Peanut-Almond Snack Bars

Peanut Almond Snack Bars

The long Thanksgiving weekend is behind us…my favorite food holiday of the year.  Our Thanksgiving dinner was absolutely delicious, and day was just a little sweeter as it was my daughter’s birthday as well.  Of course our Thanksgiving was not nearly as exciting though as what happened at my mother’s house – thank goodness for that.  My grandmother is almost 94 years old – and unfortunately her body is starting to slow down.  There are times on the phone that she just can’t get the words out – and I know it is frustrating for her, but she tries to stay in good spirits as best as she can.  Most of the time she just ends up saying the opposite of what she means – and as long as you know what is going on, it is just humorous.

So – back to Thanksgiving.  Everyone was just sitting down to Thanksgiving at my mother’s house – when my grandmother took a bite, and choked.  My stepfather – who is very skilled at this – tried to dislodge the food with the Heimlich Maneuver, but was unsuccessful.  She ended up passing out, as they called 911 – and fortunately they were able to save her.  A few hours later she was back at the house eating ice-cream, and what did she say to my mother?  I am glad I ruined your Thanksgiving – omitting the important word *didn’t*.

I don’t often bake with nuts – mostly because my younger doesn’t care for them in her baked goods – but occasionally I find a recipe where nuts are an integral part, and I cannot omit them.  I found this recipe in Cooking Light – and after the last marshmallow crispy dessert I made, I was definitely up for another.  This one had peanut butter and Cheerios (my all time favorite cereal) in the mix, which definitely intrigued me.  I noticed that this recipe called for whole almonds – and I have to admit, that scared me just a little.  The last thing I wanted was to pack these in my older daughter’s lunch, and for one of those almonds to go down the wrong pipe.  I almost chopped them up, but I decided I was being a little too paranoid…

These were a delicious snack – the pretzels with the Cheerios were a perfect combination, and I loved the peanut butter flavored marshmallow that covered everything.  They were definitely not too sweet – which was very much needed after eating sweets all week.  So, if you are looking for a quick and easy treat for the lunch box this week, look no further.  I won’t blame you one bit though after reading this post – if you decide to chop up those almonds, or even omit them all together…maybe being paranoid is a good thing.


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 1/4 cups toasted oat cereal (such as Cheerios)
  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup crushed hard pretzel twists
  • 1/3 cup roasted, salted almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cooking spray


Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows and peanut butter; cook 3 minutes or until smooth, stirring constantly. Remove mixture from heat; stir in cereal and next 4 ingredients (through salt).

Working quickly, spread mixture in an 8-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Using a wet spoon, spread mixture into an even 1-inch layer; let stand 1 hour or until set. Cut into 16 squares.

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Double Chocolate Crispie Treats

Chocolate-Espresso Rice Krispie Bars

I am off on another adventure.  I am hoping that this one is even better than the last one.  India was quite an experience.  It was a place that I have been fascinated with for years.  I knew that eventually there would be a need for me to go there, but I really had no idea what I was in for.  Whenever I travel anywhere – it is always important for me to connect with the food.  It started in college when I travelled and I have continued that tradition.  Supermarkets are my museums, and finding just the right specialties of the region is what I am after.

When we were in India, we had a free night for dinner.  I didn’t want to go to a fancy restaurant, or someplace at the hotel – I wanted to experience some good local cuisine.  Fortunately at work, there are plenty of other people just like me, and when you work for a global company where people are always travelling, you can get some really good recommendations if you use your resources wisely.  There is an alias called “Food & Wine Enthusiasts” where there are over 1000 foodies just waiting to give you their thoughts and preferences on food and wine.  I sent a mail to the alias, and got exactly what I was looking for.  The restaurant actually had a website, although it pretty much just explained their safety precautions in cooking.  It was a vegetarian restaurant, so I felt safe about my seafood allergy.

The restaurant was in the old part of Bangalore.  It was actually an old house with 2 different restaurants inside.  There was a snack section, an a-la-carte area, and then a set menu where they just bring you food.  People hardly spoke English there, and so it took us a while to figure out that we were standing in the set menu area – we kept asking questions about the menu, and they kept saying “ALL”.  Finally we had figured it out.  When we asked how much it was – they told us 175 Rupies.  That equates to about $2.80.  How could we say no?  We were served bottled water, soup, curries, breads, rice dishes – it went on and on, and even bananas and ice cream for dessert.  It was a feast – and everything was absolutely delicious.

