Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies

These cookies have been on my bucket list for years.

I only wish I had checked them off my list sooner because I loved every fudgy center and chewy-edged bite.

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies (from scratch, no mix) averiecooks.com

They’re one hundred percent from scratch, no cake mix, no brownie mix, no shortcuts. The recipe is adapted from Donna Hay, who’s been called the Australian Martha Stewart. After converting grams of butter to tablespoons, and using regular granulated sugar in place of superfine caster sugar, I thought I was in for smooth sailing. Wrong.

I’ve seen versions of this recipe using melted chocolate chips for the 12 ounces of dark chocolate that Donna calls for. I wanted that to work because a standard bag of chocolate chips is 12 ounces and that would have been convenient. But when I melted the chocolate chips with butter as directed, the mixture seized horribly.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies (from scratch, no mix) averiecooks.com

I should have known better because chocolate chips have stabilizers in them that prevent them from melting easily. This is great when used in chocolate chips cookies so they retain their chip-like shape in a 350F oven. Not great when you want them to melt into sauce with butter. The water that’s released from the melting butter turned the mixture turn into seized-up sludge. So I started over. I hate wasting butter and chocolate, but salvaged the clumpy mess and was used it as Smores chocolate.

I tried again with a 54% Dark Chocolate Pound Plus bar from Trader Joe’s, not to be confused with their 72% bar. Because there’s only 2/3 cup of sugar in the entire batch of cookies, I didn’t want to use chocolate that was too dark for fear the cookies would be bitter. I like my brownies and chocolate cookies on the less sweet side, but had read reports of others trying 72% chocolate and the cookies were bitter.

chocolate-14

To make the cookies, combine 7 ounces of chopped chocolate from a bar (not chocolate chips as I learned) with 3 tablespoons of butter and heat to melt, about 45 seconds in the micro, and set it aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat together 2 eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Donna suggests beating for 15 minutes, or until pale and creamy. That seemed ridiculously long, but I kept my stand mixer running for over 13 minutes. The mixture didn’t change in appearance after the first five minutes of beating, and I believe 5 to 8 minutes of beating is adequate. The mixture thickens up and become slightly frothy, but earth-shattering changes didn’t happen after the 5-minute mark.

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies (from scratch, no mix) averiecooks.com

All at once, add the melted chocolate-butter mixture, the remaining 5 ounces of chopped chocolate, 1/4 cup flour, baking powder, and beat it together, about 1 minute on medium low speed.

If you’re visualizing two eggs, 10 ounces of a melted chocolate-butter mixture, and only 1/4-cup flour and the contents of the mixing bowl looking like liquid chocolate sauce, you’re visualizing correctly. I was freaking out thinking, no, please not another chocolate fail in a recipe that hasn’t even been baked! The mixture was so sloppy, soupy, and wasn’t anywhere near cookie ‘dough’. Chocolate smoothie was more like it.

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies (from scratch, no mix) averiecooks.com

Donna’s recipe instructs to set the bowl aside for 10 minutes so the mixture can firm up before baking. After 10 minutes, there was no way it was firm enough to do anything with other than maybe insert a straw and drink the chocolate. So I covered the mixing bowl with plasticwrap, said a prayer, and left it on the counter for 1 hour.

In that hour, it had firmed up enough that I was able to use my medium 2-inch cookie scoop and scooped out 17 mounds onto Silpat-lined baking trays. In reality, it felt like I was scooping out severely melted ice cream that had been sitting out of the freezer for a few hours.

There was no way I was going to bake that ‘dough’ and allowed it to remain uncovered on baking sheets at room temperature for another hour to continue to solidify before I was brave enough to bake them.

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies (from scratch, no mix) averiecooks.com

So that’s setting the bowl aside for 1 hour, then scooping out into mounds, and letting the mounds sit on cookie sheets for another hour before baking. Two hours of solidification. The 10 minutes suggested by the author would have never worked for me.

