November 18, 2012

Two-bite brownie bite cookies

When you are practically stranded at home - albeit cozy and fortunate enough to be with power and heat even if not phone, TV, or Internet service – because of gasoline shortages and continued power outages, you might look to comfort yourself and share something tangible like food with your family.  For me, I cooked – partly for comfort and enjoyment but also due to necessity given the inability to go out and get around like normal during the first week or so after the storm. 

Comfort food takes many forms, particularly in steaming bowls of pasta or anything that’s hot and plentiful, on the savory side.  For me, it also means chocolate…lots of chocolate because the smell and taste of it is simply soothing.  I took full advantage of my chocolate stash following the storm.  It was my daily dose of comfort “medicine.”
My little guy was a fan of these chewy chocolaty bites; I partly credit their petite size, which makes them easy to eat with little mess (he's hasn't been a fan of gooey cookies lately) 
I made these two-bite brownie bite cookies on November 7th, nine days after Hurricane Sandy, as snow starting drifting down from the sky thanks to a nor’easter!  Did I mention there was also a minor (2.0 scale) earthquake in New Jersey a few days prior to that also?  There were no damages and I don’t think anyone even felt it but…seriously?  Insane times call for chocolate intervention.  By the time I baked these chocolate cookies in the early afternoon, the sky was almost completely dark and picture-taking was far from ideal.  But the cookies were good though…
For my daily dose of chocolate, these did the trick.  These small two-bite cookies (you could make them even smaller into single-bites if you have the patience or do the opposite and make them larger) are like mini bites of chewy chocolate goodness.  There’s dark brown sugar in them but it’s mainly the honey that sets them apart and provides that chewiness I enjoy.  I don’t generally love cookies with honey in them, mainly because it’s hard to find good honey that isn't insanely expensive, but these cookies needed to be made because I happen to have a jar of delicious honey I picked up on our last apple picking expedition, which feels like a lifetime ago.
Sadly, my precious jar of honey is dwindling quickly but I’m glad I put some of that nectar to good use here in these brownie bite cookies because you can really taste what you put in.  The honey, along with cocoa, and bits of semisweet chocolate conjure up this lovely little treat.  Since they are not overly sweet, rolling them in sugar adds an extra touch of sweetness as well as giving them a nice luster and crunchy contrast to the soft and chewy texture.  I tried granulated, sanding, as well as turbinado sugar for the topping and my family and I liked the sanding sugar best both in appearance and texture (just the right amount of crunch).
These cookies are great for a stressful day or anytime, any day.  They may also be something to consider for your upcoming Christmas cookie lineup.  In fact, they remind me of one of my other Martha Stewart-favorites for the holidays, chocolate gingerbread cookies, minus the spice but offering a similar texture and base chocolate flavor.  And since the recipe makes a large amount of these small cookies, it is great for sharing and gifting.

The original recipe from Martha makes up to 6 dozen small, one-bite cookies.  I prefer mine just a bit bigger so I call mine two-bites cookies.  I made a small batch of these since I just wanted to test them out (and conserve my precious honey!) so you'll see a very small amount of batter in my pictures below.  

Dividing recipes:  Now, I'm in the habit of dividing recipes (mostly dividing a recipe in half), particularly when it comes to cookies, muffins, and cupcakes.  I was reading a cookbook recently that warned against this because, apparently, leaveners (the baking soda, baking powder) in recipes may not always be proportionately divided or multiplied according to the quanity you're trying to achieve (i.e., if you're dividing a recipe in half, cutting the leavener by half might not work).  That got me thinking.  I don't recall ever having a noticeable problem with a recipe I've divided or doubled.  Then again, maybe I didn't get the ideal result and just didn't realize it.  I will bear this in mind but while I'll be mindful of this, I plan to keep dividing recipes when I really need to because I cook mainly for our small family of three.

Back to these cookies, start with whisking flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.  Then place butter and dark brown sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.  Then add the key ingredient, honey, and beat until well combined and fluffy again.
Add dry ingredients and beat until well combined.  Then mix in the chopped chocolate.
Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking.
To bake, scoop heaping teaspoon fulls of the dough (I'd say mine are almost 2-teaspoons of dough) and roll it in the sugar.  I like sanding sugar but granulated works as well.  Of the 3 types of sugar I tried, sanding sugar gave it the best luster and a bit more crunch (but not too much like the turbinado sugar).  I like to shape the dough into a ball and then roll it in the sugar. 
Place the coated cookie dough balls on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets, spaced about an inch apart since they'll spread.
On the tray to the right, starting with row closest to the bottom, are cookies rolled in granulated sugar, turbinado sugar, and sanding sugar
Bake at 325 degrees for about 9 minutes, when the cookies have spread and the tops are cracking.  
Store the cooled cookies in an airtight jar or container and they keep well for a few days.  I love that they stay nice and chewy.


Two-bite brownie bite cookies
Adapted, very slightly, from Martha Stewart

- Approximately 5 dozen cookies (depending on size) -

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped into about quarter-inch size chunks
1/4 cup sanding (or granulated) sugar, for rolling

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. 

Beat butter and brown sugar together in a stand mixer under medium speed until pale and fluffy.  Add honey and beat until mixture is fluffy.  On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.  Mix in chocolate.  Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 325 minutes about 15 minutes before you are ready to bake.

Scoop heaping teaspoons of dough (so that they're almost 2-teaspoons full) and roll into a ball.  Drop into the sanding sugar and roll to coat.  Transfer to parchment lined baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 1-inch apart.  Bake until tops are cracking and cookies are just set, about 9 minutes.  Transfer sheets to wire racks, let cool until cookies are firm enough to remove onto the racks to cool completely.

You can store these brownie bite cookies in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to 3 days.  They stay nice and chewy.


  1. Love these cookies! The perfect solution when you can't decide between brownies and cookies. ;)

  2. I agree, Sara! I planning to make some again soon. : )



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