Every month or so, the irresistible urge to make a pan of brownies creeps into my mind. Often only a day or two passes before the craving turns into a reality. Despite my regular hunger for brownies, I have yet to create a brownie that suits my tastes. Each month I try out a new recipe, finding myself discouraged by the rubbery texture or the lack of chewiness. I have tried the most popular recipes, from names both big and small, only to find disappointment in the pan that emerges from the oven.
Three years and two dozen batches later, I'm still looking for the one.
The dirty truth is that I love box mix brownies. I love the crackled top, the chewy texture, and the dense nature of the bars. I love box mix brownies so much that I feel that the homemade version pales in comparison. As a baker, I feel somewhat ashamed to admit these truths, to admit that I cannot match the box when it comes to this criteria (though it isn't for a lack of trying).
Every so often, I sneak a box mix into my red basket at the market, feeling deliciously guilty about my purchase.
When the obligatory brownie craving struck this month, I searched around for another recipe to try. After so many disappointments, I have become wary of homemade brownies, especially those making bold claims of box mix similarities. When my search came up empty handed, I decided to try something completely different. A cookie. And, surprisingly, it worked.
These cookies are the closest I have ever come to the perfect brownie. Dense and endlessly chewy, a handful of cookies disappeared before they completely cooled. Though they may be missing the classic crackled top, I can assure you that it won't be missed. If you are a box mix brownie lover like me, I know you'll love these, too.
Brownie Cookies take the classic pan of brownies and turn them into individual servings. The cookies are made with both melted chocolate and chocolate chips, which lend a deep, satisfying flavor. Brown sugar makes the cookies undeniably chewy—a feature I look for in all of my brownies. The cookies are so good warm and straight out of the oven that they may not survive to see the next day.
Yields about 18 cookies
4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter
3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 ounces (55 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (150 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (85 grams) chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
In a large saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in the eggs, sugars, and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Allow the batter to cool to room temperature before adding the chocolate chips.
Drop batter by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until set. Cool for several minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.