It all started last year when I saw a recipe for brooksters on Serious Eats: crisp-edged brownie shells filled with chocolate-chip cookie dough. It quickly got bookmarked, pinned to my Pinterest account; but I never could seem to find an occasion for baking them. Well, until this morning when I decided to use up the chocolate-chip cookie dough I had left over from a previous baking frenzy.
Brooksters are known by different names, usually depending on the way they’re made and the ensuing proportion of brownie to cookie. Some are called brookies and are made by baking brownie batter as drop cookies. Other versions marble a runny chocolate-chip batter with the brownie batter, cooking the resulting mix into bars.
And then, there are crownies.
Not to be confused with the short-lived legal drama of the same name from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, crownies feature a chocolate chip cookie base topped with a moist, fudgy brownie. The name is taken from both the way the brownie crowns the cookie below and the fact that these are baked in muffin tins, hence a crown-like appearance.
I am of the opinion that an oatmeal-based chocolate-chip cookie dough would work best here, particularly when paired with a cake brownie-style batter. Still, even commercially-available chocolate chip cookie dough works in a pinch and tastes pretty good.
When properly baked, the top is fluffy, tender, deliciously moist and deeply flavored with chocolate; the bottom – particularly if the dough was made with salted butter – bakes into a nubbly, slightly crunchy, lightly chewy, chocolate-studded base. The contrasts in both flavor and texture are delicious and delightful, making these the perfect thing to serve alongside morning coffee or afternoon tea.
Speaking of coffee, my brownie batter actually features a mug of coffee – an instant cappuccino, to be exact – in lieu of milk. This gives it a deeper and richer flavor, along with a moist, moreish texture.
- 9 tablespoons chocolate-chip cookie dough, divided into 18 more or less equal portions
- 3/4 cup butter
- generous 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-1/4 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup prepared instant cappuccino (1 sachet instant cappuccino + scant 1/4 cup cream + enough hot water to make 1 cup of combined liquid)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees / Gas Mark 4. Line the cups of 2 standard-sized 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; note that you only need to use 18 of the cups. Press the portioned cookie dough evenly into the bottoms of the lined cups; set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder while stirring until the butter has all liquefied and the ingredients are well combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about a minute. Whisk in the eggs and the vanilla and mix until well-combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and the cappuccino and mix until a slightly lumpy (more smooth than lumpy, though) batter is achieved.
Pour 2 – 3 tablespoons of batter on top of each cookie dough base. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes.
Makes 18 crownies.
Incidentally, I am of the opinion that these are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee while listening to the following song by Aussie chanteuse Lanie Lane which, actually, was also the theme song for the Crownies television series. 😉