Oreo Cookie Cream Cheese Brownies

I always feel like, as a girl, I have a certain expectation to look a certain way.

Since I live in California, this usually means I should be extremely tanned with a model body, bleached blonde hair and wear denim cut off shorts and swim suits.

I think the only thing I relate to in the above description is I’m a girl. Hardly looking like those ones previously mentioned.

But I don’t worry about it. I prefer my naturally pale skin to be perpetually pale throughout the year, which means blinding people with my Casper-white legs while frolicking on the beach. My naturally dark hair was once bleached blonde, but I recently went to the darker side, which kinda makes me look like Snow White, which I kind of like. And I own one pair of denim shorts, and I’m sad to report they’re not even cut offs.

You could say I’m a horrible typical Californian.

Except for the whole rolling-through-stop-signs, aka “California stops” and flipping people off.

I think every Californian does that.

We’re jerks on the road; I know and I admit to this.

Despite failing to live up to the typical California-girl expectation, and unlike Katy Perry’s song (my skin has never melted a Popsicle (but it’s worth a try), I definitely have a certain personal expectation of how I like to look.

Even though I’m twenty years old and have no special engagements which would require this absolutely tedious task, I plan all of my outfits very carefully, with the not-so-eager help from my mom and sister who are constantly asked, “Does this look okay?”

I have a closet full of clothes, and I enjoy putting together new outfits. But there’s still always ample room for more clothes, as 99.9% of women can agree.

And what’s the big whoop with wanting to look good? People say you shouldn’t care about what others think, and I don’t, but I do care about looking stylish for myself.

That’s why I never wear flip flops or sweats in public. It’s just a gigantic no-no in my book.

Now I’m aware that 100% of the population is okay with flip flops, but they just aren’t my thing. I mean, really, at the beach, I’ll just wear flats. I seriously hate flip flops.

In fact, I hate most warm weather attire. No matter how I look at it, my body just doesn’t look like the girls from the Victoria’s Secret catalog, and I really hate when the pocket lining is visible from the microscopically short shorts that are only available during this season.

Therefore, it’s incredibly hard to live up to my personal stylish expectations when I’m limited to clothes due to my incurable hatred for flip flops and denim cut offs.

So I try and be different and wear cute dresses or my go-to of bright cotton shirts and shorts. And honestly, that works for me.

I may not look exactly like I “should” (who makes up those lame rules, anyways?) but I enjoy being different, and that works with me!

This random story actually has some kind of relevance to my post today, about my Oreo cookie cream cheese brownies. I saw a picture on Betty Crocker’s website for cream cheese brownies and I had to make them. Though mine didn’t look as pretty as hers (I need a food stylist, just sayin’) they tasted amazing. So don’t be fooled by what is atypical, because most of the time, it’s even better than the rest!

Oreo Cookie Cream Cheese Brownies *inspired by Betty Crocker’s Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies 

1 box brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Original Supreme, but any box mix will do), plus ingredients required on back of box
4 oz (half a package) softened cream cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons sugar
10-15 Oreos, coarsely crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking pan. Prepare brownie batter according to package directions. Spread 3/4 of the brownie batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with some of the crushed cookies. In a medium bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, egg, vanilla, and sugar until blended. Stir in 1/4 cup crushed cookies. Drop cream cheese mixture by large Tablespoonfuls into brownie batter. Drop remaining brownie batter over cream cheese mixture. Cut through the batters with a butter knife, swirling batters together for a marbled effect. Sprinkle with remaining crushed cookies.
2. Bake for approximately 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1″ into the middle of the brownies comes out mostly clean. Cool completely, and then store covered in the fridge.

**I found that the cream cheese mixture was less prominent in these brownies than I’d liked. If you prefer a light cream cheese flavor, keep it at 4 oz of cream cheese. If you want it to be more cheese-cakey, use a full 8 oz package of cream cheese and add another Tablespoon of sugar and another 1/4 tsp of vanilla.**

These brownies were ooey, gooey and delightfully atypical than the normal chocolate brownie bar. So good! And since it’s summer, I highly recommend these with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum.

Enjoy being different!

xo, Hayley

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