Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chewy Brownie Cookies

You know the best part of a brownie - that chewy yummy bit around the edges of the pan? Well, here you have it - in a cookie! No more fighting, there's enough for everyone.

I first got turned onto this recipe on Pinterest ... it was pinned from Divine Baking but it turned out she "adapted" the recipe from Epicurous. Yep - it's nearly identical ... so I'll compare what they did to what I did ... I don't think I can really call it an adaptation because the basis for the recipe is the same ... I just changed a few things.

EpicurousMy Changes or Comments
Nonstick vegetable oil sprayI keep a stick of butter in the fridge door and just use that to grease pans (mom's trick)
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), dividedI used 200g chocolate which is only 7-1/2 oz. That's the size of baking chocolate here so it's easy and it was plenty. The bars are usually divided into 8 squares so I break 4 apart to melt and chop the other 4 for putting into the dough as chunks.
3 large egg whites, at room tempno change
2 1/2 cups powdered sugarI found 1-3/4 cups is plenty (1 cup goes in the eggs first and the other 3/4 cups gets mixed with the cocoa powder)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powderGet the best European cocoa powder  you can - trust me - avoid Hershey's ... if you need some I'll mail it to you ... it's worth it!
1 tablespoon cornstarchno change
1/4 teaspoon saltno change

Preheat oven to  175°C / 350°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray or use a stick of butter.

Melt 1/2 the chocolate in glass bowl in microwave - I set the timer 30 seconds at a time, taking it out and stirring it each time until it's smooth. Cool slightly.

Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme.

Use a fork to combine 3/4 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in medium bowl. On low speed, stir dry ingredients into meringue.

Stir in lukewarm chocolate and the remaining chocolate cut into chunks. The recipe says the batter will be very stiff. Mine never has been but if your kitchen is warm I would recommend refrigerating the dough for at least a half hour.

Then you're supposed to roll the dough into balls - yuck! It's sticky and sometimes not stiff enough. So I just drop it by teaspoonfuls directly onto the baking sheet. And they turn out just as pretty and round without all the hassle but be sure to leave enough space between because they will spread.

Instead of rolling the balls in powdered sugar I just sift it generously over the top - perfect and a lot less messy! (In the pictures I wasn't generous enough ... will remember to use more next time. I was also reading the comments on Epicurous ... oh my goodness, there are a ton of comments about adding things like cinnamon to the dusting sugar, or chopped jalopenos, ginger or almonds to the batter. Hehe, this is obviously for me ... not the hubby except maybe the almonds.

Bake for 10 minutes until the tops are cracked. Cool on the sheets (on a rack) for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack and allow to cool.

Epicurous says this quantity makes about 24 cookies. Diving baking says it makes 18. Yikes, I don't know what size there cookies are but mine made 32 and they were plenty big enough - a tad bigger than my camera lens cap - so definitely big enough.

Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and allow to cool.
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