The daisies are just about gone, the leaves on the mountains across the valley are already turning red, and the kids are back in school, but the calendar won't concede summer to autumn for another couple of weeks. We resist with the swan song to all things summer with a Labor Day picnic. Some of us are ready to breathe a deep breath of coolth, (as we like to call it for if there is warmth, can't there be coolth?). Others of us refuse to put away sandals and shorts until well into November, but there's still time to mix up a batch of brownies to take to a picnic, camping or to make the kids smile for a "welcome back to school" treat when coming home from school.
This combo is a winner - chocolate cookie dough brownies - the creamy layer is reminiscent of a fingerful of cookie dough scraped from the sides of the mixing bowl while making chocolate chip cookies (or snitched in deliberate handfuls from the dough). The chocolate of the rich, dense brownie and the drizzled chocolate glaze whisper "chocolate chip cookies" to your senses. A birthday favorite of one of my sisters was raw cookie dough - allowed as a "once-a-year" treat for the celebration. I always requested cheesecake for my birthday but wasn't averse to joining in the cookie dough gluttony.
The quintessential American treat, these brownies are perfect to take with you to a picnic or cookout and admittedly require more labor than a plain, unfussy brownie, thus apropo for "Labor" Day. Come to think of it, no one ever declared brownies taboo after Labor Day like white pants or dresses or swimming at the beach in Tunisia, so no worries - these delicious sweets are just as much appreciated in cold months as well - unlike daisies, ubiquitously seasonal and enticing throughout the year!
Cookie Dough Brownies:
One recipe plain chocolate brownies (see below)
1/2 cup butter,softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cups sugar
2 tab. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
-In a large bowl beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add milk, salt and vanilla. blend well. Add flour, mix well. Spread over cool brownies.
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tab. butter
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
-Melt chocolate chips and butter in microwave until smooth, about 1 minute on high. Stir until smooth. Let cool 10 - 15 minutes then spoon glaze over filing, drizzling to cover. If desired, sprinkle with walnuts, pressing down lightly. Store in fridge. Cut when chilled.
Brownie Recipe (dense and moist)
4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp.baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray or grease well with oil.
-Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a bowl with the butter and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between intervals until just melted and smooth. Let cool about 10 minutes.
-In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes. Slowly add chocolate/butter mixture. then flour and mix to combine. Stir in baking powder and salt. Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.. Cool completely.
**You may use your favorite brownie recipe, cakey, fudgy or chewy. In a hurry, even a favorite box mix will do - especially Ghiradelli's brownie mix.
**Brownies with a topping are so much easier to cut once chilled. Use a sharp knife, heated in hot water and/or a short metal spatula.
**If desired, increase the filling to make a thicker creamy layer by increasing each ingredient by half.