Tag Archives: Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

cookie bars
I don’t have to tell you guys how much I love dessert, and it’s never too late in the evening or early in the morning to retreat to the kitchen to create something sweet. Last night around 8:30PM I was dying (DYING) for a dessert and M&Ms just weren’t cutting it. So I turned to the amazing blog Dessert for Two where the blogger develops recipes specifically for small batches. Want two cupcakes? 8 cookies? Lasagna for you and your significant other with no leftovers? This girl has a recipe for it.

My dessert criteria were: something I could mix by hand, something I only had to dirty one bowl for, and something I had all the ingredients for in the fridge. BAM. Blondies. Only I don’t really like butterscotch chips and I didn’t have any anyway so I substituted regular chocolate chips. BEHOLD. The most delicious, insanely chewy, un-freakin-believably good cookie bars you have ever had. All I have to say is, it’s a good thing this only made 6 small bars because The BF and I ate. them. all. Maybe I even put the pan on the AC unit to speed up the cool down so we could eat them faster… I don’t know.

On the menu:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Makes 6 brownies
Adapted from Dessert for Two

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 3 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper*.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and melted butter with a wooden spoon. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt and stir well to combine. Sprinkle the flour and baking powder over the brown sugar mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the loaf pan and spread until batter is about 3/4 of an inch thick. My batter did NOT cover the entire base of the pan which is fine because this doesn’t spread. Bake for around 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out with moist crumbs stuck to it.

Remove parchment paper and bars from pan and let bars cool on a wire rack for at least ten minutes before cutting into 6 evenly sized bars.

*Note: If you don’t have a loaf pan you can still make these. You can spread the batter out evenly on a cookie sheet since the batter doesn’t spread. And let’s face it… you aren’t making these to look pretty for company. You’re making them to stuff your face before bed.

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Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Fudgy chocolate brownies from LaurenFoodE
It’s my lifelong goal to make brownies that taste just like the box but without all the preservatives and chemicals.

Oh no WAIT. It’s not MY lifelong goal. It’s The BF’s own personal goal for me.

In any case, there was one time where I plucked a recipe for brownies off the internet at random and the brownies that recipe yielded were perfection. And you know what? I never bookmarked the recipe and then I lost it. And The BF reminds me of it at least once a week.

So here is ANOTHER brownie recipe (I do this to you guys a lot, you realize) and this one is deliciously chocolate and fudgy and if you’re like me, you’ll undercook them just a touch so they stay nice and soft. Maybe you’ll add a scoop of ice cream on top. Maybe I’d salute you.

On the menu:
Fudgy Chocolate Browies
Makes 12 large brownies
Adapted from MommiFried

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups white sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
2 1/2 Tbsp water
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, butter, and water until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and stir to combine.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Pour into greased baking sheet and smooth until the batter is evenly distributed in the pan.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the top is crackly and the corners are firmed up. Let cool completely* before cutting.

*Note: We have a running joke in our house that the brownies never, ever get to cool completely before they’re cut into. If your house smells like brownies and you can wait a full hour until they cool to eat them, then I have a medal here for you.

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Sea Salt Brownie Cookies

Sea Salt Brownie Cookies

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this recipe except that these cookies are SO FREAKING GOOD. I got the recipe from this article on BuzzFeed called 17 Hybrid Desserts That Will Blow Your Mind. Just beware if you click that link you’re going to end up making SOMETHING from that list. Next up, I think, will be the cupcakes with the cookies in the bottom. This is the stuff that dreeeeeams are made oooooof…

These cookies are basically brownies in cookie form. They get that incredible, flaky brownie crust on them but the inside is soft just like a regular brownie. Delish.

On the menu:
Sea Salt Brownie Cookies
Makes approximately 16 cookies

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 chocolate chips (any kind you like!), divided
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup plus Tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Coarse salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet, or use parchment paper (these do stick a little, even to my non stick baking sheets).

In a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt the unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of chocolate chips, and butter until completely melted and combined.

In a medium sized bowl, using an electric mixer, blend together the sugar and eggs for around 3 minutes and until fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir together by hand. Add the remaining chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Drop batter by 1/4 cups onto the baking sheet. Flatten a bit into 1/2 inch thick disks with a spoon. Sprinkle coarse salt on top if desired.

Bake for 10 – 13 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies, or until the middle is puffy and the outer crust is flaky. Let cool for a minute on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

No, that's not mold, it's blue candle wax.

No, that’s not mold, it’s blue candle wax.

