Brookies ~ Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies
These chocolate chip cookie brownie bars (aka, Brookies!) are super thick, extra-gooey squares of pure chocolate indulgence. The bottom brownie layer is rich and fudgy, not overly sweet and about as packed with chocolate as a brownie can get. The chocolate chip cookie layer is buttery, tender, and slightly chewy, with mini chocolate chips and chunks of roasted, salted almonds spread throughout.
These cookie brownie bars are sinfully delicious all on their own and really need no adornment. But, my favorite way to eat them is slightly warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream piled on top. AND, if you really want to go for it, you could even drizzle them with a bit of hot fudge or salted caramel sauce.
However you eat them, these brookies are ooey, gooey, rich and chocolaty. Be still my beating heart.
I really can't think of many things I love more than brownies and chocolate chip cookies. They are my go-to comfort food. The sweets I love to bake when I'm craving something homey, chocolate filled, and indulgent. In our house, they are mostly baked spontaneously, a direct result of pure craving more than any sort of planned intent.
On a cold winter day, I can think of nothing better than a giant skillet cookie, warm from the oven, a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center, forks passed all around so everyone can just dig in at the same time.
Or a perfectly soft chocolate chip cookie dipped in a cold glass of milk.
The only thing better than chocolate chip cookies and brownies is brownies topped with chocolate chip cookies.
Rich fudgy brownies baked with a thick layer of chocolate chip cookie dough is one of those things you make when pure indulgence is EXACTLY the point. They are for those times when you need to take a break from rules, and schedules, and to-do lists, and moderation, and sink your teeth in to something ridiculously, deliciously comforting.
Chocolate chip cookie brownie bars are the kind of thing you make when you need to just go for it. No regrets.
How to make deliciously gooey brookies:
#1: Make the chocolate chip cookie dough.
I am typically not the kind of person who wants nuts in my brownies. And yet, for some reason, I love the addition of roasted salted almonds in the cookie layer of these brownie bars. The almonds add a crunchy texture to the soft cookie dough and fudgy brownies, and I find those little chunks of toasted, salty, nuttiness super delicious.
Having said that, if you would like to leave them out, please do. There are no rules here. If you leave them in, I really feel that roasted, salted almonds is the way to go. Roasted almonds have a more concentrated their flavor and the little bit of added salt really helps to balance out all that sweet, chocolaty richness.
If you are salt sensitive, or just don't really like much salt to your sweet, look for almonds labeled "lightly salted". Or, you can make your own. See the note in the recipe about roasting and salting raw almonds.
Almonds aside, the chocolate chip cookie dough layer for these brownie bars is pretty basic.
- Cream brown sugar and butter, then add eggs (make sure they're at room temperature!), vanilla and almond extract. Like the almonds, the almond extract is optional. I think it makes the dough a bit more flavorful and interesting, but it's really not essential. If you'd rather leave it out, just add an extra teaspoon of vanilla in its place.
- Stir in some flour, baking soda, and salt, then add mini-chocolate chips and chopped almonds (if using). You can, of course, use regular size chocolate chips in there. I prefer to use mini-chocolate chips because I like the effect of spreading the chocolate more evenly through the dough. But, seriously. If regular size chocolate chips is all you have, don't let that stop you. You can also just chop up a chocolate bar and toss that in.
- Scoop the dough into a bowl, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator while you make the brownie layer. You can also make the chocolate chip cookie dough a day or two in advance if you wish.
#2. Make the Brownie Batter.
The brownie layer for these bars is rich and gooey while also managing to be sturdy enough to hold up a thick layer of chocolate chip cookie dough.
- Melt some butter and chocolate in a small pan over low heat. It's super important to melt the chocolate over very low heat because it can easily burn. As the chocolate and butter melt, stir it constantly, removing the pan from the heat as soon as the chocolate is melted. You can also do this in the microwave: Add the butter and chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and heat it at 50% power for 1 minute at a time, stirring before putting it back in for another minute.
- Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla, then add the melted chocolate.
- Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt and you're done.
#3. Top the brownie batter with cookie dough.
The most important thing to know here is this: Add the cookie dough on top of the brownie batter by plopping it on there by the spoonful. There is a LOT of chocolate chip cookie dough and the dough will cover the brownie batter completely. But, do not try to "spread" it on.
Spreading it, or dumping all of it in the center of the brownie batter at once and then trying to spread it out, will cause it to sink down into the brownie batter and you won't get the delicious layered effect of a brownie bottom and a cookie top.
