Friday, August 9, 2013

Foodie Fridays: Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars

While I do not consider myself a true chocoholic (I prefer citrus flavors), I do occasionally get cravings for a chocolate dessert warm from the oven.  Sometimes it is difficult to decide if I am in the mood for brownies or chocolate chip cookies, but this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars lets me indulge in both.  My feeling is that when I do want chocolate, I might as well go all out, and these bars let me do that without embarrassing myself by forcibly squishing together a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie!  I have an unfortunate tendency to overbake brownies which makes them a bit dry, so try to slightly underbake the bars for an especially moist end result (they are done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out with a little sticky batter from the center on it).  These cookies take a bit of time to make, and a very long time to cool, but the chocolate fix is well worth the wait!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars

For the brownies:
3 T. butter
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 T. Nutella
3 T. butter
1 C. sugar
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. flour
1 T. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt

For the cookies:
4 T. butter, softened
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. sugar
1 egg (cold), plus 1 egg white (see Note)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. plus 2 T. flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. chocolate chips

Spray a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray, line with foil or parchment paper, and spray again.

Brownie batter:

In a small bowl, combine the butter, chopped chocolate, and Nutella.  Melt in the microwave until smooth.  Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the second portion of butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.  Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.  Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.  Stir until no large lumps of flour remain, then spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan.  Set aside.

Cookie dough:

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until smooth.  Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until blended.  Sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until most of the flour is incorporated.  Add the chips and mix until evenly distributed.  Spoon dollops of the cookie dough onto the brownie batter in relatively uniform amounts (no need to spread it out).

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are just set and the center does not wobble when the pan is shaken.  Cool in the pan for one hour, then remove from the pan and cool to room temperature before slicing.  Makes 16 bars.

Note: The original recipe did not add the egg white to the cookie dough, but one of my pet peeves is using only part of an ingredient, so I added the white -- leave it out if you want.  I had chocolate peanut butter (Dark Chocolate Dreams by Peanut Butter & Co.) and used that instead of Nutella for a different but equally good flavor.  I also used chopped Lindt Swiss Classics Bittersweet Chocolate with Chopped Hazelnuts in the brownie batter and instead of chocolate chips in the cookie dough.  I recommend using the best quality chocolate you have if at all possible.

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