Monday, March 17, 2014

Mint Cookies & Cream Bars

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! I made these delish bars for a St. Paddy's Day brunch we went to yesterday. They were so good! Kristen over at Confessions Of a Cookbook Queen posted them a few days ago, and I knew they would be perfect for the brunch. With a tweak to her recipe of course.

Ingredients for bars

Have I mentioned how much I love cake bars? They are so easy to make and can be easily adapted to make all different kinds of bars.  You combine your cake mix, oil, water, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, food coloring and peppermint extract in a bowl.  I started with two teaspoons of peppermint extract, tasted, and then added a third. I like a noticeable mint flavor and I didn't want it getting lost. Once it is mixed, it should look like the below picture. Nice and thick.

I used Wiltons Leaf Green food coloring. I was worried that it would be too light, but just a little bit went a long way. I thought it was a perfect green. Next, I put about 10 Oreos in a bag and chopped/crushed them with the end of a knife. You should crush them so they are still big chunks like the below picture.

Add them to your batter and fold in gently. You don't want to completely crush the cookies. 

Add to your prepared pan and spread to the edges. I used a 9x13 pan covered in tin foil. I was totally out of Pam, but the bars didn't stick as bad as I had expected. I would totally use Pam or some other cooking spray whether you use tin foil or not.

Ready for baking

Bake in a 350 degree oven. I baked mine for about 15-17min. If you use a smaller pan, you need to adjust your cooking time by a few minutes.

All done!
After your cake has cooled about 10 minutes, you can start preparing your frosting. 

Ingredients for Frosting

Because the frosting cooked really quickly, I didn't get to take pictures of the prep. Sorry about that. It is really easy though. Crush an additional 4-5 cookies. Melt 4 TBS of butter on medium heat. Add your milk and cocoa powder and whisk until it just begins to boil. The mixture will thicken up. Remove from heat and whisk in your powdered sugar. Continue to whisk until mixture is smooth. Pour over bars and spread. Immediately sprinkle crushed Oreo's over frosting and lightly press in. The frosting starts to set as soon as it starts to cool so you have to do that quickly. I actually had my sister spread the frosting while I poured it on.

Looks so good! 
Closeup of the Oreo covered frosting

These bars were so good. They had a great mint flavor that worked really well with the dark chocolate frosting and the Oreo's. I loved the texture of the bars too. They were almost 'fudgy' like without being overly gooey. And they were a big hit at the brunch. 

Recipe (adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)
 For the bars:
 1 box white cake mix
 1/3 cup oil
 1/4 cup water
 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
 3 teaspoons peppermint extract (you can use less)
 10 Oreo's, chopped
 Green Food coloring
For the frosting:
 4 TBS butter
 2 heaping TBS Dark Chocolate cocoa powder
 3 TBS milk
 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
 4-5 Oreo's, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line a 9x13 pan with foil and/or spray with cooking spray
Combine cake mix, water, oil, egg, egg yolk, extract and food coloring. Beat with electric mixer until well combined.
Fold in chopped cookies gently.
Spread batter in prepared pan
Bake for about 15-17 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
Let bars cool about 10 minutes and prepare frosting.
In a small saucepan, melt butter.
Add milk and cocoa powder and whisk until mixture just starts to boil. 
Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth.
Pour frosting over bars and spread to edges. Immediately press remaining chopped cookies.
Allow bars to cool completely before cutting. 
Mint Cookies & Cream Bars

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