Chocolate Chip Walnut Brondies

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Despite the relatively easy portmanteau-ability of “Brownie” and “Blondie,” there’s a surprising dearth of this very thing on the ol’ interwebs. Sure, it exists, but in nowhere near the numbers one would expect. The fact that Google’s search is wont to push you in the direction of “Blondie” probably doesn’t help matters. Nonetheless…here’s another entry into a group of recipes that are doomed to SEO purgatory.

As for the recipe…it’s pretty straightforward. Take your favorite brownie recipe, bake for about 15 minutes, top with your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and finish baking. The final result is an absurdly decadent little number that should be eaten in very limited quantity. So…perfect for bake sales or for those on death row.

For the brownies (recipe taken from this very blog!)

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, for those who hate awesome things)

For the blondies (slightly modified from the Barefoot Contessa)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees and line a 11 x 17 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Make your brownie batter
    1. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
    2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. You can brown it if you want, but that’s up to you.
    3. Whisk sugar until completely combined.
    4. Add vanilla and eggs (one at a time) and mix until thoroughly combined.
    5. Add flour mixture and mix until completely combined
    6. Fold in walnuts.
    7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. While your brownies are cooking, make your blondie recipe:
    1. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    2. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. I used the ol’ KitchenAid ’cause I was feeling lazy. Took about 3 minutes on medium.
    3. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.
    4. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, and mix until just combined.
    5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Remove partially cooked brownies from oven and top with blondie mixture. Since the latter is reasonably firm, it’s easy to break into pieces to make sure it’s even.
  5. Return to oven for another 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before cutting (about 2 hours) into 2″ x 2″ squares.
  7. Give the corners to your mom because you know she likes those.
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(Mini) Mint Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies

IMG_6253(Dude needs a manicure.)

The wonderful thing about whoopie pies (other than allowing me to write ridiculous things like “the wonderful thing about whoopie pies”) is that as soon as you got the cookie part down, there’s really no limit to what you can fill ’em with. Peanut butter? Check. Raspberry? Get it. Salted caramel? Gross, but doable. Just pick a flavor that compliments the cookie part and you’re good to go.

They’re kind of a pain in the ass to get just right, so if perfection is your thing it’s probably best to try something that isn’t so fussy. However, once you’ve figured out how to get ’em all the same size (still working on that myself), these little biddies will be the bell of the school bake sale ball. Besides, no one’s gonna complain once they’ve bitten in to one. And if they do, you’re well within your rights to smack what remains from their ungrateful little hand and tell ’em to get bent.

INGREDIENTS 

For the “pie” (from Zingerman’s Bakehouse via NY Times)

  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup (a stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the “whoopie” (slightly altered from “Sally’s Baking Addiction“)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon mint extract (don’t use peppermint)
  • 4 – 5 drops green food dye
  • pinch of salt, as needed
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS (Makes 6 large ones or 12 – 16 “mini” ones)

For the “pie”

  1. Put on Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary because you forgot how good that album is.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, cream together butter and sugar (use a hand mixer).
  5. Add egg and  vanilla and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture an buttermilk and mix until just combined.
  7. Spoon 2 tablespoons with of batter onto prepared sheet (about 12 to a sheet, 2 inches apart). For large pies, use 1/4 cup.
  8. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until pies are springy to the touch.
  9. Allow to cool for 1 – 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack.

For the “whoopie”

  1. Using your (now clean) hand mixer, beat the softened butter.
  2. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla and mint extracts, and food dye. Mix until creamy. If too thick, add a little more cream. If too thin, use a little more powdered sugar.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Assembly

  1. Fill a piping bag (or a zip lock bag and cut off a corner) with frosting.
  2. Put about 1 tablespoon (more if you made bigger cookies) of the frosting on the flat bottom of one half of your cookies. It helps if you do them all at once.
  3. Take what are now the tops and place them…uh…on top of each filling-filled cookie. Give ’em a gentle smoosh.
  4. Fin.
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Chewy Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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There’s nothing worse than biting into an oatmeal cookie only to realize that what you thought were chocolate chips were, in fact, raisins. Sorry grandmas everywhere, but raisins ruin everything. Easy enough to fix, though. Simply substitute chocolate chips for “nature’s candy” in your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and you’re good to go.

