Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chewy Brownies & Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last week, my husband and I spent the week in Sanibel Island, Florida with my brother and his girlfriend. Look how pretty it was:

It was an 18 hour drive from Ohio, and let me tell you I am NOT much of a car trip person. But it was worth the savings in gas, and it let me visit some family in Georgia. I thought it'd be nice to have some home baked goodies for the drive and while on vacation. I stumbled around Brown Eyed Baker for awhile and came across two recipes that really interested me: Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chewy Brownies. Both from the America's Test Kitchen crew, so I figured they couldn't be bad.

They were good. They weren't great. But they were good. I much prefer the brownies I made a few weeks ago, which I just made again yesterday and shared with family. As for the cookies, I deviated ever so slightly from the recipe, and while they tasted awesome, their chewy texture didn't last for more than a day - likely because I made my cookies smaller than the recipe recommended which I recently learned can affect texture if your not careful about baking time. Either way. Both recipes were good, but I probably wouldn't make either again. But give them a try, you be the judge!

Up first: Chewy Brownies!


1/3 c Dutch-processed cocoa (I used regular, unsweetened cocoa, but dutch processed is supposed to give a better flavor.  Use it if you have it)
1½ t instant espresso (optional, but I used it - it helps deepen the chocolate flavor)
 ½ c plus 2 T boiling water (5 oz)
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 T (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ c plus 2 T vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 t vanilla extract
2½ c (17½ oz) sugar
1¾ c (8¾ oz) all-purpose flour
¾ tsalt
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and check to make sure the oven rack is in the lowest position. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper (leave an inch or so overhang on all sides). If using foil, spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Set the pan aside.

2. Sift cocoa into a large bowl and whisk with espresso powder and boiling water together until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil (the mixture may look curdled - don't worry) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and fully combined.

3.  Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until there are no streaks for flour visible. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.

3. Pour and scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes - until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours (don't remove the brownies from the pan yet).

4. Using the foil/parchment overhang, lift the brownies from the pan. Continue to cool the brownies on the wire rack and let cool completely (this takes about 1 hour). Cut into desired sizes and serve.



awesome with a glass of milk!

 (Brown Eyed Baker took this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010 issue)

Up next, Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Ingredients: (For this recipe, I tried weighing my ingredients using a digital kitchen scale, since that was what was recommended from the original recipe, but measuring cups work just fine if you don't have one)

2 c plus 2 T (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 c packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 c (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 t vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

4. Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart. This should give you an idea of how to do it - it's what gives bakery cookies their unique surfaces (image from Baking Illustrated, uploaded by Brown Eyed Baker).

5. Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.

(Brown Eyed Baker took this recipe from the book Baking Illustrated on page 434)


  1. Great-looking chocolate chip cookies! But wait...."some family in Georgia"? Ummm, what's up with that?? ;)

    1. Of course I meant to say my awesome Auntie KK!! ;)