Cookie Brownie Bars

As promised, a non-strawberry recipe! These cookie brownie bars are perfect for people who can’t choose between a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie!  They’re easy to make and pretty impressive, I mean come on, you just combined two delicious desserts into one who wouldn’t that impress?!

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Let’s talk about chocolate.  Have you ever wondered where chocolate comes from?  I know I have!  Chocolate comes from a seed grown on a cacao tree.  Cacao trees grow in the shade in tropical regions such as Central America, the Caribbean and Africa. The seeds are picked from the trees and are first fermented for 7-14 days.  Fermentation helps to make the cacao less bitter.  Next the beans are roasted.  Then they enter a machine that separates the shell from the bean, revealing the cacao nib.  The nibs are finely ground by conching.  A conche is an agitator that heats and stir the ground up nibs and turns the nibs into a smooth liquid cocoa liquor.  Sugar, flavorings and more cocoa butter can be added to the cocoa liquor to make different types of chocolates.  The chocolate is then tempered into a more “stable” form of chocolate.  Tempering is when chocolate is brought up to a certain temperature.  This makes a better bond between the fat crystals in the chocolate and helps to create mostly beta crystals that produce a chocolate with a better snap and it won’t bloom.  Bloom is when fat or sugar fall out of suspension of a badly tempered chocolate and form white streaks or spots on the chocolate.

The cacao nibs are 47% cocoa solids and 53% cocoa butter.  Cocoa butter is the main fat in chocolate.  Cocoa solids can be ground up and turned into cocoa powder.  There are lots of different chocolates out there.  Just go into the baking aisle and look at the baking chocolate bar selections.  There’s semi-sweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate even milk chocolate.  But what is the difference between all these chocolates?  Unsweetened chocolate is just like is sounds, unsweetened.  It has no sugar added and is 100% cocoa liquor.  Semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate are very similar to each other, they just have different amounts of sugar added but both must be made with at least 35% cocoa solids.  Milk chocolate has milk added with the cocoa solids which makes it more creamy and less bitter.  White chocolate contains no cocoa solids, just cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids.

In this brownie recipe I use semi-sweet chocolate, but if you prefer a darker flavor then feel free to substitute in bittersweet chocolate!

Time to bake a chocolate chip cookie, brownie hybrid!

 

Cookie Brownie Bars

Brownie Layer

  • 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix on medium high speed for 2 minutes.
  3. In the microwave, melt the chocolate.  While mixer is on medium speed, pour in the melted chocolate.                                img_2374
  4. Add the salt and flour and mix just until combined.  Pour brownie batter into a greased 10 x 6 1/2 glass pan (or an 8 by 8 square pan).  Set aside and make the cookie layer!            img_2377.jpg

Cookie Layer

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cream the butter and both sugars for 5 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour mixture, then the chopped chocolate.      img_2382
  5. Pour the cookie layer over the brownie layer and gently spread across top.  img_2384
  6. Bake the bars for 50 minutes to 1 hour, check if done with a toothpick.  It’s done when the top is golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean.

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Enjoy these bars warmed up, or add ice cream to make a really decadent dessert!

 

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