Barring a favorite oatmeal cookie recipe—there’s really no reason for you to have one, anyway—this one from Anne Burrell will get the job done. It’s worth noting that I substituted bread flour for all-purpose (the higher protein content leads to chewier cookies), used chips instead of chunks, and didn’t dust ’em with sea salt. Feel free to do whatever. No one’s stoppin’ ya.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1 yappy dog (optional)

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DIRECTIONS (makes 24 – 30 cookies)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand-up mixer, cream together butter and sugars.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Add vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
  6. Add the flour mixture into parts, mixing until just combined.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts until evenly distributed.
  8. Drop 2 tablespoon balls of dough on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. I used a medium cookie scoop because I have a thing for uniformity. Do you.
  9. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes until edges begin to brown.
  10. Remove from oven and let ’em sit for a minute or two before moving to a wire rack to completely cool.
  11. Give ’em to friends because one of your New Year’s resolutions is to not eat like a stoned college student.
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Chewy Chai Spice Sugar Cookies

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I don’t know what to write about these other than chai spice in a sugar cookie seems like a no brainer. These are straight up awesome. And, like the Chocolate Crinkle Cookies from the other week, these popped up on the ol’ Instagram feed as part of America’s Test Kitchen’s 25 Days of Cookies. However, by the time I got around to makin’ em, ATK had already put the recipe behind a paywall. Fortunately, the Internet being the Internet and all, Slate had published the recipe a few years back.

If you can buy drugs online and have them delivered to your house, it’s not that hard to find a cookie recipe. I mean, really.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 and 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

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DIRECTIONS (makes 20 – 24 cookies)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper.
  4. Add cream cheese and whisk until combined. Some cream cheese chunks will remain. That’s cool, man.
  5. Add the melted butter (microwave it for 30 seconds or so) and mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Add vegetable oil and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  7. Add egg, cream, and vanilla extract and whisk until fully incorporated.
  8. Add the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, mix/fold until you create a uniform dough.
  9. Take about 2 tablespoons of dough, gently roll into a ball (don’t go crazy), and then roll in remaining 1/3 sugar.
  10. Arrange 12 cookies on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  11. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, give ’em a smoosh until they’re about 2 inches. Sprinkle with a bit more sugar because diabeetus.
  12. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, rotating pan at the 7 minute mark.
  13. Remove from oven a transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  14. Give ’em to a friend because it’s the holidays and everybody loves cookies!
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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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When it comes to anything food-related, America’s Test Kitchen is pretty much the gold standard as far as television is involved. Its creator, the founder of Cooks Illustrated and my spirit animal, Christopher Kimball told the NY Times a while back, “I hate the idea that cooking should be a celebration or a party. Cooking is about putting food on the table night after night, and there isn’t anything glamorous about it.” Yuuuup.  Leave me alone for an hour and I’ll let you know when it’s finished. Then we can talk. This might sound a little curmudgeonly, but I prefer to work without distraction (multi-tasking is a concept that remains foreign to me). And, with very few exceptions, simple and consistent is my ideal.

Speaking of simple and consistent and terrible segues, America’s Test Kitchen is currently in the midst of a “25 Days of Cookies” run and every single recipe they’ve published so far looks like a winner. I went with this one because it’s very similar to the Dutch Cocoa Sugar Cookies I’m so fond of. I tweaked the directions a bit for clarity, but other than that, this is basically coming straight from their website. And, unsurprisingly, they’re absolutely wonderful.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

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DIRECTIONS (makes 20 – 22 cookies)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer, mix sugar, eggs (one at a time), and vanilla.
  4. Combine butter and chocolate in a bowl and microwave on half power for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture and, using your hand mixer, mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in flour mixture until fully incorporated. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. It’ll have the consistency of a thick brownie batter. Don’t be alarmed!
  7. Place sugars in two separate bowls.
  8. Roll about two tablespoons worth of dough into a ball (it won’t be perfect). Drop ball into granulated sugar and completely coat. Repeat for the confectioners’ sugar.
  9. Space sugar-covered balls on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  10. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. They’ll look like they aren’t finished. Surprise…they are!
  11. Let completely cool on sheet before serving. For some reason, I like to take a spatula and flatten ’em a bit while they’re cooling.
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Chocolate Rollup Cake With Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting/Filling

IMG_6076For those looking to increase their chances of type 2 diabetes, this recipe will basically guarantee Wilfred Brimley shows up unannounced at your door with a box full of Liberty Medical supplies. Chocolate cake dusted with confectioner’s sugar? Check. Cookie dough frosting made with heavy cream? Let’s do this!

Who needs toes? There’s cookie dough in the cake!

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