As much as I love cooking, I think I probably enjoy making other people smile with my food as much as I like eating it myself. I spend a lot of time searching for recipes that are slightly unusual, foods from far-flung countries or with crazy ingredients or techniques. It’s a lot of fun, and you learn a lot about the world through what they eat.
Sometimes though, the best way to make someone happy is to keep it simple – take two great things and combine them to make something even better. My sisters have always loved brownies, and who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies? Combine the two and hey presto, you’ve got Brookies! A few weeks ago I was due to visit my family so I made a big batch, I was really excited as I knew that my sisters would love them. Unfortunately, heavy snow put paid to the trip so we just had to eat them all ourselves – better luck next time Sis!
I found a recipe online from ‘Baked’ in Brooklyn, and it seemed suitably decadent for my purposes so I gave it a go. There was a fair bit of effort involved, but they turned out delicious so I’d say it was worth it in the end. You need to start work the evening before you want to bake if you can, so you can give the dough plenty of time to chill in the fridge.
I doubled up on the cookie mixture so I could make some straight-up cookies, and they were awesome! Next time I make chocolate chip cookies, I will definitely use this recipe – they improved with being left for a day or two in the tin, and were one of the nicest cookies I’d ever had, crisp on the outside but chewy on the inside, just how they should be. Give it a go!
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (or 2 tsp baking powder)
- 125g butter, softened (half a pack)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed down
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 6 oz milk chocolate chips (1 packet)
- 125g butter (the other half of the pack!)
- 3/4 cup plain flour
- 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pack dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Mix together flour, salt and baking soda then put to one side.
- Cream butter and sugar until smooth - if the butter is too hard, put it in a plastic bag and hang it in a jug of lukewarm water for 15 mins or so, it'll be much easier!
- Add egg and beat until well combined.
- Add vanilla and beat just to mix in, about 5 seconds.
- Add half of the flour mixture and beat until just mixed, about 15 seconds. Add remaining flour, again beat until just mixed.
- Gently fold in chocolate chips.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, overnight is fine.
- Butter some muffin tins, the number will depend on the size - using shallow cupcake tins I got 36 with this recipe.
- Mix flour, salt and cocoa powder in a bowl and set to one side.
- In a heatproof bowl above a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter gently.
- Turn off the heat and whisk in both lots of sugar.
- Remove bowl from water and cool to room temperature.
- Add the eggs and vanilla to the cooled chocolate and whisk until just combined, do not overmix.
- Sprinkle flour mixture over chocolate mixture and fold in gently with a spatula, a few bits of flour still showing is OK.
- Half fill each hole in the cake tray with batter, be sure to leave some room at the top.
- Place in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
- Take a small plate and scatter a little plain flour over it
- Using a metal spoon, scoop a small amount of cookie dough from the block, roll quickly between the palms to make a ball, drop onto the floured plate and squish to form a vaguely oval shape. The ball should be about 1 inch maximum if using the same tins as I did. Don't overwork it, you need to be quick to stop it warming up too much, it doesn't need to be perfect as it'll spread when cooking.
- Press the ovals into each prepared brownie base.
- Bake in the oven for around 12-15 minutes, turning the trays halfway through.
- Keep a close eye on the cooking, you're aiming to have the cookies browning but NOT fully cooked - they need to be soft in the middle when they come out and still looking a little raw, this will harden up and become chewy as they chill. If you overcook, they'll be more biscuity with a crunchier texture. Perhaps do one batch at a time if you're worried.
I hope that you enjoy trying this recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know how you got on!