Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentine's Day Bake: Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars

Valentine's Day 2015.
Flowers for me. Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bar for us.

The night before Valentine's Day, the Fatty surprised me with flowers and took me to Urth Cafe for a nice dinner date. We had his favorite blended matcha boba and my favorite spanish latte for drinks. For food, he had a prosciutto panini and I had a light refreshing farmer's salad.


Afterwards, we went back to mi casa to bake some cookie brownies. The fatty assisted with melting the chocolate and coconut oil and also taking step by step photos. He couldn't fight his drowsiness once again and was sent home by me before the brownies were done.

On Valentine's Day morning, we enjoyed some fresh cookie brownies for breakfast before heading off to Temescal Canyon for our hike. We took some cookie brownies with us on the hike, and by the time we took it out at the Skull Rock, they were all melted and mushy. (Later that day, we put the melted brownies back in the fridge and they tasted wonderful still)

After the rather intense hike, we relaxed and replenished our tiring bodies with some yummy Ike's sandwiches and an iced mint mojito coffee from Philz. A complete day of Norcal-ness in LA! If work did not exist, this would be my itinerary for everyday- bake, hike, eat, drink& repeat.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars
recipe from Baked by Rachel
makes one 8x8-inch pan

Cookie dough ingredients:
5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp brown sugar* (I used 2 1/2 tbsp turbinado raw sugar)
3 tbsp granulated sugar* (I used 2 1/2 tbsp)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 1/4C all purpose flour
3/4C semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup CC)

Brownie ingredients:
1/4C unsalted butter (I used coconut oil)
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
3/4C granulated sugar (I used a little less than 1/2 cup)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa
5 tbsp all purpose flour (I substituted 1 tbsp with instant espresso powder)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper.

For the cookie dough:
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars.
4. Lightly mix in egg and vanilla.
5. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Mix well.
6. Add walnuts and chocolate chips and mix until dispersed throughout. Set aside.

For the brownie batter:
7. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler, set over a saucepan with simmering water.
8. Stirring gently until completely melted and smooth.
9. Remove from heat, whisk in sugar, followed by egg and vanilla.
10. Whisk in cocoa and salt.
11. Gently fold in all flour until combined.

12. Pour brownie batter into prepared pan, spreading out evenly with an offset spatula.
13. Top off with large spoonfuls of cookie dough, press down gently.
14. Bake for 25-30 minutes. (Mine took 20 minutes)
15. Cool in pan completely before slicing. Store in an airtight container.

"The brownies end up perfectly chewy while the cookies are tender and slightly crisp on the outside. Amazing." - Rachel

The fatty melting away..
Prepping the cookie dough while the melted chocolate cools
brownie dough in the making
all ready to pour into pan
scattering the cookie dough in
ready for the oven
Cookie brownie is indeed the only way. I don't know if I can go back to baking a plain brownie now. These are too amazing and seriously combine the best of both worlds. The brownie is sweet and fudgy while the cookie is lightly salted with a nice crispiness and walnut crunch. I think these should be named as Chocolate Chip Cookie Fudge to better capture the dense and decadent brownie layer! I especially loved my coconut oil substitution which bought a nice coconut aroma to the brownie. The fresh baked room temp brownies were melty and very soft. I enjoyed some at room temp and chilled and preferred them chilled. They were less messy to eat and also the flavor seemed to have intensified after a couple hours.

The sweet and salty flavor & fudgy and crispy texture balanced out so well in these creations. The sweetness level was absolutely on point with the reduced sugar and addition of espresso powder.

A lovely sweets to all your sweethearts. Make some now and share around.

Taste: 5 stars out of 5
Texture: 5 stars out of 5


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