Brookies

When preparing for any sort of “show” event like the Super Bowl, Golden Globes, or Academy Awards, we like for dessert to be pre-made and something that can be served easily. We don’t want to miss the best part of the event because we are assembling a fancy dessert in the kitchen. Any sort of bar or cookie is great for events like these because they can be made in advance and sliced to serve when it comes time for dessert. We love these brookies and they are especially appealing to all of the chocoholics in our group. The only thing better than a warm chocolate chip cookie is a cookie with a brownie layer on the bottom. If you’re feeling really fancy you can serve these with a little scoop of ice cream on top, but we prefer to eat them hot out of the pan.

Brookies

  • Servings: 16 pieces
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Ingredients For The Brownie Layer

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs coffee
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Ingredients For The Cookie Layer

  • 5 tbs salted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Make the brownie layer. Heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter and melt until it fully coats the bottom of the pan. Add the chocolate and melt completely. Remove from the heat immediately after the chocolate has melted. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and coffee together. When the chocolate mixture has cooled, add that into the mix as well, whisking as you go to evenly distribute the heat. Add the salt, baking powder, and flour into the chocolate mix. Use a rubber spatula to fold the mixture together, being careful not to over-mix. Pour the batter into the bottom of the baking dish and set aside until ready to bake.
  3. Make the cookie layer. Use a hand mixer to beat the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Mix for about 3 minutes, or until the butter is fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing well to combine. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour to the mixing bowl. Stir until just combined. Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips. Gently flatten the cookie dough and place it in as even a layer as possible over the brownie batter, being sure to not press too firmly into the batter and disturbing the layers.
  4. Bake the brookies for 25-30 minutes, or until they just come out clean with a toothpick. Let the brookies cool completely before slicing and serving.


Red Velvet Skillet Brownie

To cap off our Valentine’s Day menu, we wanted to do a dessert that was fun and festive while making sure it was an easy venture in the kitchen. Whenever we are planning a dinner menu, we always try and extend effort to one particular item and make the rest of the menu easy and straightforward so that we don’t get overwhelmed. Chocolate is pretty much essential on Valentine’s Day, so we decided to go with a red velvet brownie for our finale. One of our favorite desserts to order is the pizookie from BJ’s Pizzeria, which is a chocolate chip cookie served hot out of the oven in a skillet and topped with ice cream. We decided to make these brownies pizookie style and serve them the same way. We love cracking into the top of the brownie and letting all of the melted ice cream seep into the center. The best part? You can make the batter in advance and refrigerate the batter in the pan. Bake them straight from the fridge, adding about 2 minutes to the baking time, and you will have the perfect date night dessert.

Red Velvet Skillet Brownie

  • Servings: 2
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Our favorite red velvet brownies, made skillet style! The perfect dessert for date night.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 3 tbs salted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbs all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • red food coloring (about 1/4 oz)
  • vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put the butter and bittersweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the ingredients in 30 second increments, stirring between each 30 seconds, until the chocolate is completely melted (about 90 seconds total). Let the mixture sit on the counter top to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Slowly add the chocolate mixture to the eggs and sugar, whisking as they are added, so as to not cook the eggs. Whisk vigorously until all of the chocolate has been added to the eggs.
  4. Add the red food coloring to the eggs and whisk well to combine. We prefer to add most of the food coloring now, so as not to over mix the brownie batter once the flour has been added.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt to the batter. Gently stir until the mixture is just combined. At this point, add more red food coloring as necessary and gently whisk until all of the dye is evenly distributed.
  6. Pour the brownie batter into a greased small skillet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the brownies come out clear with a toothpick. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.


S’mores Blondies

We love making bite sized desserts for a party because they can be made in advance and don’t require any last minute effort in the kitchen. Particularly for the Super Bowl, where you typically don’t want to be cooking and tending to food in the kitchen throughout the game, it is nice to be able to have this step taken care of well in advance. This blondie recipe is a sure crowd pleaser and we especially love the addition of the s’mores toppings to the mix. The mixed in marshmallows make the blondies extra chewy and the chocolate chunks make them even more decadent…. how can anybody say no to that?! These are a family favorite from everyone aged 1.5 to 86, and we know they will be a favorite of yours, too!

