Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Heaven in a Pan

I honestly didn't think anything in the world could be more divine than eggless cookie dough. I could (and have...and will) eat it by the spoonful when I make cookie dough truffles. As a kid, I would sit down with a small shovel and go to town on a bucket of premade cookie dough (may or may not have been eggless- we weren't wusses, us children in the 90s). Chocolate chip cookie dough is clearly the superior ice cream flavor over the rest; it just allows all others to exist as it is a gentle, omnipotent ice cream. Also, cookie dough bites may actually be a frontrunner in the changing tide for world peace. However, it turns out when you place a giant layer of eggless cookie dough on top of a giant fudge brownie, you can actually hear angels singing with each bite. Heavenly.
Halllllllllelujah! Hallelujah, hallleeeelllujaaaahhh!
I know, the photo above is probably NSFW as it is most definitely food porn. If the United States of America ever decides on an official food to represent both its power and lust for more (read: nice way of saying gluttony), I'm fairly certain the cookie dough fudge brownie would be a top contender. Move over double cheeseburger, you've met your match. Actually, maybe I should be marketing these at America's cornerstone favorite fast food join, McDonald's. A treat this indulgent and this easy to make is right up their greasy alley. I made both the fudge brownie and eggless cookie dough from scratch for this recipe, and it really is quite simple. The hardest part is not eating all your dough before putting it on the brownie, so patience and/or a mouth guard are key. Let's get down to delicious business, shall we?
Fair warning, never eat Baker's chocolate squares...they're deceptively sweet-looking, when in all actuality are quite bitter. My spirit food!
I found this brownie recipe here, and made some changes to speed up the process and make things insanely're welcome. Add that to my list of straight up 'Merican traits: corner cutting. So here's what you need:
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 ounces unsweetened Hershey's cocoa (It says Hershey's on it, so you'd think this would be sweet, too, but don't even go there.)
  • 4 ounces bittersweet Baker's chocolate (Do. Not. Eat. Unless you wondered what your bitter beer face looks like.)
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
Aside from the chocolates, you probably already have everything you need for these brownies. They could stand alone without the cookie dough and probably be the best brownies I've ever eaten, and I'm not just saying that because I made them myself (really!!). Cue the crappy photo montage!
To make slicing the bars easier later, as they are hella thick so this is easier to do outside of the pan, line an 8x8 pan with nonstick foil. Preheat your oven to 325.
While the oven is getting nice and toasty, cut up your butter into manageable chunks and break apart the Baker's bar into sections. Dump the cocoa powder in a microwave safe, medium-sized bowl. Throw the butter and Baker's chocolate on top of this, and nuke for 30 seconds on high power. Stir, and nuke for another 30 seconds, and then your chocolate base should be nicely blended together without any scorching or burning. Burning chocolate should be a cardinal sin.
So, so smooth. But still deceptively bitter, so don't be fooled by its enticing appearance. Just like a mermaid trying to lure sailor's to their death, unsweetened chocolate probably can kill you. Maybe. Perhaps.
While your chocolate is cooling just a touch, mix together the dry ingredients. Creating a flour mess on the counter is optional (mandatory in my clumsy case, as seen here).
Now, to create an even bigger clean up, take your chocolate from it's current bowl and put it in your stand mixing bowl. Or you could use a hand mixer to keep the dish disaster in line. I just so enjoy wasting water, so I opted for my stand mixer. Mix this chocolate with the sugar and vanilla. Blend until smooth (and safe to finally eat, thank God).

Now dump in your dry ingredients and mix well. Then add in your eggs (I cracked mine into the empty bowl left by my dry mix and whipped, but you could just individually add the eggs into the mix. I just really like pretending to be an omelet chef).

Now you're ready to shove your pan into your immaculately clean oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes.

The brownies are done when you look at them and have the Pavlovian response of instantaneous mouth watering, or when you insert a toothpick and it comes out crummy, but not dripping. These are meant to be moist, so you don't want to overcook and dry them out. I cooked mine for 32 minutes.
I mean, you really could call it quits here and still have a perfect platform for cookie dough ice cream (Blue Bell, of course), but making the cookie dough is even easier than making the brownies, so instead of quitting halfway through, be a true American (you know, from before the "participation ribbon" days), and make the damn dough. Put your brownies in the freezer for about an hour and a half to let them cool and set. They will be easier to work with when you apply the dough this way.
Nestle mini chocolate chips are safe to eat from the bag, FYI.
Here's what you need for the dough:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened (or nuked) to room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Cue the next crappy photo montage!
Cream together the butter, vanilla, salt, and both sugars until delicious.
Then add in the flour, and mix until incorporated. Stop to scrape the bowl here (free sample!), and then add in the milk.
Finally, mix in a glorious cup of non-sheisty, un-tricky, delicious milk chocolate chips.
And proceed to put in the mouth guard before you eat the entire bowl.
This is my go-to dough recipe. You could probably freeze this recipe and just keep on hand for when the cookie craving strikes. This is what the Cookie Monster should do instead of just talking about cookies all the time. Self-enabling. The American way. Now remove your brownies from the freezer once totally cooled, you know, before you eat all the cookie dough. Take a decent-sized chunk of dough, and flatten it out in your palms a bit before pressing on to the brownie.
Like so! Magical, really.

Continue to flatten and press the dough firmly onto the brownie until covered completely. If you have some dough leftover, you could either save it to eat later or find any thin places on your cookie layer and beef them up, if you will.
Then use your palms to flatten things out so it looks pretty and smooth, because this is extremely important to me.

Finish off by removing the foil/brownies from the pan and sprinkling more chocolate chips on top, and then press them into the dough layer a bit so they don't just fall off and create a mess for small children or dogs to clean up.
Once you've done this, you can either put the magical, Heavenly creation into the freezer for 30 minutes if you're like, super duper jonesing for a sugar rush, or place into the fridge for a couple hours. Surprisingly, I went for option two since I still needed to make and eat a dinner that consisted of more than just chocolate. Being an adult is no fun.
You were worth the wait.
When you're ready, take these sweet little deities out and cut into squares. You can see how fudgy the brownie is, and it's deliciousness is complemented completely by the eggless cookie dough. Its a match made in Food Heaven (hence the chorus of angels I mentioned earlier). Sadly, I can only eat these one at a time because they are so sweet I may go into a coma if I eat two or more. Would it be worth it? Yes, I think it would. But then I wouldn't be around to come up with other delectable desserts and witticism for you each week. That might make the angels cry, and we simply can't have that. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!


  1. Move to Tennessee so you can be our private chef! ��

  2. If only! There'd be so much less snow!!


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