I really struggled to find a decent title for this recipe and I think I failed. Hopefully, though, the description drew you in enough to decide to make them! This past week I went as a leader to girl's camp with the teenagers in my Church. I was their cabin mom for the week and wanted to bring them something really special to welcome them to camp. Plus, I used to teach them every week and spoiled them rotten bringing treats all the time, so I really needed something great! I was reading Picky Palate and found just the thing. I made a few modifications and instead of going with peanut butter, I saw some mini-York Peppermint Patties that had melted (on my counter, I'm not kidding you... dang Arizona!) and that I had tossed into the fridge to be reincarnated into something delicious. When I saw this recipe I knew they were just the thing. The photos don't do justice to these brownies that I'm going to say are probably the best I've ever made (and as you can guess, I've made many batches of brownies!)
I've recently made Dorie's French Brownies a couple of times, the Brownie Buttons (which I loved so much I left Dorie a ridiculously mushy comment on her blog about!), and the Quintuple Chocolate Brownies. Honestly, I think whatever brownie base you use is fine, since some like it cakey and some like it fudgey. You can even use a box mix (but buy a good one!) if you are trying to pack, take care of the baby and husband, make dinner, and get to bed before 2 in the morning the night before camp. Whatever works for you.
Either way, go the extra mile with the Oreos, cream cheese (or Neufchatel in my case), and ganache, and you won't regret. You'll want to go the extra mile on the treadmill, too, but I think it's worth it. And don't forget to stop by Picky Palate. Jenny is so creative and nice- you'll be glad you did!
Oreo Cheesecake Brownies with Mint Ganache
adapted from Picky Palate
10 Oreos (Plus 14 for garnish, if desired)
5 Tablespoons softened Cream Cheese (or Neufchatel)
1 9 x 13 Pan of prepared brownies, unbaked
1/3 Cup SemiSweet Chocolate Chips
3 York Mini York Peppermint Patties (1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter would work too)
3 Tablespoons Heavy Cream or Half and Half
Preheat the oven to 350.
Prepare your favorite brownie (mix, homemade, I won't judge!) and pour into a foil lined and greased 9 x 13 pan.
Lightly crush 10 Oreos (you'll want to keep some chunks so it's not perfectly smooth) and fold in the softened cream cheese until just combined. Spoon over top of the brownies and lightly marble the upper layer of the batter.
Bake for 30-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove pan from oven and let cool for about ten minutes. Then, gently lift the edges of the foil to remove the brownies from the pan. Set on cooling rack for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare ganache by melting chocolate and mint (or peanut butter, whatever you prefer) on low power in the microwave, working on 30 second intervals. A double boiler works even better but is a little slower and messier, so take your pick. When chocolate is smooth but not too hot (you don't want to burn it, so lean toward the cooler side) slowly pour in the cream and stir until shiny and smooth. Pour ganache over the brownies and smooth to the edges. Top with evenly spaced Oreos to garnish and cut after ganache has set.
Serve with milk and enjoy within two days, or put them into the freezer for instant gratification later!