Simply grab a spoon and plop spoonfuls of cookie dough across the surface of the brownie batter. Then, bake.
#4. Bake your chocolate chip cookie brownie bars.
The most important thing to know about baking these bars is this: There can be quite a bit of variation with the bake time from person to person.
Because these bars are so thick, they require quite a long bake time. The long bake time means that things like variances in oven temperature, the temperature of the dough when you put the pan in the oven, altitude, and even humidity can have a cumulative effect on how long these cookie bars need to bake through. So, be flexible.
Take a peak at the brownie bars after they've been in the oven for 50 minutes. Here's how you'll know when they're done:
- They will be pulling away from the sides of the pan slightly.
- They will be golden brown on top.
- The center will be mostly set, but still very slightly "jiggly" if you gently shake the pan.
That last point needs some further clarification... I like the center of my chocolate chip cookie brownie bars to be gooey. If you remove the pan from the oven when it's still a bit jiggly, that's what you'll get. If you want your brookies to be well baked all the way through, just let them bake a bit longer.
If you're brownie bars aren't done baking after 50 minutes, let them continue to bake for as long as it takes, checking on them every 5 minutes. If the tops of the bars are getting too brown, simply lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the pan.
Let the brownie bars cool inside the pan until they are completely cool, or just slightly warm.
Then, use the sides of the aluminum foil that you used to line the baking dish to lift the entire cake out of the pan. Peel it off and slice the bars into 12 pieces.
At this point, the cookie bars can be eaten as is. OR, my favorite, topped with a scoop of ice cream.
For the cookie layer:
- 1 cup roasted, salted almonds (*See note)
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract (optional; can use another teaspoon of vanilla instead)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp table salt (¾ tsp kosher salt)
- ¾ semi sweet or bitter sweet cup mini-chocolate chips (or ¾ cup chopped chocolate)
For the brownie layer:
- 1 cup semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp table salt (or 1 tsp kosher salt)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla and almond extract and beat for another 2-3 minutes, until well combined.
- In a seperate bowl, add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a wire whisk to combine then add to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat on low speed (or stir by hand) just until combined. Do not over mix.
- Coarsely chop the almonds and add them to the cookie dough along with the chocolate chips. Stir to mix, then scoop the cookie dough into a bowl, cover, and put in the refrigerator while you make the brownie layer. (*The cookie dough can be made up to 48 hours in advance; store covered in the refrigerator.)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees, line an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish inch with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick baking spray or grease with butter.
- 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, and salt. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high for about 1 minute. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat on medium just to mix. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.
- Remove the chocolate chip cookie dough from the refrigerator and plop onto the brownie batter in heaping tablespoon size spoonfuls. It will cover the brownie batter completely, but don't try to spread it out or it will sink down into the brownie batter. (See photos above)
- Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes. (*See note below.) You'll know when they're done when the top is golden brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan. If you want the center to be a bit gooey, bake until there is just the slightest amount of "jiggle" when you gently shake the pan. If you want them to be baked through, bake until the center is completely set.
- Leave the brookies inside the pan to cool, then use the sides of the foil to lift the entire cake from the pan. Peel the foil off, then slice into 12 bars. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.
For the Almonds:
Using roasted salted almonds in these brookies adds flavor and salt that balances out the sweet. However, if you are salt sensitive, or like very little salt in your sweet treats, choose roasted almonds that are labled "lightly salted".
To roast raw almonds: Spread almonds on a baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Sprinkle the almonds with salt immediatly after removing from the oven. Set aside to cool.
The bake time for these brookies can vary:
If you, like me, want a slightly gooey center, bake these brownie bars until the center is nearly set, but there is still a very small amount of "jiggle" if you gently shake the pan. If you want them to be baked well throughout, bake a bit longer.
These are very thick brownie bars and therefore take a while to bake. Several different factors can affect the bake time - variences in the temperature of your oven, how cold the batter is going into the oven, altitude and humidity, etc. Check the brookies after they've baked for 50 minutes. If the brookies, are done, great. If not, let them bake longer, checking on them every 5 minutes. Don't worry if your brownie bars are taking longer than 60 minutes. If the tops of the bars begins to get too brown, simply cover them loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
Serve at room temperature or slightly warm
If you try to remove these brownie bars from the pan too soon, the bottom brownie layer will be too soft to cut and the cake will be difficult to lift from the pan. Allow them to cool inside the pan until they are at room temperature, or just slighlty warm.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 brookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 414mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 5g