Decadent, fudgy oreo cookie brownies with a healthier twist and secret to that shiny crackle top, as well as vegan, dairy free and even gluten-free options.
Healthy Oreo Cookie Brownies
Okay, so the most delicious, fudgy brownies dotted with Oreos are healthy? Well, how does 4 gms of protein and 3 gms of fiber sound do you? Yes, this recipe is healthier and dairy-free, vegan, and even gluten-free options.
How Are Oreo Cookie Brownies Healthy?
Well, even these brownies still have sugar and Oreos so healthy is a relative term admittedly. However, this recipe has more of protein, fiber and nutrients than most Oreo brownies, largely from oat flour and flax seed.
Before we dive into the recipe ingredients, I'd like to invite you to sign up for my free chocolate course. Five lessons hit your inbox with detail on how to create your own simple healthy chocolate desserts.
Okay, so back to this recipe...
1. Oat flour. Oat flour appears to be going mainstream so it's quite easy to find in the markets and online. However, it's also easy to make. Just blend rolled oats or quick-cooking oats and even steel-oats into a fine powder. Obviously a high-speed blender works best here; I wouldn't try to make fine oat flour in a food processor. Typically one cup of oats yields ½ cup of flour.
The use of oat flour in these brownies help boost the nutritional value considerably. Oat flour is packed with protein and fiber, and loads of disease-fighting antioxidants. And contains lots of hard to find essential minerals including manganese and phosphorus.
Oat flour is also terrific at supporting weight loss, which sounds in direct conflict with eating a brownie. Oat flour, above all flours, keeps you feeling satiated, so this brownie will help reduce random unhealthy snacking.
Finally, oat flour by nature is gluten-free but it can be processed in plants that are not gluten-free so be careful of the brands you choose - I typically use Bob's Red Mill but there are a few other brands that claim to be gluten-free too. You should probably call their customer service lines to check if GF is vital.
2. Flax seed - Flax seeds are high in fiber so great for digestion and studies show they have a positive impact on blood cholesterol.
I added flax seed here to replace eggs. Other egg replacers work in this recipe as well however. For instance, I've made these brownies with apple sauce and even aquafaba instead. And they are somewhat close to my cauliflower brownies recipe. So you could theoretically make my cauliflower brownies and simply top them with broken oreo cookies.
3. Olive oil (or avocado oil) - I don't blame you if you want to rid your diet of processed oils. That's a great goal, but than this recipe is not for you. I used oil here instead of butter. There are some health benefits to olive oil and avocado oils, including benefits to heart health.
How to Get the Crackle Top on Brownies Without Eggs
It's not easy to get that crackle on top without eggs. I find I can get it somewhat with aquafaba, but the best way to achieve that shiny crackle top is to dissolve the sugar. I know some recipes than successfully do that by melting the sugar in butter first.
Here, I wanted to use olive oil to increase the health factor, so without butter, I melted the sugar in water instead to achieve that crackle top.
Ingredients to Make Oreo Cookie Brownies
- oat flour - a super healthy flour that can be bought or made from rolled oats or use all purpose flour, just use less because oat flour is lighter.
- flax seed eggs or unsweetened apple sauce - either is a great egg replacer.
- organic cane sugar - I love Wholesome brand but any cane sugar will work.
- cocoa powder - you can use healthier cacao powder but if you want to stick to cocoa powder, be sure to use unsweetened.
- olive oil - or use avocado oil. Don't use an unhealthy vegetable oil or you'll lose the heart health aspect.
- chocolate chips - only a few are necessary for the top fudge factor
- oreo cookies - obviously!
Substitutions for Oreo Cookie Brownies
1. Oat flour can be swapped for all purpose flour just be sure to use less all purpose flour - I provide exact measurements for both flours in the recipe.
2. Flax seed eggs or apple sauce are fine for egg replacers.
3. Coconut sugar can be used instead of cane sugar, but you probably won't achieve the shine and the flavor will be more maple sugar-ish.
4. Cacao or cocoa powder can be used.
5. Olive oil or avocado oil can be used
6. Oreo cookies now come in a gluten-free version so by all means, use those if you need the brownies to be GF.
How to Make Oreo Cookie Brownies
Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Step 2. Stir together 2 tbsp ground flax seeds and 5 tbsp of water and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.
Step 3. Add sugar and ½ cup of water to a sauce pan, simmer until all sugar is melted. Do not leave it alone or let it boil, and continuously stir. It should take about 5 minutes to melt all the sugar and render the water clearish.
Step 4. Throw the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and stir or hand-mix until just combined. Do not over mix or you will incorporate too much air and throw off the texture.
Step 5. Pour mixture into the baking pan, layer with broken oreos, and bake for roughly 35-42 minute or until the top crackles.
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Healthy Oreo Cookie Brownies
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper over-hanging at least two sides.
- Stir together 2 tbsp ground flax seeds and 5 tbsp of water and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Add sugar and ½ cup of water to a sauce pan, simmer until all sugar is melted. Do not leave it alone or let it boil, and continuously stir. It should take about 5 minutes to melt all the sugar and render the water clearish.
- Throw the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and stir or hand-mix until just combined. Do not over mix or you will incorporate too much air and throw off the texture.
- Pour mixture into the baking pan, fold in the ½ cup chocolate chips, layer with broken oreos, and bake for roughly 25-30 minutes or until the top crackles.
- Cool and lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles.
- I refrigerate them overnight before cutting to get clean cuts but if IG symetry is not necessary, eat them warm!
- Store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a week or longer in the freezer.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.