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Cookie Dough Brownies

A bunch of our friends met for dinner at the Pier 70 Café last night.   It was a picture perfect night,  not too hot and with a beautiful sunset.  This has become a summer tradition for us and it’s nice because in addition to our own gang, we always bump into more friends whenever we go there.   It’s a great place to take the kids;  they have a nice kids menu, and after eating they can run around on the pier while the adults have a drink and grab a bite to eat.   The  café specializes in burgers and fries.   Dessert is not their specialty, and their sweet offerings are quite limited.

Give me an outdoor event with friends and what do I immediately think?   Dessert!   Since we had a fairly big crowd, I thought about making these bar cookies, but I always enjoy trying new recipes so I found this one on Tastespotting.    Everyone that tried them last night really liked them.   Several friends had seconds which is always a good sign.   In my opinion, it’s hard to go wrong with a combination of brownies and cookie dough.   I love the fact that the cookie dough layer is made sans eggs since it’s not cooked.

I had one tiny bit of trouble with the recipe, but it worked out fine in the end.   I tried to melt the chocolate chips and butter in the microwave, but for some reason the chocolate seized.   I expected to pull the bowl out of the microwave with the chips nicely melted.   What I pulled out was completely different.  The chocolate had almost hardened, even with the butter mixed into it.   Not sure what happened to it, so I dumped it in a pan, added a little water (excellent suggestion from my husband) and melted it on the stove.  With the addition of a little water, the chocolate melted nicely.

If you’re looking for a brownie recipe with a twist, try these.  They’re delicious.

After doing some research, I think I figured out why my chips didn’t melt.   They got too hot.   Apparently when chocolate gets too hot, it seizes.   I should have used the “melt” setting on the microwave and stirred the chocolate more frequently.   I was in a rush to leave last night, so I threw the chips and butter in the microwave on full power for 60 seconds, thinking I’d have nicely melted chocolate at the end…    There’s definitely a reason for the “melt” setting on a microwave, and for the fact that it takes a bit longer.   Now I know for next time.

Cookie-Dough Brownies
Recipe from Shannalee at Food Loves Writing

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

(for cookie dough/filling:)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

(for glaze)
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9 X 13 pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, cocoa, flour and salt. Add oil, eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed for about three minutes. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

In a medium bowl, combine butter with white and brown sugars. Add milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Then add the flour. Spread this over the cooled brownies and then top with glaze.

Melt the chips and butter until lightly melted, but with chunks of chocolate still in tact. Spread over brownies.

Yield:  ~24 bars