Aug 10, 2011

Giant Chocolate-Toffee Brownie Cookies

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ZOMG. Can someone confirm for me that this week has 11 days in it? It does, right?

At the risk of sounding like the worst mother on the planet and/or a Bravo Network housewife, I’m living this entire week feeling like I’m trapped under something heavy. Which is to say my child who has been inexplicably given a “summer break” from the little school that usually takes on her craziness for me a few times a week so I can get some work done/run errands/eat cake while tooling around on the internet in peace. Thanks to the powers that be who have decided that these overworked children need a vacation from all their fingerpainting and cracker eating, I am now in the precarious situation of looking into the face of an expectant almost-three-year-old who demands activities and socialization at all waking hours, of which there are 35 per day. 
You’d think Little C and I didn’t spend the first two and a half years of her life in constant companionship during the week, going everywhere and eating every single meal together. Just a few months of paying for child care on a couple weekdays and now I’m suddenly all, DUR, WHERE DOES DIS GO AND WHAT DO WE DO WHEN WE GET DERE? Also, I am downright offended that the universe expects me to parent on a Wednesday. Absurd!
So there are these cookies. These heavenly, chew-and-sigh-inducing cookies that are so insanely rich they require roughly a quart of milk alongside. They are Giant Chocolate-Toffee Brownie Cookies and they are my coping mechanism for a week that is made entirely of hump days.

I wish I could tell you that this recipe is so complicated that you will probably only make them once in a while so, hey, just go for it! But nay, I cannot. Basically they consist of what you see in that photo above. One entire pound of chocolate and a smattering of chopped Heath bar bits. Also, a knob of butter, a few eggs and a poof of flour that barely count because A POUND OF CHOCOLATE.

I jazzed up the original recipe a touch by adding some espresso powder for extra depth and more salt to give these cookies the ability to make you actually feel the neurons or whatever in your brain firing because their sweet and salty quality is just that addictive. Imagine if the very best brownie had a baby with a perfectly decadent chocolate cookie. And the toffee bits represent paid child care because it’s what the good Lord intended. 
Giant Chocolate-Toffee Brownie Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appetit
These cookies are super, super rich. In their giant form, even I can only take about half at a time. The recipe can easily be halved. You can also make them smaller with a 2-tablespoon-sized scoop (a standard ice cream scoop is perfect for portioning this giant version). A cup of chopped toasted walnuts would be a lovely addition if you are a nuts-in-cookies type of person, and will up the yield to about 18 cookies. Cool the cookies on the the baking sheets for ultimate chewiness.
Makes 16

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet chocolate (at least 60 to 70% cacao), chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath), coarsely chopped

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Microwave with 30-second bursts of high power, stirring after each interval, until the mixture is melted and smooth; set aside to cool slightly (alternatively, you can melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler).

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together sugar, eggs and espresso powder until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then the toffee bits. Chill batter until firm, about 1 hour.

When you’re ready to bake, position oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat it to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to the touch, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheets.

  • I love everything about these cookies!

  • Incredible. What a perfect combination of brownie and cookie. Yum! :-)

  • I can't be expected to do ANYTHING of value on a Wednesday, much less parent. Well, perhaps I could bake cookies. After seeing these, that seems like an entirely necessary Wednesday activity.

  • I am LOL! This summer break has finally made me realize why my mom was so happy when we went back to school each fall. I feel as if I am a circus act over here. If I am not blowing bubbles while filling pool, while finding goggles, while making popsicles I am failing my kids.

  • My goodness these look devine! I recently had a chocolate cookie fail, and now I want to try these to make up for it! Yummy, yummy, yum!

  • Heard a lot of great review about this book. I've bought it and now waiting for it to arrive. Can't wait bake these delicious cookies when the book arrives…

  • I really love these! My all time favourite ingredient is chocolate, so I'll be baking these very soon.

  • Wow, these look so good. I love Heath Bars. Having them wrapped in a cookie sounds even better.

  • These look so yummy! Definitely going on my "to-make" list!

  • i tried making them..i dunno whats wrong they r spreading too thin and too much…cuz if the thinning tehy r buring..what could i be doing wrong?

  • Delicious recipe! I’m usually not a fan of chocolate cookies, but the recipe intrigued me. I used E. Guittard 72% bittersweet chocolate with great results. Love the texture of the cookie, which I think was even better the next day. Thanks, Shauna, for making me a convert to chocolate cookies. ;-)

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