Stuck with a difficult decision between a cookie and a brownie? What if you no longer needed to make a choice! My Brookie recipe is the best of both worlds. A chocolate chip cookie bottomed brownie you are sure to love.
Developing My Ultimate Brookie Recipe
The other day I had a craving for a cookie and then, before I got around to making them, I also found myself thinking about brownies. I was faced with the all too frequent sweet treat conundrum of which to make. As I do love a layered dessert, I started thinking about combining the two into a bar - cookie bottomed brownie bars. A quick Google search revealed I wasn't alone in this concept and it even had a name: the brookie!
Now I've seen many different versions, some with the brownie on top, some with it on the bottom. Some even seem to swirl them together. The layering you choose for these depends on what type of cookie and brownie you are seeking. I personally love a relatively thin and crispy chocolate chip cookie, so this was the natural base, underneath a gooey brownie top.
The classic brookie involves a chocolate chip cookie. In theory, you could probably make just about any type of cookie into a brookie if you're wanting to experiment. But, for my brookies, why mess with the classic!
For these I amended my favourite thin chocolate chip cookie recipe which you can find here. My normal recipe usually makes about four dozen cookies, which is far more dough than I needed to line the base of my 9" square baking tin!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients
- Butter - unsalted butter, softened at room temperature.
- Sugar - brown sugar (also known as muscovado in the UK) for the molassey flavour and granulated sugar.
- Vanilla extract - the secret to all good baking is good quality vanilla!
- Flour - either all purpose or plain flour.
- Baking soda
- Chocolate chips - I never skimp on good quality chocolate for my cookies (or brookies!)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Process
This can all be made in one medium/large bowl.
- Beat together your butter and sugars until creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla, beating to combine.
- Sift in the dry ingredients and beat until just fully incorporated.
- Add in the chocolate chips and fold through to evenly distribute.
- Spread evenly over the bottom of your prepared baking dish and set aside for the brownie layer!
So brownies are one of those classic American desserts where everyone has an opinion on what makes 'the best'. I think different brownies work better and worse in different situations. For the top of my brookie, I wanted a fudgy top that would be gooey almost like a brownie icing to my cookie cake.
This super simple homemade brownie recipe is basically divided into two parts, the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Normally in recipes (particularly cakes and cookies), when dry ingredients are referred to this excludes sugar, which is creamed together with the butter. In the distinction here, a key difference is that we're taking a more literal definition of dry versus wet and the sugars are part of the dry ingredients.
- Flour - either all purpose flour or plain flour will work in this recipe.
- Cocoa powder
- Powdered sugar - also known as icing sugar or confectioners sugar.
- Sugar - either superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar.
- Oil - I opted for a flavourless rapeseed oil (which is common in the UK). Alternatively, you could use canola oil, grapeseed oil or sunflower oil.
- Vanilla extract
Unlike the original recipe, I decided against additional chocolate chips in the brownies as these were going on top of the chocolate chip cookie layer.
Brownie Making Process
So, this is how simple this is - summed up in three short steps:
- Whisk your wet ingredients in a medium/large bowl.
- Combine your dry ingredients in a small bowl (I stirred mine together with a fork).
- Add the dry on top of the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
You don't want to overbeat the mixture as this will impact the final product making it more like a cake.
It will be quite a thick batter, but pour this on top of your cookie dough and spread evenly to form the brownie layer. Your brookie is now ready for the oven.
You will want to bake your brookies in a preheated oven on 325F (165C/150C Fan). They should be placed in the centre and baked for about 30 minutes. When you start checking, you're not looking for a toothpick to come out clean, you're just looking for a firmness to the touch that suggests the centre is set and no longer molten. This may take some getting used to, but I usually judge the doneness by a couple of signs
- A firm crust forming
- The edges starting to darken, but not burning (if they're catching, your oven may be running a bit hot and you may need to use a foil tent to prevent burning)
- A few cracks forming but showing the inside is not liquidy
- If all else fails, a toothpick can be used. If stuck in the centre, some crumbs should stick to this, but it should be fairly obvious that it is baked and no longer liquid batter.
Slicing into the Brookie
One of the primary tips from the original brownie recipe that I maintain in my adaptation is the waiting after baking. It is difficult to restrain yourself from a warm brownie fresh from the oven, but the structural integrity of the brookie recipe relies on a bit of patience.
Once out of the oven, leave your brookies to cool for an hour or two - the longer the better really. When they get to room temperature the brownie layer will have firmed up enough to be fudgy but more easily sliceable.
