Well, it looks like I found something to post this week after all! I whipped these up last night (side note: does anyone else love baking at midnight or am I weird?) and they are so easy and fun that I just had to share. This is a great last minute dessert and kids will surely love them.
I’ve been looking for a recipe for soft, chewy brownies for a while and these totally hit the spot. They’re a cross between a brownie and a cookie, so you can make them either way! The original recipe makes them like drop cookies, but I thought it would be fun to use my mini-muffin pan and make them into cute little brownie bites.
This is a very basic recipe, so I thought I’d have fun with it. I was cleaning out my cabinets the other day and discovered that I have tons of baking chips in all flavors: chocolate, mint, butterscotch, peanut butter, cinnamon, etc. I needed to use them up, especially since I don’t plan on a lot of cookie baking in January and this was the perfect recipe to do that. I divided the dough into 5 small bowls and used a different chip in each. Here’s what I came up with:
- Peanut Butter – made with peanut butter and Reeses peanut butter chips
- Peppermint – made with peppermint extract and Andes mint chips
- Good ol’ chocolate chip – made with mini chocolate chips
- Butterscotch – made with butterscotch chips
- Mexican chocolate – made with cinnamon and cinnamon chips from King Arthur
I loved them all, but I particularly recommend the peanut butter and Mexican chocolate versions! There’s tons of other things you can add to these. I would have done white chocolate, but I didn’t have any white chocolate chips. I also thought about mocha, made with some espresso powder and cappuccino chips. You can mix in candy like m&ms, nuts, coconut, etc., etc. The base is so simple that you can just have fun with it!
Chewy Brownie Bites or Brownie Cookies
Dessert, Cookies | Servings: 36-40 small bites/cookies
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 9 min | Total time: 50 min
- 2/3 cup shortening or butter*
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. water (omit if using butter)
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup + 1 – 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa (add the extra tablespoons if you like things extra chocolate-y, otherwise 1/3 cup is fine)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups semisweet/bittersweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc.
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 cup chocolate candy, like m&ms
- 1/4 tsp. (or to taste) peppermint extract
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups mint chocolate chips
Peanut Butter version:
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup peanut butter (swirl this in at the end, it’s better if it’s not totally integrated into the dough!)
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups peanut butter chips
Mexican Chocolate version:
- 2 tbsp. (or to taste) cinnamon
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups cinnamon chips
*Note: You’re going to get much flatter cookies if you use butter, but I get that a lot of people won’t use shortening. Here’s a good explanation of butter vs. shortening in cookies. I used shortening this time because it’s Christmas and I don’t really care about health right now. If I made these more regularly, I would probably use butter instead, too. If using butter, omit the water.
If you are making multiple versions like I did, there is really no need to be precise with the add-ins. Make all the dough and divide it up in smaller bowls, then just stir in a handful of chips and/or small amounts of flavorings until you are happy with the look/taste.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening, sugar, water, vanilla and any other liquid flavorings (mint extract, etc.).
- Beat in eggs.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and any other dry flavorings (cinnamon, etc.). Gradually add to creamed mixture and beat just until blended.
- Stir in chocolate chips or other add-ins.
- Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls into a mini-muffin tin (lightly sprayed if not non-stick) or 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees (F) for 7-9 minutes. Do not overbake or they will be hard instead of chewy. They will be very soft, but shouldn’t look wet. They will firm up as they cool. I found 7 minutes was perfect for the cookies, but the bites needed 9 minutes.
- The bites will need to stay in the pan for about 10 minutes before they are firm enough to transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Cookies should stay on the pan for about 2 minutes before you transfer to a rack. Let sit for 15-30 minutes to completely cool and firm up.