4th of July

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The Ultimate Cookie Stuffed Brownies a.k.a Slutty Brownies

By | 4th of July, Affiliate Links, Baking + Desserts, Cookies + Brownies, Party Foods | No Comments

The ultimate Cookie Stuffed Brownies bring all of my favorite things together in one gloriously delicious cookie bar. Check out all three versions, Oreo, Nutter Butter and mint Milano!

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What do you get when you combine chocolate chip cookies, Oreos, and brownies all layered in one pan? Cookie Stuffed Brownies a.k.a Slutty Brownies, of course!

The ultimate cookie stuffed brownies squares stacked on pink surface

This post may include affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure agreement.

What are Slutty Brownies?

My Cookie Stuffed Brownies are a take on the original recipe found on The Londoner Blog called Slutty Brownies. This version was also super popular on What’s Gaby Cooking! These seriously indulgent dessert bars have goodies baked right into them.

Cookie Stuffed Brownies consist of a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough smooshed in the bottom of your 8- by-8-inch pan.  (Read below to learn how to line the pan for easy cookie removal!). Next comes store-bought cookies layered on top of the cookie dough. Top off everything with the brownie batter, bake and dig in.

Imagine the delicious variations of cookie stuffed brownies! So many treats – So few days!

I have taken this layered deliciousness a few steps further with some delightful variations.  Let’s jump right in. Is there a better combination than chocolate and peanut butter?  Not in my book!

The ultimate cookie stuffed brownies stand tall

Make Peanut Butter Cookie Stuffed Brownies!

Indulge by adding some peanut butter to the chocolate chip cookie dough (recipe variation below) and then nestling Nutter Butter cookies between the cookies and brownies in place of the original Oreos.  Oh my! It’s as easy as the original but you get that peanut butter punch from all directions.

Mint Cookie Stuffed Brownies

You know and love Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies. You know and love Andes Mints. Bring them together in your own cookie bar! Replace the mini chocolate chips in the chocolate chip cookie recipe with chopped Andes Mints and the Oreos with Milanos (you can use mint Milanos for extra flavor too). Layers and layers of fantastic minty lusciousness.

The ultimate cookie stuffed brownies are my take on slutty brownies

When all of these lovely bars come from the oven they are ooey and gooey goodness and need a scoop of ice cream immediately.  If you prefer to let them cool a bit longer, they will cut into very pretty pick-up-and-eat brownies.  In either case,  I like to line my pan with a strip of parchment long enough to allow the edges to hang over opposite sides.  When cooled, the bars lift right out of the pan using the parchment as the lifter.  Then you are easily able to slice the bars into beautiful squares right on your cutting board.

The Ultimate Cookie Stuffed Brownies a.k.a. Slutty Brownies

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: Makes 12 bars

The Ultimate Cookie Stuffed Brownies a.k.a. Slutty Brownies


    Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 16 Double Stuf Oreos, plus more for the top
  • Milk Chocolate Brownie Layer
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter 8 oz milk chocolate, chopped
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan and line with a strip of parchment, allowing edges to hang over opposite sides.
  2. For the chocolate chip cookie layer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Stir in the flour, salt and baking soda, then add chocolate chips. Press dough into the bottom of the pan. Top with a single layer of Oreos.
  3. To make brownie batter, melt together butter and chocolate and cool slightly. Stir in brown sugar, vanilla and eggs until smooth. Add flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and stir until batter is smooth and glossy. Pour over Oreos in the pan.
  4. Top brownie layer with extra crumbled Oreos. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, 60 to 65 min. Allow to cool, then run a spatula around edges to loosen from pan. Use the parchment overhang to lift brownies out of the pan; slice and serve.
  5. Nutter Butter-PB Variation
  6. Substitute smooth peanut butter for ½ cup of the unsalted butter in the chocolate chip cookie recipe. Make as directed otherwise. Use Nutter Butter cookies in place of the Oreos and sprinkle peanuts on top of the brownie layer.
  7. Mint and Milano Variation
  8. Substitute chopped Andes Mints for ½ cup of the mini chocolate chips in the chocolate chip cookie recipe. Make as directed otherwise. Use Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies in place of the Oreos and sprinkle extra chopped Andes Mints on top of Brownie layer just after baking.


You can also make Nutter Butter-peanut butter or Andes Mint-Milano cookie variations of these bars.

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The ultimate cookie stuffed brownies for pinning
Recipe Tara Teaspoon. Photography William Brinson. Props Penelope Bouklas. Originally published in LHJ 03/14.

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

By | 4th of July, Buffets, Chicken, Easy Dinners, Entertaining, Holidays + Seasons, Kid Friendly Dinners, Kids, Main Dish, Meat + Poultry, Mother's Day, One Dish Meals, Party Foods, Pasta, Picnics, Salads, Spring, Summertime Favorites, Uncategorized | No Comments

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad with juicy oranges, radishes and snow peas makes eating salad your new favorite thing!

