Rich Chocolate Brownie Cookie Bars with Roasted Almonds.
It’s one of those dreary, slushy spring snow days here in Colorado. We get a lot of these in April, and honestly, I’m thankful for this one because we’ve just had the most gorgeous week. Perfect spring weather. Sunny and 70’s. All I’ve wanted to do is convince Steve to take me out on the bike for very, very long rides. And by convince, I mean that I say, “Hey, maybe we should go for a ride…” At which point, he already has his helmet on.
Anyway, we are serial procrastinators when it comes to doing our taxes. I don’t think we’ve gotten them done before 10pm on April 15th like… ever. But, here it is, Sunday, April 13th, and Steve is doing our taxes. So, I’m patting us on the back for being so grown up and on top of it, but I know good and well that if the weather was anything like it had been earlier this week, we’d be out on the bike.
So, thank goodness for nasty weather. Also, I’ve been craving some sort of chewy, gooey, chocolaty cookie bar. I made a couple of attempts last week, but they weren’t quite what I wanted. This cold, drizzly day seemed like the perfect time to try again. This time, I thought that what I really wanted was the dark, thick, chocolaty denseness of a brownie combined with the buttery chewiness of a really great chocolate chip cookie.
Kind of like…
This is pretty much exactly the type of thing I want to eat on a rainy Sunday, curled up on my couch with a blanket and a stack of books.
I’m going to cut Steve an extra large piece because he spent his Sunday doing taxes while I spent my Sunday baking, reading and eating these.Print
FOR THE COOKIE LAYER:
- 1 cup whole, raw almonds
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup mini-chocolate chips
FOR THE BROWNIE LAYER
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and roast for 5-10 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside.
- Turn oven down to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 inch pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar with a wire whisk, or in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until combined. Beat in eggs, vanilla and almond extract (if using) until combined and slightly lightened.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar-egg mixture and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon, or on medium high in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for about 30 seconds.
- Coarsely chop the almonds. I like these in fairly large pieces, so I try to chop each almond in half or in thirds.
- Stir chocolate chips and chopped almonds into the dough just until mixed.
- Cover and put in the refrigerator while you make the brownie layer.
FOR THE BROWNIE LAYER:
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a small sauce pan on the stove over very low heat, stirring constantly. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave, one minute at a time, stirring after each minute.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- Beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high for about 1 minute. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the eggs and sugar and beat just to mix. Then, add the sifted dry ingredients and beat on low speed only until mixed.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.
- Remove the chocolate chip cookie dough from the refrigerator and plop onto the brownie batter in large tablespoons size lumps.
- Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes. You’ll know when they’re done when they are golden brown, not jiggly in the middle when you shake the pan, and slightly pulling away from the edges of the pan. Be carful not to over bake.
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