I have this HUGE problem, in that The BF doesn’t want me to bake anything but chocolate chip cookies and occasionally BOXED chocolate brownies (never brownies from scratch). No molasses cookies, no cupcakes, no blondies, no muffins, nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I make these things anyway, but they inevitably get stale or the entire batch ends up as that extra 5 pounds on my thighs. It’s starting to become a reeeeeeal problem for me.

So for his birthday I said, “Do you want me to make a cake?” He said, “Surprise me!” I said, “Do you want brownies?” He said, “Surprise me!” So I did. I make red velvet cheesecake brownies. Who wouldn’t like red velvet cheesecake brownies?! Probably just runway models and I don’t know any of those.

So what did he say when he took a bite? “They’re a little rich for me.”

I guess I’ll stick to chocolate chip and boxed brownies. And eat the entire batch of brownies by myself.

On the menu:
Red velvet cheesecake brownies
Makes 16
Note: I still do not own an 8 x 8 pan which this recipe originally calls for, so I made it in a round 8″ cake pan and then cut the brownies into thin wedges. These truly are rich, so you don’t want to cut them too big.

2 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp red food coloring
3/4 tsp white vinegar
3/4 cup flour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 (or 8″ round) pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Beat eggs together in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, add warm, just-melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar and stir until combined. Add eggs and stir until combined. Fold in flour until incorporated. Pour batter into baking pan, leaving 4 Tbsp of batter for later.

To make the cheesecake: in a large bowl, blend cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy and completely blended. Drop the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter in large dollops. Add your reserved brownie batter in dollops on top of the cheesecake. Use a sharp knife to cut lines across the batter until you have a lovely swirl pattern.

Bake for 28 – 30 minutes for a square pan, or 30 – 32 minutes in a round pan. Test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting.

Note: this should be kept refrigerated because of the cheesecake on top. Set it out for about an hour before serving so the brownies aren’t cold.

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Search for the Best Brownies


In the past few years I’ve developed a real disdain for anything pre-packaged and sold in the store that I can cook or bake at home. If anyone tells you a story about me yelling out “LITTLE DEBBIE!” in a demonic voice in the grocery store as if Twinkies were my lifeblood… well… that’s a lie.

YOU CAN’T MAKE A TWINKIE AT HOME PEOPLE IT’S HARD.

Ahem.

As I was saying, if I can make it from scratch, I try. Cakes, mayonnaise, salad dressing, pie crust, tomato sauce. But some things just don’t taste the same as store bought. Like brownies. Few things taste as ooey-gooey delicious as brownies from the box. “You had brownie mix?!” the BF exclaimed Sunday night. “No… I made these from scratch.” Crestfallen. “Oh.”

But it’s true. They are not the same. And it is my eternal challenge to find a homemade brownie that tastes the same (or dare I say, better?) than a boxed brownie. The below recipe is as close as I’ve ever gotten. While not quite Duncan Hines, these babies are gooooo-ood, and they disappeared into happy bellies in a matter of minutes.

On the menu:
Lauren’s Almost-from-a-box-but-not-quite brownies

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together vegetable oil, white sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix well until incorporated. Pour batter into greased 8 x 8 baking dish.

Bake for 20 – 27 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.

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The Sweetest Thing

I’ve heard a lot of diet tricks. Drinking a cup of tea staves off hunger. Chewing a piece of gum can satisfy a post-meal sweets craving (seriously, Biggest Loser?? Gum?). An apple, full of fiber, makes you feel fuller.

I think these tricks are crap. When I want a piece of coconut cake, no stick of gum is going to make me think, “Man, now THAT was a meal-capper!” And when I think these tricks will work and I don’t bring a little sweet treat with me to work for after lunch, I end up at the vending machine gorging on Twix and getting evil glares from my boss, who undoubtedly thinks I am some kind of sugar addict. So I thought, there must be some sort of less-sweet dessert recipe out there that will satisfy my sweets craving and also not have 1,000 calories per bite.

On the menu:
Dark chocolate brownies (Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s Dark Chocolate Brownies)
Disclaimer: these are not your typical Duncan Hines fudgy, oily brownies. If you’re looking for a square of decadence, this is not it. But these are chocolatey, they are cakey, and one little square is enough to make me feel contented and sufficiently sleepy at 3PM. And that’s all I’m asking for.

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
6 oz. plain yogurt (one small container)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler, or in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. In another separate bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add yogurt, applesauce, vanilla, and oil to eggs and sugar. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the other liquid mix. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until the batter is completely moistened.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
*I had to use a slightly smaller baking dish, and ended up baking these for 45 minutes, so do keep an eye on them. If you bake them for too long they will be dry and inedible. Gross.

As I said, these are not your Betty Crocker standbys; but they are sweet and cakey and only my thunder thighs will know the difference.

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