Absurdly decadent, these fun cookie brownie bars are made from scratch using three different types of chocolate for the richest, fudgiest brownie base paired with fun dollops of chocolate chip cookie dough throughout for a chocolate chip cookie brownie bar.
“Go ahead, have some.” my mother said to my six or seven-year old self, tilting her head towards a sloppy pyramid of chopped chocolate. I’d been hovering, lurking, scavenging for scraps as she baked, and my eyes had locked like twin tractor beams on the mound of fragrant chocolate beside the hand-mixer.
“Sure, here.” she broke me off a small piece and handed it over, smiling.
That should have been my first clue. As a child, I was always dancing around the mixing bowl, begging to lick the beaters or sample the dough or trying to sneak a stray chocolate chip, and never were ingredients (or any treat that hadn’t fully cooled yet) handed over easily.
But now, I was being given a chunk of chocolate, just like that. It smelled heavenly. It was a miracle.
It was a trap.
It was, of course, bitter unsweetened baker’s chocolate and I tasted only a nibble before running over to the trash can to retch.
My mom laughed. I spat. I didn’t bother her for samples again for at least a week.
Unsweetened chocolate, I’ve learned, while not a tasty treat in and of itself alone, is a key component for the most delectable, fudgy brownie possible (especially when used in conjunction with cocoa powder). For the longest time I always made brownies without unsweetened chocolate, my favorite recipe being the one on the back of the Tollhouse cocoa container that used only cocoa powder.
While the Tollhouse brownies are delicious, I wanted my own creation to be something far more decadent, something obscenely fudgy, salaciously chocolatey. I also wanted the cookie portion of these bars to have a bit of a crispness to them (as a good cookie should), and I felt that for the best texture it would be ideal if the brownie counterpart was exceedingly soft and moist.
Unsweetened chocolate (in addition to the perfect balance of other ingredients including particular fat ratios and additional egg yolks) made this possible.
Before this recipe, brownies from scratch, like cakes, often underwhelmed me when compared to the kind I’ve tasted from a box (a co-worker brought in Ghirardelli box brownies once and I thought I was ruined for life).
These brownies, however, will rival any box mix and come out on top, and once paired with the cookie bar portion there is simply no competition.
Rich, chocolatey and fun when coupled with a generous smattering of cookie dough, these cookie brownie bars are nothing shy of irresistible. I might have had one this morning for (what I wish I could say was) the most hedonistic breakfast of my life.
Just a note, if you eat them before they’ve fully cooled you might find they have a slightly bitter taste to them due to the still-melting flecks of unsweetened chocolate. Allow them to set and cool and you’ll find yourself greatly rewarded with sweet, fudgy brownies.
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 4 oz finely chopped unsweetened chocolate divided
- 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee optional
- 1 cup butter melted, 2 sticks
- 2 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs lightly beaten + 2 yolks room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter melted, 1 stick
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Line 13x9 pan with foil, use enough so that excess hangs over edges (to easily remove and cut when done cooking)
- In small saucepan, heat 2/3 cup water until it just begins to boil. Stir in cocoa powder, instant coffee and 2 oz unsweetened chocolate.
- Remove from heat and stir well.
- In large, microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Once butter is completely melted stir in sugar and add chocolate mixture to butter/sugar mix. Stir well.
- Add lightly beaten eggs and yolks and vanilla, stirring until completely combined.
- In separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, and finely chopped chocolate.
- Gradually add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring with spatula until completely combined but just until combined. Set aside and begin cookie mix.
Chocolate Chip Cookie
- In microwave safe bowl, melt butter.
- Stir in sugars and vanilla, stirring until completely combined.
- Add vanilla and egg, stir until combined.
- In small separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt.
- Gradually stir into butter mixture.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Take half of the mixture and press handfuls of it into the bottom of the prepared 13x9 pan.
- Pour all of the brownie batter over the mounds of cookie dough so that the brownie batter covers the bottom of the pan.
- Press the remaining half of the cookie batter into the top of the brownie batter, breaking it up by hand and inserting in patches, pressing it into the brownie batter so that the surface is fairly level.
- Bake on 350F for 30-35 minutes (until toothpick inserted in brownie portion near center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs).
- Allow to cool completely before removing from pan (lifting out using the excess foil) and cutting.