By adding some crunchy ramen noodles to this Asian-inspired salad, you get a more filling, fun meal. There are a few recipes for ramen noodle salads out there, using different dressings and flavors. I love fresh veggies and cabbage with sesame dressings. That Asian flavor isn’t overpowering like an Italian vinaigrette, and I usually have the ingredients for it in my pantry. I used my Ginger Sesame Dressing on this version.

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

I saved us all about ten steps by calling for coleslaw mix! You’re welcome. This Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad comes together in a flash with pantry staples like ramen and salad mix. I added chopped cashews for extra yum.

Crunchy Chicken Noodle SaladI call for letting the salad rest in the fridge for a bit. This allows the dressing to soften the noodles a little. They are just a little too crunchy without resting. I used a mandolin to slice my radishes so thin. You can just slice with a knife if you like, or even just cut them into slivers.

To cut the orange I supremed it. That means I cut the fruit away from the membrane. Simply cut the rind off of the entire orange and cut on either side of each slice of orange, slipping it right out. I then just cut the slices into bite-sized pieces.

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 410

Fat per serving: 17.5 g

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

You can substitute a can of mandarin oranges for the orange and try any kind of nut in place of cashews.


  • 1 pkg ramen noodles (discard flavor packet)
  • 1½ cups diced cooked chicken
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 5 oz (1 cup) snow peas, chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped unsalted cashews
  • 1 16-oz pkg coleslaw mix
  • ¾ cup sesame ginger dressing Ginger Sesame Dressing


  1. Break uncooked ramen into small pieces in a large bowl. Combine with chicken, radishes, orange, scallion, snow peas, cashews and coleslaw.
  2. Toss salad with dressing, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 25 min or up to 1 hr. Noodles will get softer the longer they sit.
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Right now I’m on a salad diet! I went on a trip and ate too too much! So…salad for me. But I have lots of great recipes, so if you’re in the same boat, or just love fresh dinners for summer, try The New Wedge Salad, with iceberg lettuce, beets, pancetta, hazelnuts and of course blue cheese. Chicken and Rice Lettuce Wraps are kind of a salad you can eat in your hand! I made a flavorful rice salad and you wrap your own portion in soft butter lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Recipe by Tara Bench
Photography by Antonis Achilleos
Food Styling by Paul Grimes
Prom Styling by Paige Hicks
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal May 2011

Asian Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing

By | 4th of July, Buffets, Chicken, Easy Dinners, Entertaining, Healthy + Diet, Holidays + Seasons, Main Dish, Meat + Poultry, Mother's Day, One Dish Meals, Salads, Side Dishes, Spring, Summertime Favorites, Vegetables | No Comments

It’s so easy to slice veggies for an Asian slaw and whisk up Sesame Ginger Dressing, that dinner will be ready before you know it.

Sesame ginger vinaigrette tossed with colorful Asian slaw veggies like cabbage, snow peas and peppers, has got to be one of my favorite salads. This vinaigrette is easy, and so good, you’ll want to drizzle it on everything in sight, if not drink it! But please don’t ACTUALLY drink it, because drinking salad dressing is weird and probably off-putting to your loved ones. Save some for the rest of us!

Asian Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing

I like to add chicken to my salad to make it a meal, but I regularly make this slaw without the chicken as a side; it’s also one of the best salads to make for potlucks. No one will be complaining it’s on the table!

This video I made for my post on shows how I made this salad in three minutes. Okay, okay it may have taken me a bit longer than three minutes in real life, but not much more. For more fun cooking videos subscribe to my YouTube channel Tara Teaspoon Official, here.

I used rice wine vinegar as the base for this dressing because it’s light and adds a tangy zing without overpowering the other flavors. As with all vinaigrettes, the trick is to get all of your flavorful ingredients together before adding the oil to them. The oil breaks into little teeny tiny parts when you whisk it. This separates the other ingredients and makes them float happily amidst the little oil parts. (Some people call that emulsification, but I prefer my more technical description.) The point being that your flavorful ingredients need to be nicely mixed and combined so they disperse evenly. Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, ginger and vinegar, and then taste the mixture. If you like it stronger, add a bit more soy sauce; sweeter, add more honey. When the flavor is just right, slowly whisk in the canola oil and let it break it into teeny tiny parts.

Savoy cabbage and Napa cabbage

Savoy cabbage and Napa cabbage tend to have leaves that are a bit curly, even dark green. They can both be used in Asian slaw because of their tender bite and mild flavor. In a pinch, you can substitute standard cabbage, but it has a stronger taste and takes a bit more effort to chew.

It only takes a few simple chops and slices to work through your cabbage, peppers, snow peas and scallions. You can thinly slice your cucumber as well, but I love these little paddle slicers. They make quick work of veggies (use the guard for safety, and watch those fingers).

