My housing situation has been in limbo for more than two months now, and with most my belongings in storage and any culinary ventures taking place in a relatively foreign kitchen, my cooking and baking have slowed to a sluggish pace. A few weeks ago, though, I had a reason to bake through adversity — family gathering!
Growing up, I rarely saw most of my extended family, with the exception of my Aunt Valerie. When I knew she was en route from New York/north Jersey, I would try to keep myself occupied, but would end up pacing at the windows with anticipation of an evening of Aggravation (the board game) and “Days of Our Lives” reruns. Unfortunately, we don’t see each other as often these days, but even with all the literal distance between us, Facebook has helped both of our immediate families stay close. Guess it’s good for more than baseless rants and gratuitous baby pics after all…
Aunt Val has seen all my cupcakes and goodies on Facebook, but never had a sample, so I decided to try something special for her visit — a dish that made me salivate when I saw it on Pinterest. Fahrenheit 350 called it “White Chocolate Oreo Cake,” but after trying it, I felt that was a bit of a misnomer because it didn’t exactly have Oreos in it — just Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme bars. For now, I’m calling this Cookies ‘n’ Creme Blondie Pie. (Ultimately, this is a misnomer, too, but I’ll get to that below.)
I ran into a little bit of a roadblock when I realized halfway into mixing up the ingredients that I didn’t have any baking power. Thankfully, I had everything I needed to make a baking powder substitute: two parts cream of tartar and one part baking soda. (Remember, you can substitute baking powder in place of baking soda, but not so much the reverse.)
Another oversight: I didn’t consider the fact that my springform pan was in storage until I already had my ingredients set on the counter, but a pie plate worked [almost] as well — just makes serving a bit more difficult.
♦6 oz. Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream bar (1.5 king size bars)
♦1/2 c. sugar
♦1/2 c. butter
♦1/2 tsp. vanilla
♦1 c. flour
♦1/2 tsp. baking powder
♦Pinch of salt
♦7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
♦3/4 c. mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Over medium heat, melt candy bars, sugar and butter. Remove from heat. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until combined. Pour mixture into lightly greased springform pan (or pie plate), and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and immediately pour condensed milk over blondie. Layer with chocolate chips and let cool completely.
Total time? 15 minutes prep, 20 minutes bake.
Cost? $2.69 condensed milk (only used half), $2.19 mini chocolate chips (used half the bag), $3 Hershey bars (used 1.5)
Overall success relative to expectations? 6 out of 10. My expectations were a little skewed based on all the tantalizing words thrown around in relation to the dish’s name (Oreo, brownie, Cookies ‘n’ Creme), so don’t let the number lead you to believe this wasn’t tasty. It just… wasn’t what I was expecting. I went easier on the chocolate chips to avoid taking attention away from the cookies ‘n cream base, but it was still virtually undetectable. The best way to describe the dish is a super moist blondie topped with loads of chocolate chips. Can’t really going wrong with that, right? It’s pretty sweet for my taste, but I enjoyed it in small slices, and everyone else seemed to, as well. Next time, I’ll either replace the candy bars with crushed Oreos and white chocolate, or I’ll top the whole thing with Oreo chunks. Definitely worth revisiting.