Friday, March 22, 2013

Kitchen Experiments: Brownie-Chip Cookie Bars

This recipe was born of a science-fair experiment gone wrong, plus a taste-test of a "make-your-own" brownie mix. Put it all together and you get one delicious treat for the chocoholic in your household.

Here's the story behind the mistake:  Little Brother and I were making cookies for his science-fair project. Yes, his science-fair project involves baking cookies! He is testing to see the difference in the finished product when using baking powder versus baking soda. I have him using the Saucepan M&M Cookies from My Kitchen Escapades because the batter is mixed in a saucepan and is very easy to work with. Plus, the cookies come out really good. We think that using baking soda in these cookies instead of the baking powder called for in the recipe will result in a flatter, wider cookie. But that's a story for another day.

I helped Little Brother get all set up in the kitchen, and I was guiding him through the recipe. But it had been a busy day, and I was really tired, and I just wasn't thinking about the fact that 1 stick butter is NOT equal to 1 cup butter. No wonder the batter was a little dry, and hard to mix. The cookies tasted good, though, and I thought they'd be a great base for a combination dessert. The recipe below contains the amount of butter I used in this dessert. If you want the original recipe for cookie-making purposes (and I highly recommend that you try these) then visit My Kitchen Escapades.

1/2 stick butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add both sugars. Stir until smooth and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs and vanilla, then add dry ingredients and stir until blended. Wait until batter is completely cool before adding in the chocolate chips.

BROWNIE MIX from Lindsey's Kitchen (this is a great recipe to substitute for boxed brownie mix.)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, oil and vanilla and stir until just blended.


Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9-inch square baking pan (I lined it with Reynolds Release foil.) Pat cookie batter into bottom of pan until the entire bottom of the pan is lined in cookie batter. Pour brownie batter over the top.

Cover the entire cookie layer with brownie batter.
Bake between 28 and 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then lift the foil from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into squares.

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