(chilled and therefore solid here)
One of my favorite things about the weekend is coffee. On weekdays, I limit myself to a big mug of black tea each day, maybe two mugs on Friday. But I have to be careful with caffeine, because even one mug of black tea makes me a little excited. The day I made these brownies, I had about twice my normal weekend allotment of coffee at home, and then there was some deal at the bookstore, and I ended up getting a medium instead of my normal small cappuccino. Whoa.
I came home and tried to make dinner and these brownies. Dinner wasn’t too complicated, and this dessert is just a basic brownie recipe topped with a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. But I couldn’t focus on anything. I kept walking into the kitchen, looking around, and basically thinking, “what should I do, what should I do, what should I do?” Bzzzzzt. That was my brain. Bzzzzt.
Dinner was sort of a disaster, so I decided to placate myself by skipping right to dessert – only to find that the middle of the pan of brownies was totally raw. That just made me irritated enough to grab a spoon and go to town.
I have no one to blame but myself. I never bothered to check the doneness of the brownies at all. I didn’t pay attention to when they went into the oven, and then at some point later, it occurred to me that I should check on them. I noticed how dark the top was and assumed I’d overcooked them.
If I had bothered to read the discussion of this recipe on TWD’s site, which of course I hadn’t, I would have known that underdoneness was a common problem. To complicate matters, I made ¼ of the brownie portion and ½ of the cookie portion using a pan ¼ the size of what’s recommended for a full recipe. (Thanks to Caitlin for this advice – it was definitely closer to the ratio of brownie to cookie that I preferred.)
If this is the result, I’m really going to have to be more careful about my caffeine consumption. It’s a good thing that chocolate chip cookie dough is one of my favorite foods, because that and brownie batter is basically what this ended up as.
Chipster-Topped Brownies (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my Home to Yours)
For the brownie layer:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1⅔ cups (11.66 ounces) sugar
4 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (4.8 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts
For the cookie layer:
1¼ cups (6 ounces) all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) butter, room temperature
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) packed brown sugar
⅔ cup (4.66 ounces) sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, either chips or chunks
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9×13 inch pan, line it with wax or parchment paper and butter the paper. Put the pan on a baking sheet.
To make the brownie batter:
Put both chocolates and the butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stirring occasionally, heat just until the ingredients are melted, shiny and smooth. If the mixture gets too hot, the butter will separate from the chocolate. Remove the bowl from the heat.
Working with a stand mixer, preferable fitted with a paddle attachment, or working with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until pale, thick and creamy. Beat in the salt and vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate and butter, mixing only until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then, still on low speed, add the flour, mixing only until it disappear into the batter. Using a spatula, fold in the walnuts, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.
To make the cookie dough:
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
Working with the stand mixer in the cleaned bowl or with the hand mixer in another large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. One at a time, add the egg and the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Still on low, mix in the chocolate. Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls over the brownie batter and, using a spatula and a light touch, spread evenly over the batter.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the cookie top is deep golden brown and firm and thin knife inserted into the brownie layer comes out with only faint streaks of moist chocolate. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
When the brownies are completely cool, carefully run a knife between the sides of the pan and the brownies, then invert them onto another rack, remove the paper and turn right side up onto a cutting board. Cut into bars about 2 inches by 1 inch.
One year ago: Ricotta Spinach Tofu Ravioli