This fall has been the busiest fall that I can ever remember.  The busyness started immediately after Labor Day when my husband and took the trip of a lifetime to New Zealand and Bora Bora.  We road-tripped from Queenstown through the South Island and saw the most breathtaking, awe-inspiring scenery that made me feel so very small and grateful.

 

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Then we sat on the beach for a week reading books, chasing tiny sand crabs and dipping into the bathtub-like perfectly warm and calm water of the lagoon as needed to cool off.

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Returning from almost three full weeks of vacation, I felt refreshed and excited to get back to work and back into the kitchen!

I have been squeezing in as much kitchen time as possible since my return and I couldn’t wait to share these Brookies (aka brownie cookies) with you.  I bet if you took a poll of Americans’ favorite sweet treats, more than 75% percent of Americans would answer either “chocolate chip cookie” or “brownie”.  My answer is always chocolate chip cookie.

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

With these Brookies, you get a brownie on the bottom and chocolate chip cookie on top, so you don’t have to choose between your two favorites, you get both!  It’s sort of like the mullet of desserts.  I mean that in the best way possible (you know, business in the front, party in the back : brownie on the bottom, cookie on top?).  What could be better??

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I made these Brookies in a muffin pan and I loved the size and consistency that they turned out to be.  I mean you are eating two desserts at once, so they don’t need to be ginormous and I love that the muffin pan helps you make perfectly equally-sized Brookies.  Both the cookie and brownie components stay so soft and chewy which is exactly the way that I want my cookies and/or brownies to be.  And although the chocolate chip cookie is melded right on top of the brownie, you can still fully appreciate the individual flavor of both dessets.  Brookies are the perfect lunchbox, game day or after-school treat because no one has two choose only one of their two favorite desserts!

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brookies (aka brownie cookies)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 48 minutes

Yield: 15 brookies

Why settle for one or the other when you can have both a brownie and chocolate chip cookie in one dessert?!

Ingredients

    Brownie layer
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Chocolate chip cookie layer
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

    Brownie layer
  1. Liberally spray a regular-sized muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place chocolate chips and butter into a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir with a spatula to combine.
  3. Stir in both sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. Add flour, cocoa powder and salt and mix until just combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or large spoon fill each cavity of the prepared muffin pan 1/3 full of brownie batter. Place the pan into the refrigerator while you mix the cookie dough.
  6. Chocolate chip cookie layer
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. In another medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugars until smooth and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla until well combined.
  9. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until well blended.
  10. Mix in chocolate chips.
  11. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop a heaping Tbsp-sized ball of cookie dough out, roll it into a ball, flatten the ball slightly and place one cookie dough ball onto each cavity that is filled with brownie batter.
  12. Bake 16-18 minutes or until the cookie is lightly browned.
  13. Recipe adapted from Baked
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fill muffin pan 1/3 full with brownie batter

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

shape cookie dough into flattened balls and top each cavity that has been filled with brownie batter with the flattened ball of cookie dough and bake

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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We all need a little pick-me-up after school or work and these Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies are just the cheerful treat to give you a boost around 3:00pm.

Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

A good sugar cookie ranks right up there for me as one of my absolute favorite treats.  I love that sugar cookies are so customizable with different frostings and sprinkles and honestly, doesn’t a colorfully sprinkled cookie just make you smile inside?  These Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies are just that:  light and pillowy little delights that are not overly sweet.  I added both almond extract and some vanilla bean seeds to my cookies, but you could easily add lemon or any other flavoring that you enjoy.

Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Without a doubt, the very best part of these Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies is that this blog post is part of a partnership with OXO to support pediatric cancer research.  For each #OXOGoodCookies post, OXO is donating $100 to Kids’ Cancer research!  And not only that, but you have the chance to do your part too!  Look for specially marked OXO products that have this sticker on them

CFKC Sticker

and OXO will donate 25¢ for each product sold!  OXO is committed to donating up to $100,000 to pediatric cancer research just by us making cookies!  Now that is a cookie you can feel good about!

