Digging Into Dirt and Mud Brownies

A slice of dirt cake, take two

Remember the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray? It’s the one where his character relives the same day, over and over again. Do you ever feel like that? It’s when the same routine sneaks up on you, day in and day out. Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Make dinner. Go to bed. Do it all over again the next day.

The Story

Remember the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray? It’s the one where… OK, just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

Today is Groundhog Day. Every year old Punxsutawney Phil crawls out of his hole in the ground and seems sees his shadow, just like the year before. As the legend goes, it means six more weeks of winter. Since I don’t want to wait even one more week for all this snow to melt before I see dirt again, I’m making some dirt of my own for a Mississippi Mud and Dirt Brownie.

The Moral of the Story

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Do something out of the ordinary. Make a mud and dirt brownie to celebrate Groundhog Day.

About the Recipe

Dirt cake

This is a recipe from Allrecipes called Mississippi Mud Cake II. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s more of a brownie — a wonderfully, rich chewy brownie. Then I added ground Oreos on top for the “dirt” and a few gummy worms for fun.

The Cast of Characters

Cast of ingredients for mud cake

It takes a medley of ingredients to make this recipe. A few of my favorites are those involving chocolate (e.g., cocoa and Oreos) and those involving sugar (e.g., white sugar, powdered sugar and marshmallow creme). For the rest of the ingredients, see the complete recipe for Mississippi Mud Cake II from Allrecipes.

The Play-by-Play

Before you begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9 x 13 pan.

Melt one cup cocoa and a half cup butter in a saucepan on the stovetop, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
Cocoa and butter

Remove the saucepan from the stovetop, and stir in two cups of white sugar.
Sugar and chocolate

Stir in four eggs, one at a time.
Adding egg

In a separate bowl, combine one and a half cups flour, one teaspoon baking powder and a half teaspoon salt. Then stir the dry ingredients into the egg, butter and sugar mixture in the saucepan.
Adding flour

Stir one and a half cups chopped walnuts and two teaspoons vanilla extract into the batter.
Adding walnuts

Pour the batter into the baking pan, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
Mud cake in the oven

While the brownie is in the oven, start making the icing. In your stand mixer, mix together one fourth cup unsalted butter, one third cup cocoa, one teaspoon vanilla extract, one half cup milk and three cups powdered sugar.
Icing ingredients

Remove the baked brownie from the oven.
Mud cake fresh out of oven

Promptly spread a seven ounce jar of marshmallow creme on top of the hot brownie.
Marshmallow tops brownie

Then spread the chocolate icing on top of the marshmallow.
Chocolate icing tops marshmellow cream

For the finale, grind about 12 to 15 Oreo cookies in a food processor.
Chopped oreos make the dirt

Sprinkle the cookie crumbs on top of the icing to create the appearance of “dirt.” For fun, you also may add gummy worms on top of the “dirt.”
Gummy worm in dirt cake

The Footnotes

  • Serving and storing: When researching recipes for “dirt” cakes, most of the ones I found were no-bake cakes requiring cream cheese and chilling in the refrigerator. Since I was taking this to work, I wanted something that could be left at room temperature most of the day. This recipe fit the bill. However, for long-term storage, I recommend keeping it in the refrigerator since there is milk in the icing.

The Recipe: Dirt and Mud Brownies

For the “brownie,” see the Mississippi Mud Cake II recipe on Allrecipes.

For the “dirt,” grind 12 to 15 Oreos in a food processor.

Have you made a dirt cake? How about a mud pie? If so, how did they turn out?

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