When I came home, I was craving simple food – and my girls were craving sweets.  Normally Rice Crispie treats is not where I would usually land, but I was up for something exactly like this.  Cooking Light had a whole section of these with all sorts of different options, and we decided to give one a try.  These were exactly what the doctor ordered – and the girls were super happy about having these in their lunches.

Ok – I have to go catch my flight – can’t wait to see what food is in store for me this week!


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounces marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 6 cups rice cereal
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate


Melt butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat.  Add the cocoa into the melted marshmallows and cook for 3 minutes.  Add cereal, and toss well to combine.  Press cereal mixture into a 13×9-inch pan coated with cooking spray.  Heat chocolate in microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until completely melted.  Drizzle over cereal mixture. Chill 10 minutes before slicing.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Double Chocolate Crispie Treats

Butterscotch Blondies

Butterscotch Blondies

As my younger daughter would say, I am in another land.  A far away land – but with technology, fortunately I am never completely absent.  I woke up this morning to Skype my family, and it really made me homesick.  The girls were in the middle of baking cookies for their lunches this week – what fun.  This has become more and more of a Sunday afternoon ritual where my older daughter finds a recipe and goes at it.  They want to make sure they have fresh-baked goods for their lunches – and who wouldn’t?

The other weekend there was too much homework going on, so I actually got to orchestrate the weekend baking project for lunches.  My daughter picked out the recipe, and came back and forth from the kitchen to her homework – checking how things were going, helping here and there when she could.  I loved the recipe that she picked out, even before we made it.  Another Cooking Light special, and I knew it would be great.  The unique aspect of this recipe was the fact that it was a butterscotch batter…instead of just adding butterscotch chips once the batter is made.  The cake part was so moist and delicious with a strong butterscotch flavor, which was nicely offset by the dark chocolate chips.  I had to sneak a few myself – once for this lunch sac, one for me, one for the other lunch sac, another for me…

As I sit here typing this, I wonder what the school lunches look like here.  My daughter asked me last week what kids in France took for lunch at school, and I was reminded that they actually come and eat at home.  If they do take a lunch, one of the favorites I remember was the hot dog stuffed into a baguette.  I can pretty much guarantee that is not the case here.  Now off to what I hope is an authentic meal in this far away land.  No Butterscotch Blondies in this land!


  • 4.5 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch morsels
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until thoroughly combined.

Combine butterscotch morsels and half-and-half in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds. Stir until smooth. Add brown sugar, canola oil, butter, vanilla, and eggs, and beat with a mixer at high speed for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture to butterscotch mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into an 8-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Butterscotch Blondies

Butterscotch Blondies 4

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Millionaire's Shortbread

I should be working right now…I have so many things to finish it isn’t even funny, but it has been a long day.  A day that started at 5:30 this morning, and after working 12 hours and almost a 2 hour commute home, I am pretty much done.  I have been on edge for a while now, and there could be many reasons to explain it, but I think I finally figured it out.  Today’s rain was definitely a sign.

When I was delivering my first baby, there was a joy that I can’t explain that came over me when the doctor told me I had a girl.  It was not that I didn’t want a boy, but for some reason I was less afraid of having a girl.  My husband was convinced that our second child was a boy, but deep down inside, I knew it was another girl.  That same joy consumed me when I heard those same words after she came out of me.  Even though my sister and I are not close, I was thrilled to have two girls – sisters – even with all the drama that comes with it.

I have always cherished the fact that I have two girls.  They love to cook and bake with me, they love to go shopping, get their nails done – and don’t get me wrong – they can fish, play softball and other fun stuff with their Dad (and boy do they love their Dad), but we have a special bond as well.  I am the Mommy, they tell me things first – and they hold nothing back.  I am sure there will be a time when that will change, but let’s hope not, and until then – I will savor every minute.

Unfortunately my story is not the way it always is for mothers and daughters.  You hear about the struggles that mothers and daughters have – sometimes you even get a glimpse of the pain.  It is not fun to watch.  I want to be involved in every happy moment that my children have – and I am pretty optimistic that I will be able to do so.  I am a very lucky Mommy.

