We just wrapped up a fun week-long visit from my little sister Sophie. She took some vacation time to come visit her crazy nieces and nephew (and her big sister too!). We had a grand week filled with great food, lots of laughter, a bit of wine, and too much chocolate. I've missed having my little sister around and I hope that she comes back to visit soon.
One of the highlights of Sophie's visit was getting the chance to clown around in her brand-new T-Rex costume, a gift recently bestowed upon her by our younger sister Adrienne. There have been tons of videos and pictures of adults performing various activities while dressed in this or a similar costume - and for good reason. Even the most mundane activities become hilarious when wearing a dinosaur costume - running, jumping, unloading the dishwasher, reading a book, etc. The major downside of wearing the costume, in addition to how awkward and cumbersome even the most basic movements can be, is that it feels as if you are breathing in a plastic bag and dangerously close to suffocating. None of this stopped us from running around outside dressed as a giant dinosaur while wrestling the kids and making a fool of ourselves in front of our neighbors.
The BEST part of our dress-up fun was pranking our poor puppy. I wasn't sure how Peyton would react to me dressed up as a dinosaur, so Sophie and I decided to surprise him. Sophie ran ahead while I awkwardly tried to make my way to the front of our house where Peyton was leashed. Sophie petted Peyton who enthusiastically accepted her affection until I came into view. Then, his ears perked up, his entire body tensed, and he began to growl at the giant reptile standing on the edge of his yard. As I stomped forward, nearly tripping on our brick landscaping as I did so, Peyton took a beeline for safety only to be stopped short by the length of his leash. He continued to claw desperately at the ground as I continued to march forward. Finally, he gave up and just growled, the leash still pulled as taut as it could go, and I retreated back because I was afraid that he would actually attack and possibly rip Sophie's costume. When we finally revealed that I was inside the costume, with a little help from Sophie because I had no idea how to escape from that costume, Peyton immediately ran to greet me when he saw my face. His relief was unmistakable. It was the most hilarious thing - Sophie and I almost passed out from laughing so hard. Good to know that my dog is absolutely worthless against giant reptiles.
Later in the week, we hosted a couple extra kids. A friend of mine was going out of town with her husband and asked us to take two of her children for the few days they would be gone. The eldest child, an eleven-year-old girl, came prepared with a couple of different cookbooks because she knew how much I love to bake. We came up with a couple items to make and one of those treats were these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies. I know cookie dough is not everyone's favorite thing, but I personally am the person who buys Cookie Dough Ice Cream from the store and just picks all the cookie dough bits out. Soft, salty, sweet, and buttery - I can't get enough of it. Place a layer of cookie dough on top of a chewy, chocolaty brownie and it sounds like you've got a pretty perfect dessert or snack!
These cookies did not disappoint. With plenty of help from my assistant baker, they came together quickly. We did have to wait for them to chill before slicing and serving - definitely the most difficult part of the whole process especially for my mini-assistant who was desperate to try them. I promised that she could eat two of them before bed if she had a bit more patience. Totally worth it.
Surprisingly, these really are not overly sweet. I loved the contrast in texture between the chewy brownie layer and the soft cookie dough layer. They were great chilled, slightly warmed in the microwave, and certainly best eaten slowly while savoring each and every bite with a big glass of milk nearby. The cookie dough alone, being egg-less and completely wonderful on its own, would be a great mix-in for ice cream or a fantastic surprise filling for chocolate cake.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
from Brown Eyed Baker
For the Brownie Layer:
⅓ cup (28 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (148 ml) boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (140 grams) vegetable oil
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups (496 grams) granulated sugar
1¾ cups (248 grams) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
For the Cookie Dough Layer:
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (198 grams) light brown sugar
½ cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (213 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used a leftover Easter Bunny - recycling!)
Make the Brownies: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk cocoa powder and boiling water together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the unsweetened chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the melted butter and oil (the mixture may look curdled at this point, that’s okay!). Add the eggs, yolks, and vanilla extract, and whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in the sugar until fully incorporated. Add the flour and salt and mix with a rubber spatula until combined.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.
Prepare the Cookie Dough: Combine the butter and both sugars in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream, vanilla and salt, and mix for another minute or so, until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour, mixing just until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chopped chocolate.
Spread the cookie dough evenly over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate until the dough is firm, about an hour. Transfer the brownies to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut the brownies into squares. The brownies should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at cool room temperature for up to 1 week.