Brownie Cookies

brownie cookies 1

I have been on quite a baking jag lately.  I was feeling chocolately today and came up with these babies.  My inspiration was a recipe in a great cookies-only book, aptly titled “Cookies!” that my sweet sil Becky gave me waaaaaay back in the 90’s (that girl always gives me the best cookbooks!).  I changed the type of chocolate used, jacked up the amount, added some additional flavorings and chocolate chips, and well, here they are.  Deep chocolate flavor, a slight crunch on the outside (for those of you who like brownie corners) and a soft, chewy center (for those of you who know what the BEST part of the brownie is – the middles).

A thin, crisp crust and a chewylicious center - perfection!
 A thin, crisp crust and a chewylicious center – perfection!

I made half with and half without the bittersweet chocolate chips.  Because the recipe uses oil as the fat the chocolate chips don’t bind well to the dough.  You kinda have to “mush” them into the dough blobs to make sure they stay put.  But once they bake, they are fine.

The cocoa I used is King Arthur’s Triple Cocoa Blend, which is a mix of regular cocoa, Dutch-process cocoa and black cocoa.  The type of cocoa used in a recipe (Dutch vs regular) impacts the outcome because of the pH of the cocoa (for a great article on how and why see here).  If you don’t have a “cocoa blend” do use a mix of half regular and half Dutch-process cocoa.  Hershey’s is an excellent brand for regular cocoa, and my favorite Dutch-process cocoa is Droste.  If you use just one or the other, the recipe will “come out” but will be somewhat different in texture & flavor.  If you happen to have Black Cocoa on hand, use half that and half regular cocoa – the cookies will look and taste like Oreos.

No need to drag out the mixer for this one – this is the kind of batter that is best carefully mixed by hand to cut down on gluten formation.  Enjoy!

Just look at those melty-rich bittersweet chocolate chips!
Just look at those melty-rich bittersweet chocolate chips!
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup PLUS 2 Tbsp. neutral flavored oil (I used grape seed)
  • ½ cup King Arthur Triple Cocoa Blend (or use ¼ cup regular cocoa and either ¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa or ¼ cup black cocoa for ½ cup cocoa total)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. coffee extract
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ¾ cups PLUS 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate chips (preferably Ghirardelli)
  • ½ cup small walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350.  In a small mixing bowl combine flour, salt and soda.  In a large mixing bowl mix (by hand) sugar, oil, cocoa, eggs and extracts until thoroughly combined.  Add flour mixture and combine halfway.  Add chocolate chips and nuts and stir batter till no visible flour remains, being careful not to overbeat dough.  Use a cookie scoop to portion dough into 24 balls, evenly spaced, onto two silpat or parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through.  Bake until cookies are “set” on the outside but still a bit moist on the inside.

Here’s a second batch I made using half Black Cocoa and half Hershey’s, ½ tsp. Nielsen Massey peppermint extract, no nuts, and most of a bag of mint chocolate chips.  A perfect winter treat!

Extra dark chocolatey, with Black Cocoa and mint chocolate chips
An extra dark chocolatey variation, with Black Cocoa and mint chocolate chips


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