Today’s Cookie Dough Brownies are a journey into extreme decadence and indulgence! Chocolate lovers and cookie dough lovers alike will love this rich and dreamy dessert recipe that takes brownies to a whole new level! Recipe includes a how-to video!
Cookie Dough Brownies
Today’s recipe is a hybrid of two of the most popular recipes on the blog! My favorite fudgy brownie recipe and edible cookie dough collide for one of the most decadent desserts yet: Cookie Dough Brownies.
This recipe was originally published nearly 5 years ago and it was about time it received a refresh. The photos are new, a video has been added, and the recipe has been minimally tweaked to simplify and perfect things.
Let’s get to it!
What You Need
Since most of these ingredients are fairly basic, I just wanted to touch on a few of them before we jump into making the brownies:
- Chocolate. You need a variety of chocolate for this recipe! The brownie layer uses melted chocolate (you can use chocolate chips or a chocolate bar) and cocoa powder, the cookie dough layer uses chocolate chips (I recommend mini chips for best texture), and then additional chocolate is melted on top for the ganache topping.
- Instant coffee. This is an optional ingredient that goes into the brownie layer. While the cookie dough brownies won’t ultimately taste like coffee, this ingredient helps to enhance the chocolate flavor of the bars and I recommend using it!
- Sugar. Yes, this recipe uses a fair bit of sugar! Both granulated sugar and brown sugar go in both the brownie layer and the cookie dough layer. While many brownie recipes use granulated sugar only, I love the depth of flavor and added moisture brown sugar lends to the baked brownies. As for the cookie dough, without brown sugar we’d have a sugar cookie dough, and I was aiming for more of a chocolate chip cookie dough (so you need that molasses flavor from the brown sugar!). If you don’t have brown sugar on hand, don’t forget I have a tutorial on how to make brown sugar!
- Eggs. There are no eggs in the top cookie dough layer. You might notice the brownie layer, despite being based off of my existing brownie recipe, calls for only 2 eggs instead of the 2 eggs + 1 yolk that the original recipe calls for. Personally I felt that the extra richness of the cookie dough topping compensated for the chewiness that the extra egg yolk in the brownie batter usually adds, and with such a multi-step recipe I was looking to simplify as much as possible. Feel free to include the additional egg yolk or leave it out!
- Shortening. You’ll notice the chocolate topping is simply chocolate melted together with shortening. If you don’t have or prefer not to use shortening, you can just melt the chocolate (or make my chocolate ganache instead). I prefer to use the shortening because it makes a chocolate shell that melts in your mouth but hardens enough to handle without melting everywhere. It’s very similar to the chocolate coating on my Swiss roll. Note that plain chocolate will not cut or break as easily and, if not tempered properly, may ultimately harden with chalky white swirls (they are not harmful to eat!).
- Flour. All-purpose flour is best for this recipe.
Making the Brownie Layer
Begin by making the brownie layer! Note that you can substitute your favorite brownie recipe/box-mix.
- Melt together chocolate chips/chocolate bar and butter. Add all remaining brownie ingredients except flour and ¾ cup chocolate chips and stir well.
- Add flour and stir well, then stir in chocolate chips.
- Spread batter into prepared 9×9 pan. I prefer to line my pan with parchment paper so that once my cookie dough brownies are finished I can simply lift them out of the pan and easily cut.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few fudgy crumbs.
Making the (Edible) Cookie Dough
- In order to make our un-baked cookie dough safe to eat, we need to first heat-treat our flour (since raw flour may be contaminated with E. coli!). This is quick and easy to do, simply line a baking sheet with parchment, spread the flour in an even layer, and cook for about 7 minutes (until the flour reaches 160F). Let this cool while you prepare your other ingredients!
- Separately, cream together butter and sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir very well on high speed, this will help dissolve some of the sugar grains.
- Once flour is completely cooled, sift it into your butter mixture (I like to sift, as sometimes the flour clumps when it is baked). Flour must be cool, otherwise it will melt your sugar and you’ll have a runny mess! Stir ingredients together until you have a smooth dough and then stir in chocolate chips. Note that if your mixture is very crumbly and difficult to spread, you may have accidentally over-measured your flour. You can fix this! Simply add a splash of milk or cream to thin it to a spreadable consistency.
- Spread cookie dough evenly over completely cooled brownie layer.
The cookie dough brownies can be served like this, or you can melt together chocolate and shortening and spread this over the cookie dough before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You can use any brownie recipe that fits in a 9×9 baking pan (including my homemade brownie mix). Simply prepare according to recipe or packaging instructions and allow to cool before covering with the cookie dough.
It is supposed to be! Cookie dough inherently has a subtle grit to it. This is due to the fact that, since we’re not cooking the dough, the sugars don’t have a chance to melt and so remain in their grainy state. This gives us an authentic raw cookie dough texture and is not a flaw!
My recipe is as safe to eat as any other baked recipe because I use neither raw eggs (which could contain salmonella) or raw flour (which could contain E. coli). I’ve used this method of heat-treating my flour to make several safe-to-eat cookie dough recipes, including cookie dough frosting and my cookie dough bites!
Cookie Dough Brownies
- 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces (170g)
- 4 oz semisweet or dark chocolate baking bar coarsely chopped (113g) (may substitute ½ cup/113g semisweet chocolate chips)
- ½ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (50g)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
- ¾ cup light brown sugar firmly packed (150g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (125g)
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips optional (150g)
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (155g)
- 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened (170g)
- 1 cup light brown sugar firmly packed (200g)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (66g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ heaping teaspoon salt
- 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk as needed
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips may substitute regular chocolate chips (150g)
Chocolate Topping (optional)
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (170g)
- 2 Tablespoons shortening I use Crisco
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a metal 9×9" (23x23cm) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough to hang over the sides so you can easily lift the bars out of the pan once cooled (alternatively, if you plan on serving in the pan you may bake directly in a lightly greased baking pan).
- Combine butter pieces and chopped chocolate in a medium-sized heatproof bowl and heat in the microwave in 25-second increments, stirring in between, until chocolate and butter are completely melted and mixture is smooth.
- Add cocoa powder, sugars, eggs, vanilla, and salt and stir until well-combined.
- Add flour and stir well. If using chocolate chips, stir these in now as well.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared baking dish. Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with fudgy crumbs (but not wet batter).
- Allow to cool before assembling, but in the meantime you can begin to prepare cookie dough topping. If you are going to be making your cookie dough topping right away, do not turn off your oven.
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread flour in an even layer over the parchment and transfer to 350F (175C) oven. Bake for 7 minutes or until temperature of flour reaches at least 160F (71C). I scoop the flour into a mound and check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. Allow flour to cool before proceeding.
- In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together butter, sugars, vanilla extract and salt.
- Sift the cooled baked flour over the butter mixture and beat until all flour is absorbed. If the mixture is still dry and crumbly no matter how much you beat it, add 1-2 Tablespoons of milk or cream, as needed.
- Stir in mini chocolate chips.
- Spread cookie dough evenly over cooled brownie layer.
- Combine chocolate chips and shortening in a heatproof bowl. Heat in the microwave in 20-25 second increments, stirring in between, until mixture is melted and cooled.
- Pour over cookie dough layer and use a spatula to spread evenly.
- Allow chocolate to cool until set before cutting and serving. You may transfer to the refrigerator to speed up the process, if desired.
Baking panI use a metal baking pan. A glass dish may be used, but keep in mind that the brownie may need to bake longer.
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Cookie dough brownies may also be frozen for several months.
This recipe was originally published August of 2016.