Double chocolate brownie cookies

Picture the scene.  It’s Sunday night. You want to bake a tin full of goodness for work tomorrow. But should you make brownies or cookies? Answer: both. And don’t hold the chocolate chunks.

I found the answer to my cookie vs brownie dilemma on Smitten Kitchen which, by the way, is pretty much my go-to baking blog after the perfection of her salted chocolate chunk cookies.

Described by one of my colleagues with a completely straight face as ‘one of the best things I have actually ever eaten’, I recommend this most excellent of hybrid baked goods to you.

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Ingredients

115 g unsalted butter
115 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
190 g dark or light brown sugar
25 g granulated sugar
2 large free range eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
45 g cocoa powder
130g plain flour
115 g dark chocolate, chopped into fairly generous chunks

Directions

  • Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in the microwave or a very low heat on the hob.  Remove from the heat when the chocolate is almost melted, then stir until smooth.
  • Whisk both sugars into the melted butter and chocolate mixture before adding the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.
  • Whisk in the baking soda and salt, and sieve the cocoa powder into the batter.
  • Next, sieve in your plain flour and stir until combined.
  • Add the chunks of chocolate and stir in.
  • Pop the bowl into the fridge for about half an hour (but apparently you can leave it in for up to a few days).  The chilling makes these easier to scoop.  If you leave the batter in for longer than 30 minutes it’ll harden more, so leave to sit at room temperature for a little while before spooning out.
  • Once the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 175°c.
  • Scoop the dough into about two-tablespoon sized mounds and place evenly on a tray / trays lined with baking paper, allowing room for them to spread out a little.
  • Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, at which point they will still definitely look like they aren’t baked.  Take them out anyway, because you don’t want to lose the fudgy, soft centre.
  • Let the brownie cookies firm up on the trays for a few minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack.
  • Enjoy warm if you can, but in case you’re not up for demolishing the entire batch in one sitting or you have people in your life who expect you to share, these are also yummy (and still fudgy – yay!) once cooled.

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This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. The photographs and other words are  © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2016.

Zucchini {courgette} banana chocolate chip muffins: An adventure in scepticism

So here are two facts about me:

1) Like most people, I’d like to find ways to be healthier.

2) I LOVE baking. And chocolate. And cake. And baked goods generally in all of their wonderful variety.

And luckily, I’m not the only one dealing with these two seemingly incompatible realities. There are plenty of people out there who have tried to create healthier versions of delicious treats, but with admittedly varied success. I’ve made so-called ‘clean’ baked things in the past which have left me feeling like I’d really just rather eat an apple, instead of a weird pretend cookie.

Living in the rural North of England presents another issue when most of the recipes are created by Americans. Those on the other side of the Atlantic seem to have access to a much wider range of healthy baking ingredients. Coconut flour? Doubtful. You might be able to get that kind of thing in the more hipster parts of Central London, but I live in a small town where we still think that fancy pasta shapes are pretty exotic. But despite the challenges, I very much WANT to believe the tales and the legends: I WANT to believe that I can find healthful yet delicious alternatives to the naughty versions which I love.

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And I think *deep breath* I might have found one: these chocolate chip muffins are pretty lovely, and really rather good for you. I stumbled across Ambitious Kitchen after a Google search for healthy muffin recipes, and I love the site, as well as Monique’s attitude to healthy eating. She’s not the scary and intimidating clean eater who makes you feel terrible about those late night nutella-from-the-jar moments and who never eats the ‘S’ word (sugar, of course). But she has created recipes which are much healthier than their counterparts, without compromising on taste, and these muffins are DELICIOUS.

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I baked a dozen. After being out of the oven for a couple of hours there were six remaining, and I only ate one. Even my vegetable- adverse brother demolished two: high praise indeed. This time, facing down my scepticism paid off. Maybe you should try it, too.

All content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2014.