#OXOGoodCookies

For your convenience, here’s a list of all of the OXO products that you can purchase that will contribute to this great cause and also a link so that you can find the retailers who are carrying these products.  I love working with companies that support such worthy causes!

So pick up a specially marked OXO product, make these Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies and feel good about supporting a great cause while enjoying a delicious treat!

Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Soft Puffy Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 50 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup grape seed oil (or canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean seeds (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, eggs, oil, extract and water. Mix together using an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Add baking soda, cream of tartar and salt and mix until well blended. With mixer on medium speed, add flour 1 cup at a time and mix well.
  4. Roll dough into golfball-sized balls and place onto cookie sheets leaving 2 inches in between the dough balls.
  5. Use a small juice glass to gently flatten the balls of dough until they are about 1/4" thick. Place sprinkles on top and press them into the tops of the cookies gently.
  6. Bake 10-11 minutes or until tops of cookies feel set.
  7. Recipe adapted from Creme de la Crumb
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*For every stickered item sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000* pledge to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Look for specially marked OXO products at participating retailers in September.
* In 2014, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through specially marked baking tools, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.
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I first got excited about making ice cream this summer when I made the No-churn Sweet Corn Ice Cream that I shared with you about a month ago.  My enthusiasm continued when I shared Easy Watermelon Granita last week.  Much of my enthusiasm for making ice cream this summer and my inspiration for that granita came from Ruby Violet’s Ice Cream Dreams.  I was sent this book to review and I loved the story behind the author and the recipes that she offered.

Julie Fisher’s inspiration for this ice cream book came from her grandmother who enjoyed ice cream and shared her favorite treats with Julie and her sister.  Any recipe inspiration that is rooted in nostalgic memories of family traditions is very familiar to me as that is where I find much of my inspiration for new recipes.

Julie began making ice cream at her home and eventually, after testing recipes on her willing neighbors, she opened a stall at a local market.  She sold tubs of ice cream that featured currently fresh ingredients to market-goers.

Julie later moved her business to a permanent location where she still makes small batch ice cream that features the freshest seasonal ingredients and no artificial flavorings.  The book starts out with the “basics” which are base recipes for different types of ice creams and sorbets.  Julie then goes on to offer many different flavors of ice cream as well as recipes for desserts to feature your homemade recipes in, like an affogato which is simply a fresh shot of espresso poured over your choice of ice cream.  The book is beautiful and offers almost a photo per recipe.  Most of the recipe ingredients are listed in volumetric measurements, so you’ll want to have a scale on hand for accuracy.  I was instantly drawn to this book because of the story behind the author, but the quality of recipes and gorgeous photography will make it one of my go-to references when it comes to ice cream.

Hardie Grant Publishing provided me with a copy of this book for review, but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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As long as it is summer, each week I buy a watermelon, chop it up and snack on it morning, noon and night.  I just can’t get enough.  Inevitably I can’t get through the entire melon myself, so I turn it into other delights like the Strawberry Watermelon Cooler that I shared with you a couple of weeks ago.  My latest obsession is this Easy Watermelon Granita.

Easy Watermelon Granita {satisfymysweettooth.com}

A granita is essentially a grown-up version of a snow cone that it is so refreshing and cooling on these hot summer days.  Not only do I love the flavor of this Easy Watermelon Granita, but that color, that perfectly pink watermelon color, is just so perfect.

Easy Watermelon Granita {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Now when I say “easy” I am not exaggerating.  To make this granita, you simply puree chunks of watermelon and strain the juice, mix in a couple more ingredients, pop it into your freezer and in a few short hours, you will be spooning icy chilled Easy Watermelon Granita into your mouth.  I added a very small amount of tequila to my granita and I’ll tell you why:  alcohol inhibits the liquid from fully freezing so that no matter how long you have left your granita in the freezer, it won’t freeze into a solid block, but will remain nice shards of frozen goodness.  You could use any alcohol you prefer (vodka, gin, rum, etc.) or omit it completely, but if you omit it just make sure that you do an effective job of scraping the entire mixture into fine bits during the freezing process so that you don’t get large ice pieces.

