Oreo Stuffed Brownie Bits for Bitly’s Three Year Birthday Party

July 14, 2011

Last Thursday, July 7th, Bitly turned three years old! Jay and I travelled up to New York to the Betaworks office to celebrate with the Bitly team and to further mark the event, I baked a whole lot of Oreo Stuffed Brownie Bits. Over 100 of those little devils! Oh, and that is “Bits” not “bites”. Get it….bits for Bitly? Anyway…I’m sure by now many of you are wondering “What in the world is Bitly?” Bitly is a URL shortener which allows its users to not only shorten their long URL’s, which is very important in these days of 140 character tweets, but also aids them in sharing and tracking their links. Furthermore, it allows them to view complete, real-time traffic and analytics data as well. You may have noticed “Bit.ly” if you use Twitter, but Bitly also powers more than 10,000 custom short URL’s. So if you see a short URL, Bitly is most likely behind it.

Bitly Icon

My husband is the Architect for Bitly, and wrote the first rev of the product three years ago, hence our inclusion in the festivities, which were held at Madam Geneva’s on Bowery and Bleeker. Madam Geneva, which was named for the 18th Century English slang for Gin, is a hip bar and lounge with a speak-easy vibe located adjacent to the Double Crown restaurant.

Bitly crowd at Madam Geneva

They serve a tasty specialty cocktail which consists of your choice of several different jams or preserves served over ice with gin or vodka. Yummy!

Jammy Cocktail's at the Madam's

We had a great time and I’m delighted to say folks seemed to enjoy my Oreo Stuffed Brownie Bits. I think they were a perfect treat for a Bitly-centric party, compact – like their URL’s – but packing a powerful punch! The mini Oreo cookies do get a bit softer during baking, but still provides a nice crunchy contrast to the gooey, fudgy brownie surrounding it. Not everyone in the office knew that a mini Oreo was secreted away in the middle of those little morsels, so it was quite amusing to occasionally hear after someone’s first bite, “Oh my God…there’s a freakin Oreo in here!”

I adapted this recipe from an Oreo-Stuffed Brownie recipe on Sing For Your Supper. They made regular sized brownies with their favourite King Arthur Flour Brownie recipe (now a favourite of mine as well) and stuffed them with full-sized double stuff Oreo’s. As mentioned, I was looking for a smaller, easily portable treat, so I opted to make individual, mini cupcake -like treats.

Batter-Topped Oreo-Stuffed Brownie Bits and those awaiting their top layer of batter before baking

However, if you’d rather super-size your brownies, that is definitely an option. Just use full sized Oreos, full sized chocolate chips, a 9×13 pan and bake them for about 35-40 minutes. No matter what the size, these guys are addictive! Make some today!

Oreo Stuffed Brownie Bits

Recipe adapted from Sing For Your Supper

Makes 48 oreo stuffed brownie bits

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 package mini oreo cookies

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with mini cupcake liners or lightly grease each well of the pan.

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it’s hot, but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

While the sugar heats a second time, beat the eggs, cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla until smooth. Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.

Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth.

Using a small cookie scoop, fill the scoop halfway with the brownie batter. Place batter in the bottom of each muffin well. Place one mini Oreo cookie on top of the batter in each of the muffin wells. Top each Oreo with another one half cookie scoop of batter. Bake for about 18 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the brownie bits for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!


Back to New York-Finally!

May 27, 2011

Jay and I travelled up to New York a few weeks ago. Jay’s work is headquartered there and it had been quite some time since he’d stopped in. We were a bit nervous they’d forgotten what he looked like! To smooth his long absence over a bit, I made a batch of Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip cookies for him to take along with him into the office.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip cookies

We stayed at the Standard hotel as usual and as usual it was fantastic!

Standard King Room

While poor Jay slaved away at work, I strolled all around lower Manhattan. The weather was perfect. Once he finished up his day, we met back up and went out to Fig and Olive for a really wonderful dinner.

