Chocolate Chip Cookies'n'Cream Brownies

So, it's been a week or four since my last post. Whoops! Thank goodness Audrey has been picking up my slack with tantalizing treats like Kit Kat Brownies and Popcorn Crust Brownie Pie that make me wish I'd never left home.

I kid. Mostly.

The truth is, it's been a whirlwind few weeks since I moved back to Minnesota. I've been settling back into the city, a new living situation, and most recently, a new internship! All good things, but it hasn't left me as much time for baking as I might like. My forays into the kitchen have been limited to wowing my hosts with some old classics, like the NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

These brownies were my first time flexing my creative baking muscles since leaving home - and I can't even take all the credit. The peanut butter cookie frosting Audrey used on her Kit Kat brownies impressed me so much I had to make some for myself. So I shamelessly stole her recipe and only adapted it to accommodate my laziness - I used Chip's Ahoy cookies instead of homemade. 

I'm happy to report that the use of store-bought cookies in no way compromised the deliciousness of the final product. The cookies that didn't go into the frosting I crumbled and mixed into the brownies. The result was a decadent, brick-size brownie/cookie combo that will sucker punch even your most aggressive sweet craving.

I am quickly gaining a reputation here as an unrepentant diet-saboteur. I'm okay with that. Makes it feel like home ;)

- Molly

Chocolate Chip Cookies'n'Cream Brownies

Brownies

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder

11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1½ cups granulated sugar

½ cup packed light brown sugar

5 eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 row Chip's Ahoy cookies, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9x13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it.

Allow brownies to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream, or milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 package Chip's Ahoy cookies minus 1 row, crushed into fine crumbs

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5 minutes on medium speed until butter is pale and creamy.

Add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, and then on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add in crushed cookies and mix to incorporate completely, about 1 minute.