National Oreo Cookie Day is coming up on March 6th! Get ahead of the game and go shopping for the ingredients for these over-the-top brownies. Red velvet and cream cheese Oreo cookies and truffle-filled Hershey kisses are sandwiched between two layers of ultra-rich and chocolatey red velvet brownie batter. Press your extra truffle kisses into the top of the baked brownies for a well of extra chocolate deliciousness inside each brownie square!
The trickiest part of this recipe is coloring the red velvet. Now, you can always skip the coloring because it serves no other purpose beyond aesthetics but it’s a fun tie-in to the cookies. If the only food coloring you buy is those tiny 4 packs of primary colors from your local grocery then plan on buying two or even three packs! You can also follow the links in the recipe below to order a large bottle of red gel food coloring online. You’ll need more coloring than you think so plan to buy extra. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of people trying to make a red velvet whatever and having to drive out to the store for more coloring in the middle of baking! Add just enough coloring to get the batter red. Adding too much can interfere with the flavor of the brownies. Food coloring does not taste very good. Aside from that, this recipe is a cinch!
In honor of #NationalOreoCookieDay, I’ll be doing a history lesson about Oreos! An Oreo cookie consists of two chocolate wafer cookies with a sweet, white cream filling. The origin of the name is unknown but the Greek word ‘oreo’ means beautiful, nice or well done. This cookie sandwich was first known as the ‘oreo biscuit’ when it was developed by the National Biscuit Company, now known as Nabisco, in 1912. Oreos were developed at the company’s Chelsea factory in New York City, which was located on 9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets. This block is now referred to as Oreo Way. The original design of the cookie featured a wreath around the edge of the wafer and ‘OREO’ in the center. The first Oreo was sold on March 6th, 1912 to a Hoboken, New Jersey grocer. Originally, they were packaged in novelty cans with clear glass tops and sold for 25 cents a pound.
In 1921, the product was renamed as the ‘Oreo Sandwich’ and a new design was introduced in 1924. The cookie was renamed the ‘Oreo Creme Sandwich’ in 1948 and again in 1974 to the ‘Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie.’ In 1952, the design was redone again by William A. Turnier to include the Nabisco logo. Nabisco food scientist Sam Porcello reformulated the cream filling and held five Oreo-related patents by the time he retired in 1993. In the early 90s, Nabisco replaced the lard in their filling with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil due to health concerns. In fact, some now tout the health benefits of unprocessed lard versus such highly processed fats and oils. But the new formula allows vegans and certain religious groups to partake in delicious Oreo cookies so that’s a plus! (Lard comes from pig fat.)
From 2008 to 2010, Oreo’s primary marketing campaign dealt with a game called ‘Double Stuf Racing League’ or DSRL. It was endorsed by Peyton and Eli Manning, as well as Venus and Serena Williams. Advertisements included footage of races between the athletes. One commericial showed the brothers challenging Donald Trump. The Mannings won because obviously. Shaquille O’Neal and Apolo Ohno have also joined in. In June 2012, Oreo posted an ad featuring one of their cookies filled with layers of rainbow-colored cream in support of Gay Pride month. This ad was followed by a series of ads commemorating other holidays and events, including a red, white and blue cream-filled cookie for Bastille Day, a stream of cookie crumbs for the Delta Aquarid meteor shower and a cookie with a bite taken out of it for Shark Week. Oreo is now the best-selling cookie in the United States and are sold all over the world.
There are tons of different varieties of Oreo cookies. They include, but are not limited to:
- Double Stuf Oreo (1974) = These sandwiches have about twice the normal amount of cream filling. They are available in a number of flavors including original, peanut butter, mint, chocolate cream and birthday cake. In the UK, where people can spell, the ‘Stuf’ is ‘Stuff’ and they are only available in original flavor.
- Seasonal Double Stuf Oreos = Around the holidays, special edition cookies are produced with festively colored frosting. Blue and yellow for the springtime, orange for Halloween and red and green for Christmas. Also, one of the wafer cookies will be stamped with an appropriate design. Flowers and butterflies for spring and jack o’lanterns and witches for Halloween, for example.
- Mini Oreos (1991 and 2000) = Bite-sized versions of Oreos sold in foil bags or lidded plastic to-go cups. They are available in original, golden and mint.
- Oreo Thins (2015) = These cookies are 66% thinner than the originals and have only 40 calories per cookie. You get 33% less cookie per bag and pay the same price as the original flavor because this is America. They come in chocolate, golden and mint.
- Birthday Cake (2012) = Originally released as a limited edition flavor to celebrate Oreo’s 100th birthday, these cookies had a birthday cake-flavored filling with rainbow sprinkles. The wafers were stamped with ‘OREO 100.’ The cream flavored is now included as a regular Double Stuf variety with both golden and chocolate wafers.
- Lemon Twist (2012, 2013) = Two golden cookie wafers with lemon-flavored cream filling.
- Neapolitan (2012) = Three golden cookie wafers with a double sandwich of chocolate and strawberry-flavored cream fillings.
- Cookie Dough (March 2014) = Chocolate wafers with cookie dough-flavored cream.
- Pumpkin Spice (September 2014) = Golden wafers with pumpkin spice-flavored cream.
- Red Velvet (February 2015) = Red chocolate-flavored cookie wafers with cream cheese-flavored filling.
- Cinnamon Bun (January 2016, on sale now) = Cinnamon-flavored wafers with cinnamon bun-flavored cream.
Other Oreo Celebrations!
Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownies
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
10 oz truffle-filled Hershey’s kisses, divided
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Melt together butter and chocolate chips.
Mix in sugar and vanilla.
Mix in eggs.
Mix in flour and salt.
In a separate small bowl, combine cocoa powder and food coloring.
Add cocoa mixture to brownie batter.
Spread half of the batter into a greased 8×8” pan.
Top with one layer of Oreos.
Place about half of the kisses in the spaces between the Oreos, as pictured above.
Top with remaining half of batter.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately top with remaining kisses, pushing them pointed top down into the brownies.
Allow kisses to melt and then spread over top of the brownies.
Allow brownies to cool completely and cut into 16 squares.