Half-baked crumbly bars

These bars are YUMMY! Crumbly, soft, crunchy and delicious!

I think I'll start a section on this blog called the Sleepless Chronicles. I am finding that I like to wake up and think about brownies at 3:00 in the morning. Is this normal? Don't answer that. So here, my chocolate-loving friends, is my second installment of the Sleepless Chronicles, also aptly named Half-Baked Crumbly Bars. These were inspired by my favorite ice cream, Ben & Jerry's Half Baked, and also by my constant need to consume sugary, chocolatey treats. The "crumbly" part of the title comes from the fact that, well, they are a bit crumbly. I personally like the crumbliness because it makes me inclined to throw everything into a big bowl of ice cream! Or just into my mouth. Picture Cookie Monster.



Prepare a box of brownie mix according to the package directions (I used a 19.5-oz. box of chocolate fudge brownie mix) and set aside. You will only be using half of the brownies for this recipe, so serve the other half for dessert or crumble it up and throw it into some vanilla ice cream!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.


In a medium bowl, with a hand-held mixer, combine:

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons butter, softened

Stir in:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons milk

Carefully stir in a 12-oz. package of mini chocolate chips. Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap and set aside (do not refrigerate).


Place 20 Oreo cookies in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Or, chop the old-fashioned way with a Ziploc bag and a spoon. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in 6 tablespoons of melted butter until the cookies are coated.

Spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and add the Oreo mixture. Firmly press down with fingers until the crust is evenly distributed on the bottom of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 

Coarsely chop half of the prepared brownies and add them to the cookie dough. With your hands, incorporate the brownie chunks into the cookie dough. Pour the mixture over top of the cooled Oreo crust and press down evenly with fingers.


In a microwave-safe bowl, combine:

12-oz. package milk chocolate chips

4 tablespoons milk

Heat in the microwave for 60 seconds. Stir and return to microwave, heating and stirring in 15-second intervals, until mixture is smooth. If needed, add 1 additional tablespoon of milk.

Pour the melted chocolate evenly over the cookie dough-brownie mixture.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and cut into small squares.

And yes, my husband gave me dirty looks after making this one, too.

Cookies 'n cream brownie chunk ice cream

A recipe too good to walk away from! These ingredients make resisting IMPOSSIBLE!

My relationship with ice cream is complicated. Most of the time I avoid it as if I might contract a terrible disease by being within 50 feet of it. I shun it at the grocery store, on my way down the frozen foods aisle as I head toward the edamame. Not even a glance in its direction. It's comparable to refusing to acknowledge someone after an ugly break-up. It's too tempting and scary all at once, so it's best to feign disinterest.

Then there are those times when I become weak. Weak = pregnant or supremely stressed. I not only allow ice cream back into my life, but I shower love upon it, letting it know how sorry I am to have been so cold. I truly love you, Ice Cream! I'll never leave again! But my friend has a wounded heart. I've caused too much pain, too many times.

And so it goes, this dysfunctional yet functional relationship that I love to hate. Recently I found myself in a weak state (stressed, not pregnant) and thought it would be a great idea to make my very own ice cream concoction. I call it Cookies 'n Cream Brownie Chunk Ice Cream. Could anything sound more wonderful? And it was wonderful. I'm now back in the state of ignoring my delicious companion, but our recent stint certainly was good while it lasted.

Here's what I did. I threw my brownie scraps from this recipe into a bowl along with:

3/4 of a half gallon container of vanilla ice cream

12 crumbled Oreo cookies

1/3 cup of vanilla buttercream frosting

I tried to talk myself into walking away, but I was too weak. Instead, I stirred.

And I let all of the sinful ingredients mingle with one another.

Then I scooped myself a giant bowl and indulged, momentarily free of guilt.

Thankfully, stress comes and goes. Imagine how much trouble I was in when I was pregnant. I wouldn't let my husband take a picture of the inside of our freezer because it was really. really. embarrassing.