Everything you want to know about chocolate
Have you ever heard of brookies? The irresistible love child of a brownie and a cookie, the best brookies have crisp edges, tender centers, and a deep, rich fudgy flavor. Achieving the perfect brookie consistency can be tricky. They have to strike the perfect balance between cakey and crunchy, while still retaining hints of gooey chocolate. Just how outrageous were the Barefoot Contessa's brookies?
A little over a year ago I reviewed the Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous Mint Chocolate Brownie Mix and gave it high marks: "Sticky and gooey, the centers resembled a fudgy ganache. The tiny mint chips imparted a bright, invigorating flavor without overpowering the chocolate. Biting into one was a bit like eating an Andes thin mint (one of my favorite candies growing up) in brownie form." I was curious to see how the brownie-cookie hybrid mix would compare.
At $10.99 it wasn't cheap, but the Barefoot Contessa has a good track record. Her mixes are usually fresh and homey-tasting, and relatively simple to prepare. The Outrageous Brownie Cookie mix included a packet of high-quality chocolate chunks and a packet of cocoa brownie mix. To prepare the brownie cookies, I melted the chocolate chunks with a stick of butter, then beat in the brownie mix, an egg, and some chopped walnuts (which were listed as an "optional" ingredient). Overall, preparing the batter took about 10 minutes, and it tasted pretty stellar. I was pleasantly surprised to note that in addition to the melted chocolate, the mix also hid tiny chocolate chips throughout.
The box directs you to bake the brownie cookies for exactly 15 minutes, with no other clues as to how to test for doneness. I was worried about the first batch I baked, so I took them out after 10 minutes. This was a mistake. The cookies fell apart when I tried to transfer them to a cooling rack. You really do need to cook them for 15 minutes until they centers are firm and the edges look a little crisp. It seems like a long time, but the resulting cookies are every bit as outrageous as the Barefoot Contessa claims. These are thin, flat cookies that still manage to retain a tender, moist interior. The cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and tiny chocolate chips create layers of intense chocolate flavor with absolutely no artificial "baking mix" taste.
For a true example of what a brookie should be, look no further that this mix. For chocolate lovers, it's a must.