Friday, July 11, 2014

The Best Mocha Brownies

Hello everyone!

It's summertime, which means as the heat ramps up, the food cools down. As families and friends gather to grill up some hot dogs and hamburgers, these main dishes are generally served with a crisp salad, juicy fruit, and a chilled dessert to combat the summer heat wave. Which means that during my family's Fourth of July barbecue, I needed to bring out the big guns.

I made the BEST Mocha Brownies EVER.

Now I know what you're thinking - are these really the best?


The answer to your question is yes. 

The base is made of simple boxed brownie mix which is topped with a rich and fluffy mocha and Oreo mousse blend. The brownie is then finished off by a quick piping of whipped topping, which really ties the light and cool theme together. An absolute MUST if you're a coffee-lover looking to enjoy your favorite flavor in chilled dessert form.

If you're feeling a bit skeptical, I guess you'll just have to make some for yourself to try. It takes a few rounds of work to assemble, but it uses fairly basic ingredients that can be picked up on a quick trip to your neighborhood supermarket. Trust me, one bite of these and you're never going back to regular brownies again (and you'll be the star of any summer party if you bring these along with you!).

To make these brownies, you will need:

1 package brownie mix, plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies (eggs, water, oil)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup instant coffee granules
16 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided into halves
2 packages Jell-O cheesecake flavored instant pudding
20 Oreos

Start off by pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees and greasing a 9x13 pan.

Begin by assembling your brownie base. As mentioned in the instructions, it's important to choose a boxed brownie that has the option to cook cake-like brownies. Usually, this means adding an extra egg to your batter, but each boxed mix is different.

Follow the instructions on the box and stir your ingredients together. Scoop them into your pan and place them in the oven to cook for as long as your package says.

This next step takes some patience on your part - when the brownie base has finished cooking, remove the pan and set it somewhere to cool completely before moving on to the mousse step. Otherwise, the whipped topping will melt into a soupy mess. This usually takes about 2 hours, but if you're in a hurry you can place the partially cooled pan into the fridge for the second hour to speed up the cooling time.

When your brownie base is ready, it's time to begin assembling your mousse. Start by mixing your instant coffee and milk in a large bowl until all the granules are dissolved. Then, add your cheesecake pudding mix.

Next, stir in 8 oz of the thawed whipped topping until fully combined into a light and creamy coffee mousse.

Now it's time to add the Oreos. If you have a food processor, you can blend them up into roughly chopped 1/2-inch crumbles. If you don't, place your cookies in a bag and crush them into pieces with a rolling pin.

Add these cookie pieces to your mousse and fold to combine. Then spoon the mousse onto your brownie and spread this heavenly layer across the surface. Be sure to lick the spatula after you're done - there's no use wasting any!

Next comes the additional whipped topping. If you're feeling fancy, you can use a cake decorator attachment for frosting to pipe your topping in fancy lines. If not, you can always use the eloquent and foolproof put-it-in-a-bag-and-cut-the-corner method.

Using whatever method you've chosen, pipe the whipped topping in diagonal lines across your brownies. Switch sides and pipe another set of diagonal lines going in the opposite direction, creating a diamond lattice pattern. Finish by piping a ring of whipped topping around the whole dish, covering up any stray ends.

Take a moment to admire the beauty of your coffee-cookie mousse...

...before digging in and cutting yourself a hefty slice.

Cool and creamy, infused with chocolate and mocha. Is there really anything else you need in life?

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