S'mores Blondies

  • Servings: 24 bite sized blondies
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Our favorite blondie recipe, made “s’mores style” with marshmallows, graham crackers, & Hershey bars.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup salted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking power
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup graham crackers, broken into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup Hershey’s chocolate bars, broken into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, to drizzle on top of the bars (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 11 Pyrex baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Use a hand mixer to mix the melted butter and brown sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well blended. Add the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour to the batter. Mix on a low speed until just combined. Add 1/3 cup of the mini marshmallows, graham cracker pieces, and Hershey’s bars to the batter. Mix just to combine.
  3. Use a spatula to pour the batter into the baking dish. It will be thick; use the spatula to make sure that everything is in an even layer in the pan. Bake the blondies for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, quickly remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining pieces of graham cracker, Hershey’s bar, and mini marshmallows. Bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the blondies cool completely before slicing.
  4. If you want to add the chocolate drizzle to the bars, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave after the bars have been cooled and sliced. Use a spoon or paper cone to lightly drizzle over top the blondies.


Rick The Baker’s Banana Bread

We were lucky to grow up in a household that both celebrated and encouraged cooking. Our mom cooked dinner almost every night and on Wednesday’s it was our dad’s turn to cook. Over time, our dad’s repertoire in the kitchen expanded to baking (woohoo!) and he is now baking something almost every week. If you know our family, you know that our dad is famous for his banana bread. If you join us for our Sunday walk or happen to cross paths with him over the weekend, you’ll likely be the proud owner of a banana loaf. He has been altering and tweaking this recipe for a few years and bakes a loaf or two of banana bread each week. After some serious begging and convincing, he finally shared his recipe with us and all of our followers! We have had a lot of fun in the kitchen getting the recipe from his head to paper and can’t wait to see you making it your kitchen as well.

Rick the Baker's Banana Bread

  • Servings: 1 loaf
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Our dad’s famous chocolate covered banana bread!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of all-purpose white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin spice
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Coat a standard loaf pan with cooking spray
  3. In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice.
  4. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter, coconut milk, sugar and vanilla.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each.
  6. Add the flour mixture and mix until well incorporated
  7. Add the bananas, mix well.
  8. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes or until the bread is firm.
  9. Let the banana bread cool completely in the pan.
  10. Make the chocolate topping. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips for about one minute. Add the cream and stir until the chocolate and cream are fully mixed. Top the chocolate sauce over the banana bread and let cool completely. The chocolate sauce will harden and slice easily after it has cooled.


Heath Bar Brownies

Everyone needs a good brownie recipe to have in their back pocket, and this is the one we have in ours. These brownies are fudgy, chocolatey, and contain that little bit of surprise when you bite into a piece of caramel Heath Bar. We love this recipe because it comes together really quickly- even with a quick trip to the grocery store for Heath Bars, we still have these on the table in less than an hour. We have shown them photographed in bite sized pieces because #portioncontrol, but we are known to scoop them hot out of the pan and top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate sweet treat.

Heath Bar Brownies

  • Servings: 16 brownies
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A classic brownie recipe with a little something extra thanks to decadent chunks of Heath Bar.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2.25 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs coffee or 1 tsp coffee extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 oz Heath Bars, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 11 inch baking dish with parchment paper; spray the parchment with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter and melt until it fully coats the bottom of the pan. Add the chocolate and melt completely. Remove from the heat immediately after the chocolate has melted.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and coffee together. When the chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, add that into the mix as well, whisking as you go to evenly distribute any remaining heat so as not to scramble the eggs.
  4. Use a mesh strainer to sift the salt, baking powder, and flour into the chocolate mix. Use a rubber spatula to fold the mixture together, being careful not to over-mix. Add the Heath Bars to the brownie batter and gently fold them in.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. It will be quite thick, so use a spatula to make sure the batter is in an even layer and touches all sides of the pan.
  6. Bake the brownies for 20 minutes, or until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides. Remove the brownies from the oven and cool before slicing. If you are a rabid animal like we are, carefully eat them hot out of the pan with a spoon.


Morning Mocha Smoothie

On mornings that the weather is unbearably hot, we love a cold coffee to shake the sleep off and get us going for the day. Lately we have been having coffee and breakfast as a two-for-one combo by adding cold brew to our morning smoothie. The combination of the coffee, almond milk, and chocolate protein powder tastes like we are having dessert for breakfast with none of the guilt! 

Morning Mocha Smoothie
Makes: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes   Total Time: 5 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 oz cold brew coffee concentrate**
  • 8 oz almond milk or milk of choice 
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder 
  • a few ice cubes, optional 

Directions:

  1. Place all of the smoothie ingredients together in a blender. Blend until smooth. If you prefer the smoothie a little thicker, add the ice cubes and blend. Serve immediately. 

** We like about 12 oz of liquid total in the smoothie. If we have leftover, refrigerated coffee, we will use 8 oz of coffee and 4 oz of almond milk as the coffee from home is not a concentrate.