Dearest old friend, it’s been ages since last I saw your lovely face, and I have been anxiously awaiting the day we could gallop towards one another in slow motion for a sweeping, soap-opera worthy reunion hug. Butterflies will flutter, mockingbirds will sing, and I will express my undying love for you with cookies: soft, decadent, life-is-amazing Brownie Cookies.
Yes, nothing says “I love you,” “I missed you,” and “No one understands me the way you do” like a gooey cookie that’s studded with white chocolate chips, toasted hazelnuts, and the fudgy flavor of freshly baked brownies.
If a cookie and a brownie had a baby, and if that baby were the best, most brilliant, chubby-cheeks adorable baby of all time, that nugget would be these brownie cookies.
- Like brownies, these cookies are rich, soft, and fudgy.
- Like cookies, they have a slight chew, buttery flavor, and edges you won’t be able to resist picking off and popping right into your mouth.
Plus, they are super stuffed with a trio of the most tempting mix-ins. Let’s meet them.
- Melted semi-sweet chocolate chips fold into the brownie cookie batter for ultimate softness and chocolate nirvana.
- Sweet white chocolate chips lighten the cookies’ flavor and create all-around irresistibility.
- Warm, toasty hazelnuts elevate these delicate rounds of brownie-cookie joy from “wow” to “WOW-ZAH!”
I baked these brownie cookies to celebrate two special occasions with people most dear to my heart: my sister and her boyfriend’s first visit to Madison over Memorial Day and Ben and my five-year undergraduate reunion last weekend.
My family and friends are my treasures, and I can think of no way I’d rather express my love to my sister for enduring an eight-hour drive through cornfields or to my best friends (some of whom I haven’t seen since we graduated) than with chocolaty cookies (Dark Chocolate Cookies are another favorite!).
Here are a few snapshots from these wonderful weekends:
- Elaine (my younger sis, who also receives credit for coming up with the title “Triple Threat”), Joey (her too-cute boyfriend), Ben, and yours truly relaxing at the University of Wisconsin student union.
- Fun fact: Ben and I kept up with the youngsters and stayed out until 2 a.m.!
- Some of the best friends I’ll ever know at our five-year college reunion.
- Fun fact: Despite our late-night achievements of the weekend before, Ben and I quickly discovered that we no longer have the stamina of our undergraduate days. Immediately upon arriving home, we crashed for a two-hour nap.
Though both weekends deserved the beautiful baked combination of butter, chocolate, and love that are brownie cookies, their supply only survived the first.
Our Madison crew plowed through the entire batch, and I was “forced” to bake the additional batter that I’d been stashing in the fridge.
I wasn’t kidding when I said these soft, fudgy, white chocolate and hazelnut-packed morsels are irresistible.
Let’s all tell someone we love them today.
Maybe it’s with a phone call. Phone calls are wonderful.
Maybe it’s with a good old-fashioned piece of snail mail or a quick text. Both are lovely and thoughtful.
Or maybe, just maybe, it’s with the baked incarnation of friendship and appreciation that are brownie cookies.
Please have yourself a dozen on me. Yes, I love you too!
Triple Threat Brownie Cookies
- 8 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips (1 and 1/3 cups)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (instant coffee works too)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- Place racks in the upper third and middle of oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Set aside.
- Bring 1 inch of water to a gentle simmer in the bottom of a double boiler (ensure that the water is just barely simmering). Place semi-sweet chocolate and butter in the top of the double boiler. Gradually heat and stir, just until the butter melts. Remove from simmering water and stir until chocolate melts completely. The chocolate may be thick—this is OK, but ensure the chocolate does not smell or taste burned. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Once chocolate has cooled slightly (it should be warm but not hot), whisk in the granulated sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla (if the chocolate is very thick, you may need to use a mixer.) Mix in the eggs one at a time, ensuring that you incorporate well after each. Add the chocolate mixture all at once to the dry ingredients, then fold in with a wooden spoon, until the flour is nearly incorporated. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the hazelnuts and white chocolate chips.
- Scoop cookies by tablespoons (take care to measure the dough to ensure proper baking) onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11 minutes, switching the pans on the racks and rotating each 180 degrees halfway through (the cookies will look slightly underdone.) Let rest for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to let cool completely. Or not.
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