Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday Tutor: Featuring The More Than Occasional Baker

Cookies Served
Brookies


Every Tuesday I choose a different friend to be my tutor for a day: I select one of their original recipes, I make the recipe following my friend's instructions, I snap a multitude of pictures, I scarf down as much as my belt-line will permit - and then I share everything I love about my friend's recipe.


My tutor today is Ros (Baking Addict) from The More Than Occasional Baker blog - a truly fearless exploration and celebration of all things baked. Ros isn't afraid to experiment with unusual ingredients, she's always incredibly supportive, and she always has a unique take on even classic goodies (like the Brookies recipe).

I first met Ros on Twitter while I was posting pics of a batch of test cookies (peanut butter blossoms, if I remember correctly). She was so warm and friendly, I immediately had to pause what I was doing and look up her blog. I discovered a trove of recipes with just as much warmth and enthusiasm - and fearless zeal for baking. If you love to bake (or just need a bit of inspiration), The More Than Occasional Baker is a must-read.

About the Author: 5 Fun Facts
  1. "I love food even though I am a fussy eater."
     
  2. "I started my blog as a hobby and a way to keep track of what I've made, to share my baking adventures and recipes and I am surprised at how much it has grown. I have discovered a whole new world out there :)"
     
  3. "I have a new found addiction for segways and would love to own one. For now I try to sign up for a Segway tour in every city that I visit."
     
  4. "I cry at movies."
     
  5. "The most adventurous things I've done are a hot air balloon ride and an underwater sea walk."

Author's Photo

The toughest part for me was picking a recipe (the prep and baking of these Brookies was fast and easy) - let's face it, how do you pick between so many delicious temptations? In fact, the recipe I picked is actually a combination of two of my favorite baked goodies - brownies and cookies. Ros christened this fudgy and decadent combination "Brookies" and has graciously permitted me to share it with you.

To be honest, the best part of this Brookie is pouring yourself a big glass of milk and carrying off a plate to devour in private. Seriously. After I "sampled" the first Brookie, it was on the next. And the next. And the next. So trust me, you might want to get a room. Did I mention this is one of the easiest "cookie" recipes I've made?

Original recipe courtesy of The More Than Occasional Baker

Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
You'll need a whole package of chocolate chips. I perher Hershey's
Small Pot of Water for Double Boiler
If you don't have a double boiler, you can do what I do and use a small bot with a cup or so
of water in the bottom. Then place a good quality glass bowl over top of the pot. I use my
Pyrex vintage bowls for this task as I've never had one crack due to heat stress
Chips in Pyrex Bowl of Hot Water
Add the chocolate chips to the (makeshift) double-boiler
Oil and Butter Added to Chips
Add oil and butter - you don't need much of either
Chocolate Chips Combined with Oil
Make sure all the chips are evenly coated in butter and oil and keep them grouped
together in the center of the bowl to avoid outer chips melting and potentially
burning before the rest of the chocolate melts
Chocolate Chips Melting
Don't keep the heat to high beneath the chocolate - if you're not careful, you can scorch
the chocolate. As soon as the chocolate begins to melt, reduce the heat.
Melting Chocolate
As soon as the chocolate is mostly melted (as above), remove the bowl from the hot water
and keep stirring until all the chocolate has melted
Chocolate Cooling
You should arrive at a smooth, shiny melted mix just like this. Resist eating by the spoonful!
Two Eggs
There are only a few more ingredients and you don't need any fancy equipment. Eggs is the first
Brown Sugar
...followed by brown sugar - I used 1 cup, but you may want to cut back to 3/4 or 2/3 cup...
Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Extract - I was pretty generous with my 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar Beaten with Eggs
Whisk everything together until sugar has pretty much dissolved into the eggs
Adding Chocolate to Eggs
Add melted chocolate to eggs & sugar - I told you this was easy =)
Chocolate, Eggs, and Sugar Combined
Almost done...
Flour and Baking Soda Combined
All you need is 1/2 cup flour and a little baking soda...
Flour Added to Batter
The flour gets sifted in - you don't even need an extra bowl...
Stir to Combine
Fold everything together and that's it!
Spread in shallow pan for freezing
You will then pour the batter into a shallow dish - don't use a non-stick surface as you will
be using a spoon to scoop/scrape out the batter later. The batter will freeze briefly until firm
enough to scoop - this means you use less flour but can still shake little balls of dough
Cookie Scoop
If you have a REALLY sturdy cookie scoop, you might be able to use.
Mine wasn't sufficiently sturdy ;)
Scoop out Cookie Dough
So I used a spoon to scoop out the Brookie balls
Form Cookie Balls
As you can see, mine were pretty "rustic" but it didn't affect the final outcome or taste ;)
Cookies Baked
You see that crispy skin on the outside? Yeah, make sure you get that skin before
pulling the Brookies out of the oven =)
Decadent Cookies
As you can see, I've already started munching on this plate. I'm not going to confess
to the total number of Brookies I packed away, but let's just say I didn't need any lunch ;)


Thoughts while scarfing...
  • Crispy outer shell, rich gooey center, uber-chocolatey, fudge-like sweetness - if you love brownies but are really craving a cookie, you've got to try Brookies. In fact, when I make these again, I will probably dust my cooled rounds with powdered confectioners' sugar - because that's how I love my brownies...
     