Easy Watermelon Granita {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Easy Watermelon Granita

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups granita

Cool and refreshing shaved watermelon granita will be the perfect refreshment for the remaining days of summer

Ingredients

    For the simple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • For the granita
  • 2 1/4 cups watermelon juice (from about 5 cups chopped watermelon)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • the simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tequila (or vodka)

Instructions

    For the simple syrup
  1. Place the water into a small microwave-safe mug and microwave for 45-60 seconds (until almost boiling).
  2. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved completely.
  3. Place into the refrigerator to cool completely.
  4. For the granita
  5. Use a blender or food processor to process the watermelon until you have 2 1/4 cups of juice.
  6. Strain the juice through a fine mesh sieve to remove any pulp.
  7. Pour the juice into an 8X8-inch baking dish.
  8. Add lemon juice, simple syrup and tequila to the watermelon juice and mix gently until the mixture is well combined.
  9. Place the dish into the freezer. Every 2 hours until the mixture is completely frozen, remove the mixture from the freezer and gently scrape the surface with a fork so that the frozen bits become fine shavings.
  10. Serve directly from the freezer.
  11. Can be kept in a well-sealed container in the freezer for one month.
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I just don’t know how it can possibly be the end of July!  I feel like I just can’t fit enough s’mores, lake time, patio happy hours and barbecues in before the snow will be flying again!!  Lucky for you and me, I have The Best S’mores Bars to fit in some quality summer flavors before he heat is gone.

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Every night that we are at the lake cabin, even if I make a different dessert, at some point after dinner we always end up around the fire toasting marshmallows to golden brown perfection and slapping them on top of a graham cracker with chocolate to make a s’more.  And every time I eat one, I just can’t get over how perfect that roasted sugar is with the creamy chocolate and minimally sweet graham cracker.  I have never met a form of a s’more that I didn’t like.  There are very selective times when I tell you that something is “the best” I have ever had, and these, sweet teeth, just might be the best s’mores dessert I have ever had!

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Don’t get me wrong, the S’mores Ice Cream Cake that I shared earlier with you this summer was pretty spectacular, but the texture contrast and flavors of these S’mores Bars are pretty hard to beat.

S'mores Ice Cream Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I began these bars with a traditional graham cracker crust that I lightened up by using less butter and sugar than most graham cracker crusts.  I love the flavor of graham crackers and don’t feel like they need to be overly sweetened to be enjoyable so I wanted to cut out the extra sugar where I could and there was no downfall to this modification.  The fudgey chocolatey filling that tops the graham cracker crust in The Best S’mores Bars is obviously my favorite layer, because I am a chocolate nut but it is just so perfectly contrasted in texture with the crunchy crust.  Since one of my goals for this recipe was for these bars to be something quick and easy to put together, I simply topped that thick, gooey chocolate layer with Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits.  Everyone loves the look of these tiny bits and it just adds to the fun of this perfect summer recipe.

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S’mores Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 25 bars

Crunchy graham cracker crust topped with a thick fudge layer and mini marshmallows makes for The Best S'mores Bars

Ingredients

    Graham cracker crust
  • 8 whole graham cracker sheets, crushed into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Chocolate fudge filling and topping
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9X9-inch square baking pan with foil allowing the foil to overhang the edges of the pan. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Graham cracker crust:
  4. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  5. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Chocolate fudge filling and topping
  7. Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  8. Stir together and pour over graham cracker crust.
  9. Immediately, while the chocolate is not yet set, top with Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Bits
  10. *Chocolate filling recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups (http://cookiesandcups.com)
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combine all ingredients for crust in a small bowl and mix to combine

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}
press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}
for the chocolate filling, combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

microwave for 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth, stir, then pour over crust

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

immediately, while the chocolate is not yet set, top with Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Bits

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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