Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cookies & Cream Brownies

It feels almost cannibalistic to put cookies in brownies. I'm sorry.

Cookies & Cream has always been one of my favourite ice cream flavours. It's like the experience of dunking Oreos in milk minus the dunking, so it's even less effort. It's a faster way of getting full cream dairyness and chocolate cookies into my mouth faster.

This recipe features a quality fudgey brownie batter with the addition of crushed chocolate cookies and pure white chocolate chunks to create that "cream" effect.

White chocolate is mainly cocoa butter and milk solids flavoured with vanilla, so it makes complete sense.

Not all white chocolate is made equal.

This is a classic case of you-get-what-you-pay-for. Real white chocolate is beautiful stuff with a rich milky, buttery taste. And if you close your eyes while it melts on your tongue, you might just taste that complex nuttiness that comes with good quality chocolate even though it doesn't contain any cocoa solids.

The rule is: use pure white chocolate. No hydrogenated vegetable oil allowed. The only fat we want to see is cocoa butter. I prefer Lindt creamy white with Madagascan vanilla.

White chocolate doesn't last as long as dark chocolate either. Over time, and especially in hot climates, the milk solids can separate making it have a less than melt-in-your-mouth texture and leaving it quite chalky.

This also makes melting it nearly impossible - you will likely end up with a thick paste.

Making these brownies is a pretty smooth ride.

It starts with melted chocolate and butter. I add a bit of cocoa to boost that chocolate flavour and add some batter-building solids without drying it out.

Next we go in with the sugar, salt, vanilla and eggs. I use caster sugar, which is fine sugar - finer than your typical granulated sugar. It helps the sugar dissolve more readily to encourage that fudgey texture.

After stirring in the flour and just before the mixture goes into the pan, we fold in some pieces of chocolate cookies and pure white chocolate chunks.

Don't forget to save some for scattering on top.

If you're thinking of serving these with Cookies & Cream ice cream, I'd say you are awesome and I want some.


Cookies & Cream Brownies
Makes 16 brownies

120g (4 ¼ oz) bittersweet chocolate; coarsely chopped
½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, cut into large cubes

1 tbsp (6g) cocoa powder
¾ cup (150g) sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt

2 large eggs
½ cup (71g) all-purpose flour
½ cup chocolate cookies pieces
½ cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Melt the chocolate, butter and cocoa in a medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Stir in sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour until just combined. Fold in cookie pieces and white chocolate, reserving a few for scattering on top.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter reserved cookies and white chocolate over top. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.

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