Oreo Cream Cheese Brownies

This was quite an experiment for me, since I have never made regular brownies from scratch, let alone fancy'in it up with cream cheese and oreos, but I think I did a pretty swell job. I found this recipe on visions of sugar plum and the combination of dark cocoa and cream cheese made it a must try for me. Brownies from scratch is like anything else I have tried to make from scratch; just a couple extra ingredients and a couple extra steps, but a whole lot better than store bought. So that equals totally worth it for me! Hopefully my co-workers enjoy them, and the 2 that have wedding dresses to fit into this winter won't be too upset with me for bringing in yet another treat. I did substitute some of the full fat items for reduced fat and they still taste extremely rich and delicious, but I would still rather not know the nutrition facts of these!

Natalie about to enjoy brownie # ?, she does not have a wedding dress to fit into.

-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, softened (i used 1/3 less fat version and it seemed to work well)
-3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 large eggs
-1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped Oreo cookies (i used the reduced fat oreos and I can't tell a difference)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch square baking dish with foil; coat foil with cooking spray.
2.Melt the butter in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Whisk in sugar and bring to a boil, whisking frequently; boil 1 minute. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
3.In a small mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract, until well combined, about 1 minute.
4.In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt; whisk until combined.
5.In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, until combined. Whisk in melted butter-sugar mixture until well combined.
6.Stir in flour mixture until just combined, followed by Oreo cookies.
7.Spread half of brownie batter into baking dish, followed by cream cheese layer; dot the top with remaining brownie batter, and spread evenly, as best as you can. Run a knife through batter to make "swirls".
8.Bake at 350 degrees F, for 25 minutes.Cool on a wire rack to room temperature before slicing. Lift foil out of baking dish, and slice. For easier slicing, try freezing the brownies for 30-60 minutes.

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