Brownie Cookies and Mom’s Gumbo

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I’ve been in a chocoholic mood lately (more than usual) and what better way to satisfy that craving than with BROWNIE COOKIES??

The other week I found a recipe on The Brown Eyed Baker for Better-than-Brownie Cookies, which are just what they sound like. Or well, I wouldn’t say they’re “better” than brownies unless you for some reason don’t like the brownie’s usual bar form. These brownie cookies are essentially brownies in the shape of cookies, and I’d say they’re as good as brownies, but not necessarily better. The biggest perk might be that they all have a slightly crisp outside and a chewy inside, whereas with actual brownies usually the edges are crispy and the middle is not. The biggest perk with this recipe is also it’s hazard, though! Not sure about you, but it seems more acceptable to me to eat more than one cookie, whereas I’ll rarely have more than one brownie in a sitting. It just feels like too much. The first night I made these though, I had 3-4 cookies, which was way too much sugar. I can handle my sugar, folks. And if they’d been brownies I’d have never been so foolish. But alas, brownies in cookie form seemed more innocuous. Do not be fooled. These are rich, smack-you-in-the-face chocolate.

Here’s the recipe from BEB:
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 eggs
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions (modified):
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper if you have it, but they should turn out fine without it, too.
2. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth.
3. In the meantime, stir together the eggs, vanilla and sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
5. Let the butter and chocolate mixture cool down.
6. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine well. Slowly add the dry ingredients, folding them into the batter. Once all of the flour is incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.
7. Let the dough chill for 40-45 minutes.
8. Scoop 1½ tablespoons of dough (a medium cookie scoop’s worth) onto prepared baking sheets. This is not rollable dough – they’ll be globs, so make sure the cookies are more or less the shape you want them to be.
9. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until they are firm on the outside. Unlike most cookies, they may still be a little wet inside when you take them out. That’s okay, they’ll firm up as they cool.

I didn’t change the ingredients for this recipe, but I did change the cooking directions. Specifically, after reading a lot of the comments on BEB and seeing the trouble many people had with them, I cooled the butter/chocolate mixture before adding other ingredients, chilled the dough a little, and baked them a little longer than the original instructions. The cookies aren’t very pretty (uh oh, I’m noticing a trend with my baking for this site…) but they’re pretty delicious. Just don’t overindulge unless you want a sugar hangover!

But since we can’t live on sugar alone, I also made my mom’s gumbo…which may not really be gumbo, but it’s certainly easy!

Ingredients:

1 package of sausage – whatever strikes your fancy. The partner and I used chicken jalapeno sausage from Trader Joe’s, but my mom usually uses spicy Italian and I bet chorizo would be delish too.
1 large onion
1 can of black beans and 1 can of corn
1 can of rotel tomatoes with green chilies
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 lb shrimp
rice, hot sauce

Directions:
1. Cook the sausage. You can brown them in a pan and pour out the fat, or use the mircrowave, 3-4 minutes on each side. If doing it this way, be sure to surround the sausages with paper towels to eliminate as much fat as possible.
2. In the meantime, dice and saute the onion in a large pot until lightly caramelized.
3. Slice sausage and add to the pot with all the other ingredients, including the shrimp. Shrimp cooks quickly so it’ll cook with everything else and needn’t be prepared ahead of time.
4. Bring everything to a boil and then let simmer for about 20 minutes. We also added a generous amount of hot sauce while everything was cooking, because we like things spicy. But that’s all up to personal preference.
5. Pour over rice (we used basmati) and enjoy! I think it’s traditional to eat gumbo with rice, but if you haven’t got it, crusty bread would probably also work well.

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