It is only fitting that I post these delectable goodies – this was a team effort – I made the crust, and my daughter and mother made the caramel and topping.  My daughter wanted to make it all by herself, but I asked my mother to supervise – and it didn’t take long though before they both had their sleeves rolled up and were knee-deep in the caramel making.  It was really fun to watch.  These were hands down ridiculously delicious.  Crisp on the bottom, chewy in the middle, and rich on top.  Thanks Tracey’s Culinary Adventures adapted from Annie’s Eats (originally from Baked and The Golden Book of Baking) – for a great afternoon, and a perfect finished product – with my mother and my daughter.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk


  • 8 oz chocolate, finely chopped (I used bittersweet) 
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • Fleur de sel for sprinkling (optional)


Preheat oven to 325 F.  Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

To make the shortbread layer: Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.  With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined.  Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and press into an even layer over the bottom (it’ll be a fairly thin layer).  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the caramel layer: Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan.  Set the pan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the butter is melted.  Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and turns a light caramel color.  This may take 10 minutes or more, so be patient.  Pour the caramel mixture over the cooled shortbread and spread in an even layer.  Allow to cool completely, then chill briefly (I stuck mine in the fridge overnight, but you just want to chill enough that it won’t melt when you add the warm chocolate in the next step).

To make the chocolate layer: Add the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter to a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.  Pour the chocolate over the chilled caramel and spread into an even layer with an offset spatula.  Let cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle the top with the fleur de sel (if using).  Let the chocolate set completely before slicing and serving.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Cocoa Brownies

Classic Brownies

I am trying to recover from my travels this week – the 9 hour time difference is not easy on the body, but I am doing my best.  Life doesn’t stop for you – so you just need to carry on and hope that eventually everything will go back to normal.  Whenever I travel for work, I never have enough time to soak everything in.  I do my best though to at least savor the food.  I have mentioned this before, but my favorite place to soak in the culture is at the super market.  Fortunately in Israel, I was able to go on a field trip.  I was there the week before Passover, and the woman who was hosting me was so excited that I also celebrate Passover.  She took me to the market near the office, and we bought lots of fun stuff.  Matzo ball mix, Passover biscuits, halva and chocolate covered matzoh.  What fun!  I couldn’t believe I was able to fit all this stuff into my suitcase, but I crammed it in.  As a bonus, one of the women in the office sent me a recipe for a Passover Apple Cake – maybe a post for tomorrow, if I can get my act together?

The food in Israel was delicious – lots of fresh vegetables and cheeses – and wonderful salads for breakfast.  My stomach was not overly thrilled to eat salads for breakfast, even though they were wonderful – so I mostly stuck to yogurt – which was rich and creamy, and just delightful.  The two highlights of the trip were the lunch I had at the falafel restaurant – just a tiny hole-in-the-wall, with amazing falafel and pickled vegetables.  The pita bread though was really too much though – not like the pita bread we get – this was light and fluffy and completely fresh.  The other highlight was a Persian restaurant that my cousin took me to – the salad was so amazingly fresh, and the chicken and rice I had was out of this world.  It was really a treat.

On my way back to the states, I stopped in Paris to visit the subsidiary there, and of course had my fill of magnificent food – even though I was barely there.  It gave me just a taste and I can’t wait to get back there…  At the office, they have a regular cafeteria, and then two specialty French restaurants.  We went to the “bistro” – and had an incredible lunch.  I felt spoiled.  I was stuffed after my appetizer and entrée, but they insisted I order dessert.  All the desserts sounded terrific, but I decided to go with a chocolate brownie – on top of Panna Cotta, then topped with chocolate mousse.  Oh my…it was spectacular.  Although the brownie was my least favorite part.  It was good, but nothing like these brownies that I found in Bon Appetit that I made for book club the other week.  These were so simple to make, and seriously decadent.  Nice and rich – and it had been too long since I posted a brownie recipe on this site.  I have posted similar recipes before, but this one was too good, even if it was a duplicate.  So – even though the French are pretty much better at making everything else sweet – Americans are the experts when it comes to making brownies.  Someday when I live in France, I am going to make some of these recipes with their superior ingredients – won’t that be something. I can’t wait!


  • Nonstick vegetable oil  spray
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Scharffen Berger natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher  salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla  extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 325°. Line an 8x8x2 inches glass baking dish  with  foil, pressing firmly into pan and leaving a 2 inches overhang. Coat foil  with nonstick spray; set baking dish aside.

