Cheese Marbled Brownies. They looked delectable in her photos and I figured they were fool-proof (as long as the fool doesn't fool with the ingredients).
With Izzy at my side, we measured, mixed, stirred, dripped and swirled. Brownie batter is such fun to work with. The recipe was so decadent that I left out 1/4 cup of sugar. I didn't think it would make much difference. I also noted that the cream-cheese swirl didn't seem like enough to create the cheesecake note I had been imagining, I should have added more but left it as is.
The resulting brownies had an incredibly wonderful texture but I feel that the cream cheese muted the chocolatey flavor and perhaps the omission of sugar left them less intense than other brownies I have eaten. Don't get me wrong, these brownies were still quite luscious but just not the brownies of my dreams. Try them with the correct ingredients and they may just do the trick.
The lesson learned from this baking episode is that next time I should be more generous. I may bake a tried and true chocolate for the chocolate crowd and something new for my brother. Who knows, if I don't fool with the ingredients, it may even be something I might eat.