Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Starting from Scratch

A few days ago (see here), I listed chocolate chip cookie dough brownies as my current craving. Usually, my longings for specific sweet things are fleeting (although I'm never able to completely disable my sweet tooth). Every couple of days, I'll scroll through my bookmarked dessert recipes (found mostly through the world's most addicting website, TasteSpotting) and delete various cheesecakes, cookies, blondies, crumb bars, cupcakes, etc. Weeding out my favorites is a futile exercise since the websites on the chopping block are almost immediately replaced with links to new yearnings...but I have to fool myself into thinking that I'm keeping the volume down somehow.

You should see me in the bakery section at Whole Foods. I have the attention span of a goldfish - my eyes dart from the gelato to the flowery cupcakes and to the chocolate covered nuts, before scanning over the mini cheesecakes (how cute are those?) and briefly zooming in on the lemon bars. In less than five seconds, I bounce from having to have one thing to completely forgetting about it in favor of another.

But I couldn't get RecipeGirl's chocolate chip cookie dough brownies out of my favorites folder (or out of my mind). As I was lacing up my shoes for a tempo run, I thought about these brownies. In the middle of a bike workout, I thought about these brownies. At the end of a torturous introduction to the weighted jump rope, I thought about these brownies. Today I caved in, I decided to check my judgemental self at the kitchen door and bake these babies. To my pleasant surprise, these brownies were so good that they didn't just muffle the little voice that always says well there goes that workout...they stifled it altogether!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Today I hung up my sous-chef hat and actually learned how to cream butter, how to crack an egg, how to run the electric mixer, and how to spread batter with confidence (echoes of Brother #3's coaching). Mom and Brother #3 supervised the baking of these brownies, but I was the one who got my hands gooey, my camera sticky, and my clothes covered in flour. It should come as no surprise that I had a minor panic attack due to the mess all over the counter, but also that I loved the exactness and precision associated with baking.

My 1st Lesson (And 2nd Workout): Finely Chopped Unsweetened Chocolate

Melted Chocolate...Mmmm

Mixing Butter and Brown Sugar, Eggs and Vanilla Extract 

Mixing Melted Chocolate and Flour

Baked Brownie Layer (35 Minutes at 325 Degrees F)

Egg-less Cookie Dough with Mini Chocolate Chips

Before Spreading the Cookie Dough Layer

Ready for the Fridge

Semi-melted Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (for Drizzle)

Final Product (Looking Distinctly Homemade!)

I used a great recipe but I wished I had known two things beforehand:
-For neat brownie squares, it's a good idea to run the knife under hot water after cutting each column/row
-If you use butter instead of shortening to make the chocolate drizzle (as we did), the drizzle comes out a lot thicker and is significantly harder to squeeze out in a pretty zigzag pattern

Zigzag Chocolate Drizzle Fail (But Fudgy and Sweet Nonetheless) 


  1. whenever I can't stop thinking about something I know that I should just eat whatever it is, otherwise I won't stop thinking about it! I've also been thinking about brownies for awhile now I just haven't decided to bake them (especially now because of the heat. Oven + hot humid day = gross kitchen) I'm glad you were able to enjoy them!

  2. Mmm what a great idea!! These look soo yummy, I can't wait to try these myself :) Love your blog and so glad to be your newest follower!