Truth time: when I shot the brookie recipe for this blog, I'm not sure I managed to wait a whole hour because I wanted to try them so bad... Having made them again, I can confirm that waiting does make them even better! They also stay divine for days (if they last that long in your house!).
Tips and Tricks for My Brookie Recipe
For making these brookies, there are a few key tips I'd recommend.
1. Line your square baking tin
I almost always use a 9" square baking tin when making brownies, blondies or bars. I'm not going to lie, I spent years not bothering to line my tins, thinking grease and flour would be sufficient. This is true for some things (most cakes don't require a lining of parchment paper). But, for something like a brookie (or any treat that you want to be a bit gooey), you really need to take the time to line your tin to avoid mess and other mishaps.
For a square tin this can be accomplished super easily.
- Cut two sheets of parchment paper about 9" wide and about 11" or 12" long.
- Most parchment paper rolls will be wider than 9", which is perfect for having the longer length needed, without needing to precisely measure and cut. For instance mine is about 11.5" or 30cm. I unroll about 9" and cut my sheets without having to make any second measurement for length.
- Criss cross these two sheets and press into the baking tin to line. I like to run my finger down the creases to give a good edge.
- Key Tip: grease the baking tin first with a bit of butter to help your parchment stick down. This will be useful when trying to spread out your cookie dough layer.
2. Use a Cookie Scoop for the Cookie Layer
Despite the fact that you're going to spread the cookie dough out into one large layer across the base of your tin, using a cookie scoop will make this process so much more simple than trying to evenly distribute one large mound of dough. I use my handy OXO Good Grips scoop - seriously one of my most useful and versatile pieces of kitchen equipment. By dolloping out scoops across the base of the tin, your base will be more even and there is less spreading needed.
3. Waiting to Slice
One of the most important bits will be waiting to slice. Now you can most definitely ignore this and dive right in, but this is fair warning that your gooey brownies with the cookie bottoms will be a bit of a molten mess fresh from the oven. Both the cookie layer and brownie layer in this brookie recipe are going to need a little time out of the heat to firm up. Given an hour or so, and they'll be set to slice and firm enough that they can be easily handled.
FAQs for my Brookie Recipe
They will keep very fresh for upwards of three days in an airtight container at room temperature. I've not really had the opportunity to test them for any longer as they've disappeared fast each time I've made them!
This is entirely up to you - dark, milk, white chocolate would all work. You could do a mix, use chips or chopped chunks, even throw in some nuts. Treat the base very much as you would any of your standard chocolate chip cookies and experiment! I'd recommend against adding anything that would increase the moisture (so no fruits or extra flavours/liquids) as these do need to act as the base of your brookie.
The middle of your pan will be more gooey than the edges - just like any brownie recipe. If you are particularly concerned about your brookies being underdone, you can leave them in the oven a little longer, but do keep in mind that these will firm up a bit as they cool as well. If you try to slice these straight from the oven, you will find that they seem almost molten, but if you leave them to set at room temperature for an hour or so, they'll improve.
I would not recommend doubling the recipe as the larger the tin you use the more likelihood that the centre will be underdone when the edges start to catch so you may struggle more with timings and other necessary adjustments. If you're needing to make a larger batch, I would suggest making them as multiple individual batches. Due to the wait time before slicing, you can quite easily whip up one if not two more trays while waiting.
Chocolate Chip Brookies
- 8" square baking tray
- large mixing bowl
- cookie scoop
Ingredients for Cookie Layer
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour or plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoon butter
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar (muscovado)
- 3 tablespoon superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chocolate chips
Ingredients for Brownie Layer
- ½ cup superfine granulated sugar or caster suga
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour or plain flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup powdered sugar or icing sugar or confectioners sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup flavorless oil such as canola, sunflower, rapeseed or grapeseed
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165C/150C Fan) and prepare your baking tin. This should be greased and lined with parchment paper to make the brookies easy to remove.
Instructions for the Cookie Layer
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, beating until well combined. Add the flour mixture, sifting into the butter mixture and stir until incorporated. Then add the chocolate chips and fold through to distribute.
- Using a cookie scoop or spoon, dollop the mixture into your prepared baking dish and then spread into an even layer. Placing scoops of the dough across the pan will make it easier to spread out.
Instructions for Brownie Layer
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, water and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the sugars, flour, cocoa powder and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients (the flour mixture) to the wet ingredients and stir this together. Be careful not to overmix or beat - stir only until combined.
- Pour over the cookie dough and spread out evenly. The mixture will be very thick.
- Place the baking tray into the middle of the oven, baking for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top appears firm. You're looking to judge that the centre is no longer liquidy though it will still be gooey. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out with a few crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least an hour before removing and slicing.