Well, if you haven’t heard, this site has been around for six months now, and, to celebrate, I’m holding a giveaway! Even if you don’t want to enter to win a prize, you really should head over just to see the comments being left. One or two gave me a lump in my throat, which, admittedly, isn’t too hard to do lately—Am I the only one who can never, ever watch P.S. I Love You again? Even Flash of Genius—I had to skip to the end to see the happy ending before I lost it, just 20 minutes into the video. This does not bode well for my future, in which I am supposed to grow more emotional, aren’t I? But back to the comments: all of them have felt like they were written by old friends, and have convinced me, more completely than before, that the people who read this site are some of the nicest you’ll find, anywhere.
Speaking of which, those of you who love chocolate were awfully patient last week when I posted, the day before the biggest chocolate holiday of the year, a recipe for iced lemon cookies.
So today, I’m making it up to you.
I dare you—chocolate prejudices notwithstanding—to eat just one of these. Part chocolate-chip cookie dough (but no raw eggs, for anyone concerned) and part fudgey brownie, these were first made for me by my friends Craig and Shelley, when I was up visiting last fall. In their basement one night, after putting their son to bed, Craig set a Tupperware container of these on the coffee table, offering them before I held the baby and Shelley taught me how to use a Wii. A few minutes later, when Shelley said she’d split a second, I grabbed a whole one for myself. (Just between us, it took some restraint not to reach for a third right then, too, but I was a guest, after all.)
This year, I worked Valentine’s, in exchange for having yesterday, my mom’s birthday, off (completely worth it. Happy birthday, Mom!).
And anyway, I’m of the opinion that, if you have to work on a day like Valentine’s, or, really, any day, whether a rainy Monday or a sunny Wednesday, you really ought to have a rich dessert. I can’t think of a time when it’s not appropriate, (well, except maybe when your date is telling you that no, she doesn’t like cheesecake and you make her eat it anyway. Yes, I am the one who doesn’t like cheesecake, and, yes, he made me share his—don’t do that, OK?). So that’s how I ended up in the grocery store around 10 PM last Friday night, just me and a dozen or so lone men rushing for pink and red balloons and greeting cards. I had Shelley on the phone, calling out ingredients, and I had the memory of those brownie-cookies in my mind.
With a layer of rich chocolate brownie topped by cookie dough as good as any you’ve licked out of a bowl, drizzled with chocolate-chip glaze on top, these bars are the definition of decadent. But if you’re thinking that means they’re too rich, akin to cheesecake or that liquid chocolate Starbucks used to make, don’t. Not only could I eat the cookie dough by itself (and did, tasting one chunk and then another, later scraping the bowl clean after it was emptied), but I think I ate five bars Saturday, not that anyone was counting. It was Valentine’s Day, after all, and, um, I did have to work. Mostly though, these are just really, really good brownies. Try them, and you’ll understand.
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(for cookie dough/filling:)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
(for glaze: I actually decided to double this for extra glaze)
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
MAKE THE BROWNIE LAYER:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9 X 13 pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, cocoa, flour and salt. Add oil, eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed for about three minutes. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.*
MAKE THE COOKIE DOUGH/FILLING:
In a medium bowl, combine butter with white and brown sugars. Add milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Then add the flour. Spread this over the cooled brownies and then top with glaze.
MAKE THE GLAZE:
Microwave the semisweet chocolate chips with a tablespoon of butter until lightly melted, but with chunks of chocolate still in tact. Spread over brownies.**
*I’ll just admit that I didn’t wait for the brownies to cool, but I spread the cookie dough over the brownie layer, carefully, and stuck that whole thing in the fridge over night. In the morning, I made the glaze to put on top before leaving for work.
**Also, to be transparent, I decided I wanted more glaze at the end, so I made a second batch and spread that all over, too. In other words, I used 2 cups chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons butter.