What Diet?

Sometimes, we all need a little splurge in our diets, whether we're on a capital "D" Diet or just watching what we're eating. If that's you as we hit the mid-way part of the summer amidst ongoing calls for a beach-ready body (really, doesn't that just mean wearing a swimsuit and sunscreen?) while also grilling everything in sight (sometimes whether or not it's moving!), I have just the thing for you:

That, my friends, is a dark chocolate cookie dough brownie and it is a thing of beauty. And it belongs in your summer every bit as much as mojitos, grilled ribs, and corn on the cob. Why? Because summer is about embracing (or at least seeking) a carefree attitude and enjoying the good things in life. Rather than spend so much time wondering if we're enough - thin enough, rich enough, smart enough, etc. - sitting back and indulging in a treat like this is a nice way to say, "Hell, yeah, I'm more than enough and I'm going to savor this moment." That's pretty intense summer attitude right there.

That said, these bars are really intense all on their own. So I opted to take a traditional square bar and slice it diagonally into two triangles. That way, they last longer and don't have me feeling like the only way to recover from having one is either a nap or a marathon! In smaller form, they pack the same flavor punch, but don't have me feeling belly hurt:

I added a little chilled coffee to the chocolate chip cookie dough layer to give it a little extra punch. You could use milk or even skip it if you think the dough will be spreadable without it. I liked a slightly thinner dough that is downright velvety when enjoyed at room temperature. That with a glass of milk or maybe some iced coffee is a perfect summer moment to enjoy.

Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough Brownies

  • 1 - 9 x 13-inch pan of brownies (make your favorite recipe, use a mix, or pick 'em up from the store - make sure they are cooled)
  • ½ c. butter, softened
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • 2 T. chilled coffee (great for using that last little bit in the coffee pot)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ c. mini chocolate chips
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare the brownies and cool completely (or make sure you've picked them up from the store!) before beginning the other steps.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until it's light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the cooled coffee and vanilla extract. Add the flour and mix until combined. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Gently spread the cookie dough mixture over the cooled brownies; refrigerate while preparing the ganache.

For the ganache, heat the heavy cream in the microwave for about a minute and pour it over the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate chips melt and a smooth chocolate ganache is formed. (If the chocolate does not melt, you may need to heat the mixture more in the microwave. Do not heat for more than 30 seconds at a time!) Pour the ganache over the cookie dough layer on the brownies and spread it out evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until firm. Cut into squares (or triangles). Keep any unused brownies refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

  • Yields: 24-48 servings, depending on how you slice 'em
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes, plus time involved in making/getting the brownies

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