The mandarins add juicy sweetness, but if they aren’t handy at your store, slice some orange segments into the salad instead.

In the cold winter months, I grill my chicken indoors on a grill pan, or electric grill like this one.


Asian Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 cup dressing

Salad serves 6 as a meal, 10 as a side

Asian Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Savor this seriously tasty salad with an authentic vinaigrette for a fresh, delicious dinner.


  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • Salad:
  • 4 cups Napa and, or Savoy cabbage, sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup snow peas, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 2 mandarins, segmented
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • Grilled chicken, optional


  1. For the dressing, stir together all the ingredients except the canola oil until well combined. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly. Set aside.
  2. For the salad, toss everything in a large serving bowl, top with sliced chicken if desired. Whisk the dressing again just before drizzling on salad.
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Veggies in the winter are so tasty and healthy. For a great dinner try my Roasted Vegetable Pizza, or serve my Vegetable Trio with Orange Thyme Dressing on the side of your main dish.

This post may include affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure agreement.

Recipe and food styling Tara Bench
Photography Tara Bench
Video production Melanie Donahoo

Nachos For A Party Crowd

By | 4th of July, Appetizers + Nibbles, Easy Dinners, Entertaining, Fall, Father's Day, Holidays + Seasons, Kid Friendly Dinners, Kids, Main Dish, Party Foods, Snacks, Summertime Favorites | One Comment
More days than not there are nachos in my house. For parties, game days (read Super Bowl), movie night and the like I need a lot of nachos! Layer your fixings and bake them in the oven for Nachos For A Crowd.

When I entertain at home I take a step away from the brain-work of major creativity (I cook for a living) and stick to things that are easy, crowd-pleasing and fun. For the Super Bowl, I’m making nachos with all the fixings. Along with some drinks and my chocolate chip cookies, I’m going to be totally set. See this recipe on where it was originally published.

Nachos For A Party Crowd

I make my Nachos For A Crowd in the oven. No melting cheese sauces and cleaning up drippy messes and no heating small batches of chips and cheese in the microwave. Depending on the party I’m having, I’ll add beans or shredded meat, and I have sour cream, salsas and guacamole in bowls for people to add to their plates.

Make nachos for everyone all at once by cooking them on a baking sheet. I line it with foil (for easy cleanup), and layer the goodness of chips, cheese and other tasty additions, then bake for about 10 minutes.

Making Nachos

The cheese is key, and I like a variety. Mixing cheeses gives depth of flavor and texture. Some cheese melts silky smooth, some get a bit chewy and others are crumbly and salty delicious like Cotija.

My favorite is a Monterey Jack of course, and then you have his brother Pepper Jack to add spice. A little mild or sharp cheddar adds classic flavor and even pieces of Velveeta gives a silky melt on top of the crunchy chips. I love a good carnitas nacho (braised pork), shredded steak or chicken as well. Adding meat makes the nachos more substantial, closer to a meal, if you eat enough like I usually do.

Nachos For A Party Crowd

Check my list below for any extras you can add and layer, layer, layer. It’s an oven-nacho trick. One layer of chips, cheese, toppings, covered by another layer and sometimes even a third. The even heat from the oven melts all the cheese and heats everything perfectly. Serve with tongs so guests can grab an entire serving at once.

Nachos For A Crowd checklist:
Cheese Please

Monterey Jack is perfect for melting. Pepper Jack adds great spice. Crumble Cotija or other Mexican cheese on top when the nachos come out of the oven.

Layers of Good

Two or three layers of chips, cheeses and toppings are perfect in the even heat of the oven.

Meat the Merrier

Add braised pulled pork for carnitas nachos, or shredded chicken or beef for a more hearty snack.

Top That

Additions like canned beans, white onions, pickled jalapeños, fresh tomatoes and sweet peppers are added in layers with the cheese and cooked along with the chips.

It All Adds Up

Have bowls of these add-ons for guests to try on their servings: sour cream, cilantro, sliced scallions, olives, guacamole, salsa and hot sauce.

Nachos For A Crowd

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 12

Nachos For A Crowd

Crunchy chips with loads of toppings for hungry party-goers are easy to make when you do it in the oven.


  • 2 11-oz bags tortilla chips
  • 5 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 can drained black beans
  • ½ cup chopped white onion
  • ½ cup pickled jalapeños
  • Toppings such as cilantro, scallions and olives
  • Serve with sour cream, guacamole and salsa


  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Arrange half of the chips on pans and top with some cheeses, beans, onion, and jalapeño. Repeat layers for two to three layers total. (These can be assembled up to one hour before baking.)
  2. Working with one sheet at a time, bake until cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, scallions and olives if desired and serve with desired toppings. Heat a second pan as the first for fresh, hot nachos.
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Nachos For A Party Crowd

For more recipes to entertain on game day, try my New Seven Layer Dip, or Chicken Meatballs with Cumin and Orange.
Recipe and photography by Tara Bench