Welcome to that weird time between winter and spring where one freakishly warm day will force the daffodils out of hiding, only to be met with 8 inches of freshly fallen snow. It’s the period when hearty winter soups are still on the menu, but bright spring salads are squarely on the brain. When I never know how to dress appropriately for the weather, and fall victim to buying sad, out of season asparagus in an effort to force the issue, so to speak. It’s a confusing time. A seasonal identity crisis if you will. And so today’s recipe seems incredibly appropriate – a cookie that thinks it’s a brownie. A brownie cookie.
Hold up. What is a brownie cookie?
Is it a brownie that got mixed up with the wrong crowd? Or a cookie that’s just going through a phase? Or some trendy new unicorn of a food, akin to the Cronut? Well I guess you could say it’s all of those things, but I prefer to think of it simply as a way to get something that resembles a brownie into my mouth in less than thirty minutes and that has all the chewy edges a girl could ever want. A perfect food really – that’s what it is.
Plus I mean, just look at it. This is the cookie of your dreams, assuming your dreams involve rich, fudgy, unapologetically chocolately treats that is. It’s honestly hard to pick a “best” part about these cookies. All the parts are the best part. But a real bonus to this recipe is that you can pull it off in less than thirty minutes (and really more like 20 if you’re on your cookie game), and it only involves one bowl.
Stuff you need to make a deep, dark, out of this world, brownie cookie
Well, pretty much all the things you need to make deep, dark, out of this world brownies – but in slightly different quantities. We’re not reinventing the wheel here. A brownie is beloved for a reason, so we’re taking all the things that make them rad and just giving em a little zhush. When a recipe is as simple as this one, it’s important to give each ingredient its due.
So take the time to make sure you’re using large eggs (not jumbo, not extra large, not medium – because there is a real difference). Chocolate choice matters too – the darker the chocolate the richer the cookie. So choose your own adventure wisely (hint: there is no wrong answer – just whatever you prefer). And dark brown sugar gives these cookies that satisfying chew of a brownie, while also imparting undertones of flavor that you might not be able to pick out of a line up, but that you’d certainly miss if they weren’t there. Also, flaky sea salt, which is trendy AF for a damn, good reason (reason being, it tempers the sweetness and makes the chocolate flavor even more pronounced).
Lastly, the espresso powder. There is kind of a lot in this recipe, and that’s because I personally like how coffee and chocolate play off one another. But if you’d rather keep your cookies a little less caffeinated, feel free to pull back to a mere teaspoon of the stuff. But don’t nix it entirely, trust me on this one. The chocoholics in your life will thank you.
So now that you’ve got the necessities, how do you make the best ever espresso brownie cookie the world has ever seen?
Easy as pie…actually MUCH easier than pie. All the things go into the bowl, get mixed, get scooped, get baked, get sprinkled with that trendy salt, get devoured. Buuuuuuuuut…just to make sure things turn out as beautifully as possible, maybe here’s a couple tiny tips for success:
- Melt your chocolate and butter together in the microwave (or over a double boiler if you are living that microwave free life). I find it usually takes just shy of a minute (stopping to stir halfway through) to do the job. The chocolate will still be visible, but will finish melting with the help of residual heat and some stirring.
- Maybe sift your cocoa powder? To be honest, I didn’t and everything was just fine. But cocoa powder can be seriously lumpy, and a quick sift will prevent any chance of biting down into a clump of uncooked, dry as a bone, cocoa powder.
- Don’t overbake. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it eleventy billion more times – overbaking is a no-no. Chocolate cookies do tend to be trickier to tell (because they’re already brown), but you’ll know these are good when they turn from gooey and shiny looking on top to more matte and just set. They will still be incredibly soft to the touch though, so don’t go aggressively poking them.
- And lastly, don’t fiddle with them until they’re cool. These continue to firm up as they sit, so handling them too soon will result in a mess. Patience grasshopper.
So if you’re feeling a little out of sorts because you can’t decide out whether to push your winter coat and hat to the back of the closet, take solace in the fact that we’re all a little bit mixed up right now and even if you don’t know what season it is, or what kind of dessert you want, there will always be lightweight jackets and brownie cookie hybrids to ease your troubled mind.
And in case all this brownie/cookie talk wasn’t enough, here are some more indulgent treats
- Super Fudgy Peanut Butter Brownies
- Orange Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
- Caramelized White Chocolate Blondies
Espresso Brownie Cookies
These espresso brownie cookies are deep, dark, fudgy, and impossible to say no to. Bonus points for being quick, easy, and only using ONE BOWL!
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 15 Minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 16-18 Cookies 1x
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
3/4 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet or bittersweet)
6 T unsalted butter
1 C dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 C all purpose flour
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder*
1 T instant espresso powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Flaky sea salt to garnish
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or silicone baking mat. If you have more than one, prep another to facilitate faster cookie baking turnaround time. You can bake these two sheets at a time if you wish.
In a large bowl combine chocolate chips and butter. Melt in the microwave for 60 seconds, stirring at the halfway point. The chocolate will not be completely melted when you pull it out of the microwave, but if you keep stirring it will all melt into the butter. Let cool for five minutes.
Whisk in brown sugar until no lumps remain. Then whisk in eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
Add flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir until no dry flour remains.
Scoop golf ball sized mounds of batter (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) onto your prepared pan – leaving about 2 inches of room between each cookie to account for spreading. To be safe I baked 6 cookies to a sheet, but probably could have gotten away with 8.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the cookies are just set on top – they will still be very, very soft to the touch.* Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and let cool on the pan for five minutes. Then transfer the entire sheet of parchment paper with the cookies still on it, to a flat surface (like your kitchen counter) to finish cooling.
Repeat with remaining batter.
*While testing this recipe I found that sifting my cocoa powder (which I typically always do) was not entirely necessary here. However I just bought a new container that seemed mostly lump free, so if yours looks lumpy, go ahead and give it a quick sift, because biting into a nubbin of uncooked cocoa powder is no fun.
*Don’t try to remove the cookies from the parchment until they’re completely cool – as they’re quite fragile straight out of the oven and need time to firm up. Instead just slide the entire sheet of parchment, with the cookies still on it, off of your sheet pan and onto the counter to finish cooling and move on to your next batch.
Keywords: Brownie cookies, espresso cookies, one bowl cookies, chocolate cookies