Truly it was great in every way. The food was delicious and for once, the atmosphere was great – beautiful decor, not crowded, not ear splittingly loud and no detectable attitude. Amazing! Jay and I have not had great dining history in New York in the past. One restaurant we visited previously had some of the best mexican food I’ve ever tasted, but was a nightmare of an experience – crowded (sitting butt-cheek to butt-cheek with strangers crowded- on the verge of a panic attack crowded – and loud to the point we even gave up trying to talk to each other, we just stared across the table at one another in disbelief. One other restaurant had made us wait for over an hour for very bland, yet very expensive dishes. How disappointing! So we were so incredibly happy to find Fig and Olive, which was such a breath of fresh air (another unique experience in NYC)! This restaurant serves Riviera and Coastal Cuisines from the South of France, Italy and Spain. You definitely feel the Mediterranean ambiance as soon as you walk into the restaurant -stucco walls, rosemary and olive trees throughout, lots of candles, olive oil and wine bottles. The restaurant was really quite spacious, but our table felt very warm and intimate. And let me say the food did not disappoint either. We started off with their crostini with three different toppings – mushroom artichoke truffle parmesan, eggplant basil and sundried tomato, and manchego fig spread and almond. They were all great but our favourite was the mushroom artichoke. Jay ordered Penne Funghi Tartufo with Grilled Chicken – cremini mushroom, parmesan, black truffle paste, fresh parsley and scallions with a white truffle olive oil. I had the Grilled Truffle Chicken Paillard – a free range chicken breast marinated with thyme and served with truffle mashed potato leek confit. We washed it all down with an Abruzzo Montepulciano wine. YUM!  Truly a spectacular dinner! I can’t believe we didn’t save room for dessert, but I have no doubt we will definitely be visiting this establishment again. Sorry I didn’t get any photos of the food. The candlelight contributed immensely to the mood but not so much towards any viewable food photography.

The next day, I dashed out to Chelsea Market first thing in the morning on a mission for coffee and some fabulous bread from Amy’s Bread in particular.

The mission was easily accomplished and I returned to the room with caffeine in hand as well a a mouth-wateringly delicious chocolate sourdough twist and a hunk of brioche toast. Sorry no photo of these item either, we ate them too quickly! What a wonderful bakery. It took amazing restraint on my part not to purchase one of everything they had. I’ve recently gotten very interested in trying to bake my own bread. I’ve been pouring over Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and scheming. Amy’s Bread in Chelsea market is fun because you can actually watch the bakers at work through these huge glass windows. I spent quite a bit of time gazing in the day before, so I knew I had to get over there for breakfast and get some of that awesome bread.

Bannetons Stacked-Up at Amy's

Before we left to catch the train we were able to grab a burger for lunch at the good old Standard Grill at the hotel. These burgers are the best! We always try to budget in some time for them!

The Standard Burger

All in all a great visit! Looking forward to the next.


Eww-woo That Smell!

August 8, 2010

Entrance to The Standard Hotel

So…..Jay and I just got back from NYC. It was a great trip…don’t get me wrong. I love The Standard Hotel, where we always stay. Our room was a little smaller than usual, but still fantastic as always! Stylish, luxurious, comfortable, hip…

Standard Reflections

Jay soaking in peek-a-boo tub

It was great for both of us, Jay was able to get some “face time” with his company and I was able to spend the afternoon wandering around Manhattan. Whats not to love? However, Jay, who has spent much more time in The City than I have, had mentioned once before that summer time was not the ideal time to visit New York. Well, I’m sure all who know me, know that I absolutely DETEST hot, humid weather. I don’t know what I did in a past life that sentenced me to this lifetime in the mid-Atlantic states (Maryland, DC, Virginia)….yet here I am. So don’t you know it, when we were there on Thursday it was in the mid-90’s and super humid! But as it turns out, Jay wasn’t really referring to the unbearable temperatures, which are quite enough on their own to scare me off. He mentioned that in the summer, New York really smells bad! I guess all cities smell somewhat “ripe” when the temperatures soar, what with the over abundance of trash and all, however NYC really smells like pee! I walked over 60 blocks on Thursday afternoon (more on that later…but it involved a “cupcake crawl”) and it didn’t seem to matter where I was, if there was a park nearby or a vacant lot etc…….the city reeked of urine! Old failing sewers? Perhaps, but I have been in cities with far older sewers….London, Dublin etc. and they did not take my breath away with that distinct odour. Nevertheless, I soldiered on…. Strangely enough, Jay and I both discovered Chelsea Market on the same day, yet seperately. Very cool place. Architecturally fantastic, and filled with awesome shops!

Jay got a home-made popsicle on his visit. We both stopped by the Fat Witch Bakery the next day for some fantastic treats! It seems to that bakery, “witches” are incredibly tasty brownies. I had a “snow witch” -which was quite yummy to say the least!

 

my chosen treat-love that white chocolate!

Thanks so much to John for taking care of our animals for us. There may be a few “witches” in his future! I’ll leave you with this “illegal” photo of the Standard lobby. Don’t know why this was a problem for the somewhat “abrupt” manager-to put it kindly-but he quickly informed me that pictures of the lobby were not permitted. Its a lovely lobby and I’m not sure you could get an unflattering photo, but I really like this one and am going to post it. Hope he doesn’t come too unraveled!


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