Brownie-Cookies. No Pumpkin Spice Required

I’m not a betting woman, but I’d lay a few bones on the probability that, by this point in October, you’ve probably:

  • Shelled out at least $4 for a hot, caffeinated, pumpkin spice-laced beverage
  • Kicked yourself for falling victim, yet again, to lazy marketing and spending $4 for a hot, caffeinated beverage that tastes nothing like pumpkin and everything like a stomach ache in a cup
  • Gone into the office kitchen only to been greeted by a plate of homemade, chestnut-hued crumbly good
  • Scoured your local grocer for the first sign of 28 oz cans of pumpkin puree
  • Nodded in solemn, guilty agreement with John Oliver’s pumpkin slam

Let’s stray from the marketers’ cliche. Let’s not give in to the peer and pelvic pressure of whipped cream on top of frothed milk on top of liquid cloves.

Let’s not get stressed out after scouring no fewer than 4 department stores, 3 department store outlets and at least 5 websites for just the right mid-length down coat that doesn’t make your 5’2″ frame resemble an (albeit chicer) oompa loompa.

Pumpkin will be gone in a few months, when the world starts shoving marshmallow birds and “creme”-filled eggs down our proverbial throats. Chocolate will always be there.

This is a cookie recipe for all of those weekdays and gray days and email overload days. It almost borderlines on being too sweet, but then you chomp down on that salty bite and everything is fine.

IMGP4969These cookie-brownie hybrids bake up real fast, which means less waiting for that gluten goodness to melt in your mouth. They’ll seem a tad undercooked once the 11 minutes is up, but this is one of those common baking science scenarios when the transition from oven to open air puts every particle in its right (read: non-salmonella inducing) place.

You could swap out the pretzels for nuts (as the original recipe calls for), but pretzels are a bit more rebellious and a lot less contentious. Some people are cookie purists. I give them credit for having a cause.

2 kinds of chocolate. 2 variations of baked good. 1 perfect moment when all that’s evil and wrong and pumpkin in the world is forgotten.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies w/White Chocolate Chips & Pretzels
Makes between 1.5-2 dozen cookies. Adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook.

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c granulated sugar
1 tsp coffee or espresso (optional…but so much better if you opt-in)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/4 c white chocolate chips
3/5 cup chopped/broken pretzel pieces (I usually but the short, thin pretzels sticks and break them up in a few pieces)

Shift your racks in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 325ºF. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

Because I don’t have the proper bowl to create a double boiler on the stovetop to “properly” melt chocolate, I use the microwave. Place the semisweet chips in a medium-large microwave safe bowl and nuke them until smooth. Either blast them for a few seconds at a time, or check the bowl periodically to assure the chocolate doesn’t burn.

In a big bowl, mix the flour baking powder and salt.

In the melted chocolate bowl, add your sugar, coffee and vanilla. Whisk in each egg one at a time until incorporated. Next, pour the chocolate liquid heaven into the dry ingredient bowl.

Mix mix mix. Once the flour starts to dissolve, mix in the white chocolate chips and pretzel bits. Fold everything in (without pulverizing the pretzels) until the batter feels good and thick.

Drop the batter onto your cookies sheet with a tablespoon or ice cream scoop. Bake for 11 blissful minutes. Let the cookies sit for a few minutes once out of the oven before transferring elsewhere; they’re delicate and lovely that way.

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3 thoughts on “Brownie-Cookies. No Pumpkin Spice Required

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