February 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars

chocolate chip brownie bars

Psychologists will cringe upon reading the following phrase: I reward myself with food.

I know that it’s not the best system—pairing stressful situations with the ultimate reward of something incredibly unhealthy. In fact, it’s kind of a recipe for disaster. And by “disaster,” I mean, “being confined to yoga pants because I’ve outgrown my jeans.” However, something has to be said for giving yourself a treat for a job well done.

At the moment, I’m planning on eating—nay, inhaling—one of these bars the second I finish reading The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine for history class. I’ve got to write an essay about it and I want to work ahead and get it done before spring break, which signifies not only the unpleasant task of reading 18th-century political treatises, but also overcoming my own propensity towards procrastination and spontaneous napping.

chocolate chip brownie bars

Seriously, guys, I can’t keep my eyes open for more than two pages of this thing. I tend to suspect that the 1700s folk actually felt the same way, but just didn’t have anything more fun to do other than read this book. Clearly pictured in my mind’s eye, there sits an old man in a maroon, wingback chair, struggling to keep his eyes open. His head droops, his white wig slips askance, and The Rights of Man lies open in his lap. As the summer’s eve slowly drifts into dusk, he repeats the pattern. Read two pages, sleep, read two pages, sleep. Just like how nowadays, when we’re bored, we check Facebook every five minutes, someone’s great-great-great-great grandfather listlessly whiled away the evening before reaching the acceptable hour to go to bed.

Unfortunately, great-great-great-great grandfather did not possess the yumminess that is chocolate chip brownie bars. Is it not tragic that he wasn’t able to reach into the cupboard and have a quick munchie as a reward for enduring another stuffy party or finally finishing some long-winded essay? I think so. Therefore, in his honor, I believe that we should do our best to make up for lost time. And by “make up for lost time,” I mean, “stuff our faces with as many chocolate chip brownie bars as humanly possible.” After all, in the present era, we have modern dentistry and elliptical machines to quickly right our sugary wrongs.

chocolate chip brownie bars

So, why dontcha make a batch of these beauties for yourself and join the pity-party? Why do you deserve a brownie bar this week? Do tell!


Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars

Recipe adapted from “Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies” from Evil Shenanigans

Printable Recipe


Part 1

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup dark chocolate chips

Part 2

3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon instant coffee

½ teaspoon salt

Part 3

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 egg

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8-inch pan and set aside.

Part 1

Combine the butter and dark chocolate chips in a bowl, melting either in the microwave (two 20-second intervals, stirring in between) or over a double boiler. Set aside.

Part 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a regular bowl with a hand mixer, beat the granulated sugar, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract until well-blended, light, and fluffy. Add melted chocolate from Part 1. Add flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and salt, mixing until combined.

Spread evenly in the bottom of the pan, then set aside.

Part 3

Rinse out the bowl of the mixer, or grab a new one for the hand mixer. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing well to combine. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Once blended, toss in the semisweet chocolate chips and stir well.

Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, plop mounds of dough all over the brownie base, using the spoon to spread them around a bit.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool and then divide into equal portions.

17 comments:

  1. this is what I need right now!

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  2. I don't know how you study so hard and bake up something this wonderful, Koci! But keep going girl! You are doing so well!

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  3. I feel ya. I had to study The Rights of Man and Common Sense and ... zzzz. No, I can't go on. Not enough jokes, that was his problem. What a Paine he was. HAHA. Comedy gold right there. (That was awful, I'm so sorry.)

    Those brownies look flipping gorgeous. You certainly deserve them. G'luck with the essay. :)

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  4. Koci, this is perfect essay-writing food. Pop a few of these in a bag and submit it with your work and you are guaranteed an A+

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  5. P.S. There's a Stylish Blogger award for you to collect at http://alchemy-fabulousfood.blogspot.com/

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  6. These brownie-cookies look delicious!

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  7. You are a master at taking pics of food. Seriously, your pics of these bars are awesome, really makes me want one, or two, or ten of them. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog until tomorrow night and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your brownie bars up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweets-for-saturday-5.html

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  8. @mr. pineapple man: Absolutely! They're perfect for all occasions.

    @Kay: Ohhh, there's still plenty of time for munchies. hehehe Thanks!

    @Suzler: Pahahaha! What a Paine, indeed. I'll have you know that I was actually seconds away from inserting a Paine pun in this post, so great minds think alike. :D

    @Hester: Hmmmm...that's not a bad idea! Thanks for the award! :D

    @Becky: Why thank you!

    @Lisa: Aw, thanks! I'll check it out!

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  9. If you're going to reward yourself for reading a boring book for school, then these cookie brownie bars sound like the perfect treat!

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  10. Congratulations on your recent Stylish Blogger award! Your mouthwatering photography shows that it is well deserved.

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  11. so tempting!!!! Right now my belly is hurting for eating an obscene amount of nutella straight from the jar...sigh....

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  12. Those look 3 shades of sinful!! And I LOVE IT!!! Keep up the fantabulous work Miss Koci! You rock girl. :)

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  13. And this is why I love your blog so! I'm a firm believer in rewarding yourself and also a firm believer in chocolate.

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  14. @Dana: They definitely make an unpleasant task much better!

    @Bromography: Thank you so much! :)

    @mangiabella: Oooh, obscene amounts of Nutella sounds quite lovely, too.

    @Jenny: hahaha Thanks! :D

    @Marisa: Rewarding yourself with chocolate is *always* a good plan. :D

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  15. these brownies are to die foll. i'd gladly reward myself with a batch even if i'd outgrow my yoga pants :)))
    thanks for sharing Koci

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  16. I'm reading the recipe and I'm a little bit confused.....After melting the butter and chocolate chips in Part I and setting aside, where does it come back into the recipe??? Part II is the brownie bottom which is straight forward, as is Part III which is the cookie dough part. So where does Part I go?

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  17. @Rmd_Foodie: I can't believe that slipped my mind! Part 1 gets mixed in with the brownie bottom, before adding the dry ingredients. Thank you so much for asking about this! Hope that clears it up. :)

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Thanks for commenting! By leaving a comment, you officially become one of my favorite people. Mwah! :D

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