Monday, April 23, 2012

Eat, and Be Happy

When it comes to bad days, down days, stressful days, sad days, etc., there's nothing that cheers me up the way home-baked goodies do. 

Some days, I can't shake that stressed/harried feeling, even after Dusty gets home from work and can help with the boys. Those are usually the days that you can find me baking (in addition to lots of other days). If the boys are in "rare," grumpy form early in the morning, I know it'll be a loooong stretch until naptime comes. If you're a SAHM, you know the feeling - crying, screaming, yelling, hitting, "NOs" - all of those things continue repeatedly until it's time for naps. Ah, sweet naps.

My go-to move to relieve some stress is to make something easy and delicious. (For example, there was a day last week that was horrible all around, so I whipped up some of my Grandma's Peanut Butter Bars and enjoyed them during the boys' naps.) Not only do I feel better as I'm making it, but then I also get to eat it after it's done. It's a win-win situation! Usually, I wait to eat stuff like that until the boys are napping or in bed for the night for two reasons: 1) they don't need to eat sweets every time I do, and 2) it's a lot more relaxing and enjoyable to eat uninterrupted. Sometimes Dusty and I will sit with the boys while they eat supper, but then just the two of us will eat ours after they've gone to bed. It's a nice change of pace sometimes to do it that way.

This recipe I'm sharing with you today was easy, but no one was in a grumpy mood while making/eating these! Oreos baked in-between layers of brownie? You can't lose! And, there's ice cream stirred into the batter. Bonus. (Note, I had to substitute a chocolate cake mix for the brownie mix because I didn't have any on-hand. Although the cake mix worked perfectly and tasted delicious, I think a brownie mix would give the bars a fudgier texture, which I prefer.)

Cookies and Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies (original recipe can be found here)
1 box brownie mix
eggs and oil as called for on the brownie box (usually 2-3 eggs and 1/3 c. oil)
1/2 c., heaping, cookies and cream ice cream (I used chocolate chip because that's what we had in the freezer)
1/4 c. hot fudge sauce, cold or room temp.
16 Oreos
1. Preheat oven to 350, and grease an 8x8 in. pan.
2. Mix brownie mix, oil, and eggs until combined (don't add the water the recipe on the box calls for). Stir in hot fudge and ice cream until combined.
3. Pour half the batter into the pan, followed by a layer of Oreos, then cover with the remaining batter.
4. Bake approximately 40 minutes, or until center is set.
5. Allow to cool, and enjoy (these were especially delicious with a scoop of ice cream on the side . . . if you're feeling indulgent)

This is how heaping my 1/2 c. of ice cream was

My helper enjoying a perk of the job

This is before I spread it out - it easily covers the cookies once you do.

I cut one right out of the middle - my favorite!

Asher bites right into the Oreo . . . 
Apparently, Aiden prefers to separate, then lick the cream filling before
eating the cookie part. :)
Hugs and cookies,