  • Do yourself a favor and pour a glass of milk before you get started. I've never tasted a cookie or brownie where I craved milk so badly - it was like the Brookies and milk were destined for each other. No joke.
     
  • The genius of these Brookies is the freeze time - by stiffening the batter in the freezer before scooping, it reduces the amount of flour needed in the Brookie, thereby producing a more fudge-like and gooey treat. I'm remembering this trick!
     
  • I used 1 cup of brown sugar (my conversion between grams and cups is quite shaky), but you may want to cut back to 3/4 or 2/3 of a cup. My Brookies were just the tiniest bit grainy when cooled and I'm attributing that to over-packing my brown sugar
     
  • My Brookies were quite rustic looking as you can see because I could not use my cookie scoop as the mechanism was not strong enough to handle the frozen Brookie dough. However, using a spook was quite easy and I wouldn't even bother with a cookie scoop next time


Other Must-Try Recipes from The More Than Occasional Baker
Maybe Brookies aren't your thing. But I guarantee you'll find something deliciously baked from the Baking Addict. Check out these mouth-watering eats and tell me you're not inspired!

Triple Chocolate Oreo Bars
White Chocolate Chilli Brownies
Duck Cupcakes
Lemon Meringue Kisses
Peanut Butter Cups with Nutella



23 comments:

  1. Great feature here, those cookies do look very addictive. I mean who does not love rich fudgey chocolate cookies-yum! Thanks for the into to More than Occasional Baker. Keep these features coming!

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    Replies
    1. They really were awesome, Tina! The Baking Addict knows her stuff ;) Please do drop by and show her some love...

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  2. What a TOTALLY unique and fabulous idea and WELL DONE you again, for such a refreshing approach to blogging! I LOVE Ros's recipes and these looks JUST so decadent!
    Karen

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen and I'm so glad I discovered Ros' blog - I feel like I need to hire someone just to scout on new amazing blogs! ;)

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  3. These look absolutely delicious! Great post!

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    1. Thanks Carmen - it was great fun and I had a good tutor :)

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  4. Beautiful mouthwatering cookies! Great idea to make some other bloggers recipe. This one is very yummy!
    I love the other recipes especially the duck's cup cakes, so cute!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Alida, and I agree - the duck cupcakes were adorable...

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  5. Oh my word JW, another success!! These brookies look positively sinful! :))

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  6. PS You may want to check out my latest post!

    http://atannaskitchentable.blogspot.com/2012/03/everyone-wants-to-be-heard.html

    ;-))

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    Replies
    1. Thanks SO much for the shout-out (although completely unnecessary because I got the best meatballs ever!) - and these Brookies really were terrific. And SO easy...

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  7. Thank you so much for featuring me in your tuesday's tutor. So glad you liked the brookies. Yours looks delicious and I agree with you on the addictiveness of them. I often can't choose between a cookie and a brownie so these are perfect!

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    1. You're so welcome and it was long overdue ;)

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  8. Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed - all credit for yumminess goes to Ros... She's the genius behind the Brookies.

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  9. Ros is such a great blogger and I love the stuff that she makes. In fact I have one of her recipes on my "to cook" list and it's a brownie too! :D

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    1. I completely agree - Ros is an inspiration for me =)

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  10. Great guest post :) Ros is a wonderful blogger and baker~ She's so talented always baking creative things and with the limited time she has it's amazing how she's able to bake and blog so often!

    Thanks for sharing it with us :D

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    Replies
    1. It was my pleasure and I'm so glad you enjoyed. And I'm so glad Ros agreed to the feature ;)

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  11. Delish! another fabulous tuesday tutor :)

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  12. Your rustic brookies look beautiful! I make a similar chocolate cookie, and it definitely calls for milk. It and brownies are about the only thing I'd rather have milk with than a cup of tea. Lovely photo with that striped tablecloth!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jean - the credit for the Brookies goes to Ros for her awesome recipe, but I suppose I'll take credit for the towel I draped over the table ;)

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