Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies...

We tossed caution to the wind with the Treat Day goodies we made for Jeff's co-workers last week - I mean, who *really* puts raw cookie dough on top of an already baked pan of brownies and then calls it done? Well, in fact, we did just that by making these outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies.

I found the idea for this killer layered sweet from Michelle over at Brown Eyed Baker - it went directly to the back of my mind and sat there, teasing me, until the perfect time came up to make it.

Underneath that thick layer of cookie dough (and yes, it is egg-free and safe to eat by the handfuls, raw) is a brownie that is neither cake-y nor gooey - it fell somewhere in between, best described as moist and a bit chewy. Rich in brown sugar, to give a slight zing and bump up the chocolate factor, I did toss in a bit of espresso powder into the batter. Hang around the lower amount listed if you don't want too much of a coffee bite, or, if you like, knock it up to the full teaspoon and grab a buzz!

While the brownies were off cooling from their short stint in the oven, we had plenty of time to haul out the mixer and get going on the cookie dough topping. You'll find the classic ingredients to chocolate chip cookies - butter, flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt (don't skimp on this since we call for unsalted butter), plenty of fragrant vanilla and instead of the normal eggs you'd find, a few tablespoons of milk to smooth all the ingredients out.

I do suggest you give plenty of time to the creaming step - several minutes, with a couple stops every now and then to scrape down the sides of the bowl. This should hone down the edge of the graininess you get from the sugars in an unbaked dough. You could use mini chocolate chips if you like, but we're fans of robust bittersweet chocolate here - chop the pieces small, but not to dust. About half the size of your average chocolate chip to keep slicing the treats easy.

I don't think they needed it, but if you really wanted to take these over the top (as if they were not already), give them a fancy smear of ganache or, perhaps, a judicious scattering of more chopped bittersweet chocolate. Decidedly rich and decadent, you will want to keep these on the smaller side when cutting - also, give them plenty of time in the refrigerator to chill before taking a knife to them. I wasn't able to have any (more on that on another day... believe me, it nearly killed me not to try them), but Jeff gave his quality control approval by eating two (!) the night before he brought them in!

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