I was bracing for chocolate puddles to emerge from the oven, but much to my shock and amazement, the cookies pread much less than I expected.

I ran out of cool baking trays and clean Silpats and baked the last two cookies on unlined baking trays and they spread so much more and baked so thin and turned crispy and crumbly. The difference between baking with and without Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mats was night and day. Silpats are tacky and give cookies traction and something to grab onto so they don’t slip and slide around on a hot baking sheet, spreading and turning into cookie puddles.

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies (from scratch, no mix) averiecooks.com

These cookies are worth everything they put me through and are the lightest, fudgiest, moistest, best brownie cookies I’ve ever tried. You’d think they’d be thick and as heavy as bricks, but they’re not since they’re nearly flourless. And they’re not cakey in the least. I don’t want cake in my brownies, cookies, or brownie-cookies.

The chocolate intensity and sweetness level of the cookies from the Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate bar (54% chocolate) turned out to be spot-on perfect. Sweet enough, but not too sweet; nor bitter.

The 5 ounces of chopped chocolate that’s added to the batter are unexpected nuggets of bliss. It adds so much intensity and also texture. The cookies are so dark and you can’t see the chocolate, so the chunks really are heavenly surprise bites. The chocolate chunks make the cookies so rich. Like having a mini chocolate candy bar baked into every cookie.

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies (from scratch, no mix) averiecooks.com

It’s worth mentioning that this recipe may not be for everyone. If you are typically prone to cookies that spread and have never mastered the art of anything close to a puffy cookie, this probably isn’t the recipe for you. And now is a great time to spend that $20 bucks on a Silpat because without one, I didn’t have success. Finally, you’ll need a cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop because there’s no way to get the ‘dough’ out of the mixing bowl and onto baking trays in a shape that’s domed enough to hold up to baking.

But they’re so worth it. They really do taste like a brownie, in cookie form. So fudgy, rich, intense, and decadent.

Now I can have my brownies and cookies in one.

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies (from scratch, no mix) averiecooks.com

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies (from scratch, not mix) - Cookies that taste like rich, fudgy brownies! Chewy edges & soft in the middle. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies

These cookies have the taste and texture of perfect brownies. They’re rich, dark, and smooth. They’re soft and tender in the interior with chewy edges. They’re fudgy, dense, and not at all cakey. Chunks of chocolate are present in every bite and make these cookies an indulgent, rich treat. They’re lighter in weight and heft, thanks to being almost flourless. It’s important to bake these cookies on Silpats or silicone mats and to use a cookie scoop to dollop out the dough, and to give the dough ample time to firm up at room temperature before baking so they cookies don’t spread. These are the best brownie cookies I’ve ever tried and would also make great sandwich cookies with frosting or ice cream filling.

Ingredients:

12 ounces dark chocolate from a bar, chopped and divided into 7 ounces and 5 ounces (I used a Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pound Plus Bar 54%; do not use chocolate chips)
3 tablespoons butter (I used unsalted)
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar (or superfine sugar if available)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon baking powder, sifted

Directions:

  1. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine 7 ounces of chocolate, butter, and heat to melt, about 1 minute on high power. Stop to stir. Heat in 10-second bursts until mixture can be stirred smooth; set aside to cool briefly.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use an electric mixer), add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and beat for 5 to 8 minutes on medium speed, or until pale and creamy. (Donna Hay recommends beating for 15 minutes, but I saw no changes in the mixture after about 5 minutes and believe 8 minutes is ample).
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, melted chocolate-butter mixture, and remaining 5 ounces chopped chocolate and mix to combine, about 1 minute on medium-low speed (the machine will make lots of noise and shake from the chopped chocolate). Remove the paddle, cover bowl with plasticwrap, and allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour in order for batter to firm up (Hay suggests 10 minutes but my batter was like chocolate sauce and it needed 1 hour).
  4. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop, scoop out mounds of dough onto Silpat-lined baking trays, placing 8 mounds per tray. Do not crowd them in case your cookies spread a fair amount (mine didn’t but I can foresee it). Allow mounds to remain on trays, uncovered, for about 1 hour before baking to help batter set up more.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until puffed and cracked (I baked for 9 minutes). Allow cookies to cool completely on trays. Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay

Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Quintuple Chocolate Fudgy Brownie Cookies – For the ultimate chocolate lover. Chocolate is used five times: Cocoa powder, melted bittersweet baking chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips, diced chocolate and caramel-filled truffles (or use your fave diced candy bar) and chocolate-filled Oreos

Mounds Bar Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookies – Brownie-like in their fudginess and extremely easy and fast to make. The coconut candy bars are a great pairing with the chocolate

Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (gluten-free) – If your idea of dark chocolate must involve peanut butter, these are the cookies for you. NO Butter, NO Flour, and NO White Sugar used

The Ultimate Fudgy Caramel Brownies – My new favorite brownie recipe. Made in one bowl with a whisk and ready in 30 minutes. The brownies are dense, fudgy, rich, supremely moist, and not at all cakey

Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting – My old go-to brownie recipe, that many others are derived from and it works like a charm every time to produce flawless, fudgy, rich brownies in just minutes with one bowl and whisk

Browned Butter Caramel and Butterscotch Bars – The blondie equivalent of dark fudgy brownies and are as dark as blondies can get. They’re made with dark brown sugar, butterscotch, and caramel for rich depth of flavor. Ready from start to finish in under 30 minutes with 1 bowl and whisk

Oreo Cookie-Stuffed Brownies with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting – Stuffing candy and cookies into brownies is an easy way to get oooh’s and ahhh’s from anyone and is a fun way to use up odds and ends

Banana Bread Brownies with Vanilla Caramel Glaze – A happy accident when I was trying to make chocolate banana bread but instead created bread so fudgy, dense, and moist that it could hardly be called bread. Rich, dense brownies is a much more fitting name

Have you ever made brownie cookies?

Any recent recipe fails or almost fails? Did you save it?

Any bucket list recipes you want to make or have checked off your list?

Thanks for the Deluxe Bulk Foods Sampler Pack Giveaway entries

149 comments on “Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies”

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  5. I made these using the semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate bars, as suggested by someone else. I didn’t find it to be too watery, but still let it sit longer (maybe 40 mins. after mixing) just to be sure. The only issue I had involved the cookies sticking to the silpat baking mats after they baked. But maybe I let them cool too long on there. I only have one mat, so it was a slow process making them all afternoon. I didn’t let them sit up for 1 hr. on the mats as suggested in the recipe. Mainly b/c I didn’t have the time, but also I figured it’d be okay since my dough wasn’t watery. Overall, they were very chocolatey and yummy. But it didn’t make very many and were hard to preserve the shape of the cookie since they stuck to the mats.

    • Hmmm something sticking to a Silpat doesn’t sound right. Silpats DO wear out over time and become less resistant to sticking and I’m thinking that may be the case with yours, especially if you only have one and it sounds like it’s gotten a workout :) Anything is possible but I’ve never had cookies stick to one unless it’s getting older and even then, it’s not really ‘sticking’ but just not as easy-release as it once was. Treat yourself to a new mat and I bet you’ll be all set :)

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  7. I made these as directed but instead of eggs I used flax seed. The cookies were oily and very flat. Any ideas on what happend? Thanks! ~Jennifer

    • Hi Jennifer you cannot substitute SEEDS for eggs and expect the same results. I know that in vegan baking you sometimes can, but definitely not in this recipe. Eggs are imperative. If you follow the recipe and use eggs next time as indicated, the recipe should work just fine for you.

  8. Hi Averie, this doesn’t relate to the post but do you think that Greek yogurt or applesauce is a good substitute for 1/4 – 1/2 the amount of oil/butter in blondies ?

