Some of the best things in life are even better in pairs:
- Chamomile & Lemon
- Cookies & Milk
- Apples & Cinnamon
- Burgers & Fries
- Bacon & Eggs
- Sonny & Cher
You get the idea. Somethings are just meant to go together, because when they’re all alone, they just aren’t as good as when they’re combined. Well, except for bacon. Bacon is pretty much perfect all by itself.
Perhaps one of my most favorite pairings comes in the form of a Crownie. Now I’m not talking about a crown worn by royalty, and I’m certainly not referring to the sparkly pink tiara-like crown that I’ve been dreaming of my entire life. Nope, a Crownie is much more simple.
Chocolate Chip Cookies + Brownies = Crownies
I have to give credit to my brother Chris for this one. He & his friend Samantha
stole snagged a couple of my favorite recipes from the early days of this blog, and merged them into one. Actually, they concocted something similar once before, but the Crownies are my favorite form of this composite of recipes.
In the last year or so, the whole family has been playing around with the two recipes.
My Bonus Mom prefers to use a different brownie recipe and make the Crownies as a bar cookie. I’m trying not to be offended by the whole using-a-different-brownie-recipe thing. ;)
My brother prefers his Crownies to be massive in size, with a monstrous scoop of vanilla ice cream, and drizzled with hot fudge and salted caramel sauces on top. Chris doesn’t mess around with dessert. Can you tell we’re related?
But my favorite Crownie comes in a (relatively) more demure presentation. A thin, chewy layer of fudge brownie with just the right amount of chocolate chip cookie on top. Crownies are the new Super Couple in cookie form–they’re total soul mates!
Bake them yourself, and tell me if you agree. ;)
The beautiful brownie base is made with all-purpose flour, brown sugar, dark chocolate chips, unsweetened cocoa powder, eggs, unsalted butter, ground cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract.
The coquettish cookie layer is made with all-purpose flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, unsalted butter, and an egg.
For the brownie batter: melt the butter and brown sugar together in a sauce pan set over medium heat until butter and sugar are melted and combined, stirring constantly.
The brown sugar crystals should be melted, making the mixture resemble caramel syrup.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the caramel mixture. Whisk until a thick and crumbly dough forms.
Beat the eggs before adding them to the dough.
Stir in the eggs until the batter loosens up a bit. Remove from heat and stir in the the vanilla and dark chocolate chips until they melt and batter is smooth. Set the batter aside.
For the chocolate chip cookie batter, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
Place the brown sugar, and the granulated sugar in a large bowl.
Whisk the butter and sugars to combine.
Stir in the dry ingredients until combined.
Fold in the milk chocolate chips to distribute them evenly throughout the cookie dough.
Now take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back because you just made two batches of dough from scratch.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray the wells of a muffin pan with baking spray. The recipe makes about 20 Crownies, so you’ll either need multiple pans, or have to bake in batches. Use a medium (2 oz. capacity) scoop to divide the brownie batter between the prepared muffin cups.
Partially bake the brownies for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the edges are set but centers are still very soft.
Use a fork to score the centers of the brownies–mussing things up a bit will help the chocolate chip cookie dough stick after baking.
Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Use the medium (2 oz.) scoop to portion the chocolate chip cookie dough in level scoops over the partially baked brownies.
The cookie dough will start to melt from the heat of the brownies, so work fast and get those babies in the oven. You’re minutes away from Crownie Bliss!
Bake the cookies at 375°F for another 10 minutes or so, or until the edges of the chocolate chip cookie are lightly browned, and the centers are set.
Let the Crownies cool in the pans for 3 minutes before lightly running a knife around the edges to loosen the cookies and pop them out of the pan.
Promptly devour Crownies as soon as they’ve cooled enough so as not to singe every last taste bud off of your tongue. Be sure to have a big glass of milk at the ready, just in case you get a little overzealous and underestimate your temperature tolerance of your mouth–because if there is one better pairing than brownies and chocolate chip cookies, it’s Crownies and milk.
Makes 20 Large Cookies
For the Brownie Layer:
½ C. unsalted butter
1 C. light brown sugar, packed
1 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. dark chocolate chips
2 ½ Tbls. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer:
1 C. plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1/3 C. granulated sugar
½ C. light brown sugar, packed
½ C. unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. milk chocolate chips
For the Brownie Layer:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray 20 wells of a couple of standard muffin pans; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
- Place butter and brown sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until butter and sugar are melted, stirring constantly. Do not allow the mixture to boil. The mixture should look like caramel, and sugar crystals will be almost totally dissolved. (About 5 minutes.) Remove from heat.
- Add chocolate chips to the pan, and stir until completely melted. Add flour mixture all at once, and stir together to form a stiff dough. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated and batter is smooth. Stir in vanilla to incorporate.
- Use a medium (2 Tbs. capacity) scoop to divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups—usually between 20 to 22 cookies; set aside while preparing the cookie dough.
For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer:
- In a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk to combine; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter with the sugars until well combined. Add the whole egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Whisk to incorporate.
- Dump half of the flour mixture into the wet mixture, stirring until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and stir form a soft dough.
- Stir in the chocolate chips to distribute evenly.
To Assemble and Bake:
- Place the muffin pans full of brownie batter into the oven and bake at 350F for 10 to 11 minutes, or until edges of the brownies are set, but the centers are still soft. Remove the pans from the oven.
- Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- Remove the pans from the oven. Lightly drag a fork through the centers of the brownies to rough up the surface.
- Use the medium (2 Tbs.) scoop to portion cookie dough over the brownies.
- Continue baking cookies in a 375F oven for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the cookie portion is lightly brown around the edges and the centers appear set, but not too dry.
- Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for 3 minutes; after that time, gently run a knife around the edges of the cookies and “pop” them out of the pans, placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store cooled cookies in a tin or airtight container at room temperature. Cookies are best eaten within one week.
NOTES: Crownies freeze and hold up very well when shipped in the mail. To freeze, layer the Crownies between sheets of waxed paper or parchment in an airtight container. To ship, snugly pack frozen Crownies in a heavy duty plastic storage bag (for freshness,) and then place in a decorative gift tin. Pack the tin in a box with plenty of packing material to keep it from being jostled too severely in transit.