But I’m a huge fan of comfort food. And by “huge,” I mean… never mind.
Where my culinary skills tend to shine is in the arena of dessert. To me, dessert is a culinary act of redemption — a chance to send your guests into a state of euphoria that will sponge from their minds the memory of dry chicken and bland veggies.
This recipe is an adaption of “Chocolate Chip Brownie Pillows” from Southern Living Annual Recipes 2009 — tweaked because I like much more brownie than their recipe calls for. And it’s all about me and my needs, of course.
CHOCOLATE CHIP BROWNIE PILLOWS
1 package Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix (for an 8″ x 8″ pan)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 T. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 package semisweet chocolate chips
Bake brownies according to package directions. Cool completely. No cheating on this one.
Cream together butter, shortening and brown sugar. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating after eat addition. Stir in vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add into creamed mixture and stir until blended. Stir in chocolate morsels. Cover and chill dough 2 hours.
Cut the brownies into narrow slices, 3/4″ wide or so. Lightly grease 12-14 small ramekins1.
Put one large spoonful of chilled cookie dough in each ramekin and spread out until you have a thin layer covering the bottom of the dish. Top the cookie dough with a layer of sliced brownie — I turn the narrow slices on their side for the best coverage — covering as much of the cookie dough as possible. Feel free to break slices apart or fill gaps with crumbs; no one will ever know. Unless they read this blog.
Take another large spoonful of cookie dough into your hands and flatten it into a rough circle. Place the circle of dough over the top of the brownie and spread out to cover the brownie. Make sure the brownie is completely “sealed” by the cookie dough so it doesn’t dry out or burn while baking. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.
NOTE: The center of the top layer may still be slightly “doughy” underneath. If you’re a fan of raw cookie dough, you’ll be in heaven. If that freaks you out, just add a few minutes to the baking time and cover the ramekins with aluminum foil for the first few minutes of baking to prevent over-browning.
Serve hot, topped with a scoop of ice cream. Makes 12-14 servings.
1 My ramekins are about 3″ in diameter. If you don’t own any ramekins or other small oven-safe dishes, you can use muffin tins. Just note that the quantity and proportions will probably be different than described above. You should also understand that the use of individual serving dishes such as ramekins is an effective deterrent against Chocolate Chip Brownie Pillow Hoarding (CCBPH), a clinical disorder characterized by the sufferer stealing an entire muffin tin of CCBP, locking him or herself in a closet or vehicle and consuming all 12 servings in one sitting. An outbreak of CCBPH is usually followed by an acute case of Sudden Onset Chocolate Overload. Symptoms include labored-breathing, abdominal distention, rolling eyes and moaning, quickly followed by excessive milk consumption and a four-hour nap.