  9. I don’t usually comment on recipes but these cookies are so yummy! I am by no means an expert baker and was a little hesitant to try this recipe after reading all of the comments, but mine turned out great! I used Ghirardelli baking bars and let the batter set up about 30-40 minutes just to be sure because I wasn’t exactly certain what it should look like. I baked the cookies for 9 minutes and they turned out perfect! Also added chopped walnuts. I didn’t use a silpat because I don’t have one and didn’t see any kind of baking liners at the Walmart near me so decided to give it a try with parchment paper anyway. I doubled the parchment layer…not sure why lol just figured, what the heck. But they didn’t spread and flatten. Still soft and chewy. Will definitely be making these again!! Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. Hi! This is going to be my first time baking cookies – ever., so am getting nervous about it. Cant wait for the weekends.

  11. These are so yummy!! I used bakers semi sweet and mixed for the 8 min. Only needed 10-15 min to set up:) Turned out great!!!! However, I forgot to buy enough chocolate and ended up substituting mini chocolate chips for the extra bits in the cookies, which worked out really well;) thank you for the great recipe!!!

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  13. “Silpats cost 20$ where you live? Woah. They cost about 50$ here which is why I don’t own one. I tried ordering one off Amazon but shipping costs increased the price to more than double! I always bake my cookies on parchment or baking paper and I get good results.

    I’m super excited to try these. Brownies and cookies are two of my fav things and this recipe combines both! I start my Christmas break tomorrow & these will definitely be on my to-bake-list. I’ll report back when I make them. Let’s hope that they won’t overspread .”

  14. These sound delicious! I’ve made homemade brownies before and you really do need the 15 min of whipping the eggs! It almost makes them a merangue and helps them set up. Maybe it will cut your waiting time down!

  15. These look delicious! I’ve made brownies from scratch and you really do need to whip the eggs for 15 min it makes them almost a merangue and help them to set up better! Maybe it will cut your waiting time down!

  16. Hello Averie,

    I am in a rut. My cookies are turning cakey.

    Is there any way to salvage them? They aren’t exactly your recipe bur pretty close. Except that I used cream cheese in them also.

    I tried adding some extra butter and egg but to no avail.

    Maybe you or anyone else seeing this plea can help.

    Rgds,
    Talha

    • Extra eggs will make things cakier. If you didn’t follow my recipe exactly, I really can’t help you troubleshoot at this point. Follow the recipe exactly next time and your cookies won’t be cakey.

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  18. I just started looking at these recipe Pins, all I have is a cheaper tablet & don’t have access to a printer. A couple of days ago all the recipes were lemon, lemonbars, lemon cupcakes with lemon
    Butter cream frosting! I wanted every recipe on the whole page but it’s too complicated to try to hold my tablet on my lap and hand write all the recipes and all the instructions. Is there a way to get recipes other than what I’m doing now?  Actually I just started trying this pinning thing so I flying by the seat of my pants completely! Please if you can help me get the recipes I want on a page and maybe not the whole page just the ones I really want, I would be a happier camper!!!

    • Try copying/pasting the recipe section of the post you’re interested in into an email to yourself. Or just take your tablet into the kitchen! That’s what I do with my phone when I make recipes from the internet.

  19. Hello, I tried your recipe today and I used powdered sugar instead and mixed the dough for the 15 min originally suggested and I have to say that the dough turned out VERY thick, like normal cookie dough. I believe the extended mixing time has something to do with it. I’m the person that you mentioned that hasn’t mastered making cookies that keep their shape during baking. Today I made my first batch of cookies that kept their shape perfectly!!! I am so happy, I might mix all my cookie dough for 15 min from now on!😉 thank you so much for the recipe!
    P.S. I used 35g of gluten free flour instead of regular flour, since I have celiac. I am always searching for recipes that have very low flour content since g-free flour has a funny texture, I think. This recipe was perfect!

    • I’m sure the powdered sugar thickened up the dough compared to what regular granulated sugar would have done. Glad they came out great for you, even GF too! Just as a fyi, don’t mix all your doughs for 15 mins because not all doughs are the same, but for this one, it works!

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