Melt butter in a small sauce-pan over medium heat. Let cool  slightly. Whisk sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Pour butter  in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in  vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each  addition. Add flour and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Scrape batter  into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted into  the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack;  let cool completely in pan.  Using foil overhang, lift brownie out of pan; transfer to a cutting board.  Cut  into 16 squares.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Cocoa Brownies

Crunch Bars

Crunch Bars

The other week my step-father called to talk to me about his fax machine.  As he was talking to me, I was picturing the monster that sat in their kitchen, taking up precious space on their counter.  I told him that fax machines are a thing of the past – no one uses them anymore – with email, and scanners, there is just no need.  I told them to get rid of it, move into the 21st century.  He listened intently, and I could tell he wasn’t completely buying it – but he took the plunge, and gave it away.  He wasn’t going to let a huge fax machine get in the way of moving onto bigger and better things.

This weekend I bought myself a new desktop – it was about time, I had been using mine for at least 7 years, because it was right around the time that I had my younger daughter that I purchased this baby.  I love my new touchscreen monitor with Windows 8 – but to be honest you, I am typing this on my old one.  I hate to admit it, but I am having a little trouble letting go.  At one point, I tried to load my photo editing software onto my new PC, and I ran into a bit of a snag.  Now, you have to understand, I am extremely loyal to Microsoft – so, when they came out with photo editing software over 7 years ago – of course I was right there installing it – now 7 years later (long after they stopped selling the program, and created a free photo editing program within Windows 7) – I am still using it.  Mind you, I use the free software as well – everything has its specific purpose.  I digress – so, I was trying to load this and it wouldn’t let me – my new machine is a x64 bit system, and Microsoft Digital Imaging software is only compatible with a x32 bit system…  Ugh.  I know I should be using the free software, and supposedly it offers all the same functionality in a much more streamlined process – but I like my old process.  I knew exactly how to edit my photos the way I liked.

It just so happens that my step-father was visiting this weekend, and when I told him my sob story – he reminded me about the fax machine.  Yes, he is exactly right – welcome to the 21st century.

So – what does this have to do with these Crunch Bars?  Well, let me tell you.  Candy bars are almost becoming retro in my mind.  The organic chocolate bars that are sustainable and made with all natural ingredients are becoming more and more hip – and the Kit Kat bars are looking old and un-cool.  Plus, they are just taking up space in the pantry – from Halloween – yup, that’s right.  So, we decided to make something to use up some of that candy in the pantry – and Bon Appetit came to the rescue with this recipe.  Boy were these decadent – and so easy to make.  You can basically make this into anything you want – the sky is the limit.  So – if you are looking for ways to use up some of your old stuff so you can move onto the bigger and better – give this one a try.  Wish me luck as I now dive into the deep end…


Cookie Base

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for dish
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate or high-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1-1 1/2 cups assorted toppings, such as cocoa nibs, crushed candy,  toasted chopped almonds and pistachios, lightly toasted coconut, and popcorn
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)


Cookie Base 

Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°. Line the bottom and sides of a 13x9x2 inches metal or glass baking dish with foil, allowing 2 inches overhang on either side; butter foil in dish.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat 1 cup butter in a large bowl until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add both sugars and salt; continue to beat until mixture is light and creamy, about 3 minutes longer. Beat in vanilla, then slowly mix in flour, beating until entirely incorporated (dough will be wet and sticky).

Scrape dough into prepared dish. Using your fingertips, spread into a thin, even layer.

Bake cookie base until it is golden brown and has begun to puff and crack, about 22 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Base can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool completely and store airtight at room temperature.


Preheat oven to 375°. Scatter chopped chocolate evenly over cookie base and bake just until chocolate is soft and has begun to melt, about 2 minutes. Immediately spread chocolate in an even layer over base.

Scatter toppings over warm chocolate; lightly but firmly press into chocolate. Sprinkle with salt. Let cool in dish on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift cookie from dish. Place on rack; let cool until chocolate is set, about 2 hours.

Carefully remove foil from cookie and slide onto a cutting board. Cut into bars.

DO AHEAD: Crunch Bars can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Crunch Bars


Remember this commercial?  I actually don’t, but the saying is something I will never forget.  Each one is delicious on its own, but when you put them together – WOW!

When I started this blog, I was taking a leap.  I was doing something that was bottled up in my head for years, and I was finally getting it out.  As I have written before, most of my good friends enjoy their food, in fact I can even go as far as to say that many of them LOVE their food.  But there is a difference – I am consumed by food, and in a good way.  I have not let it affect my life in a negative way, but it brings me an immense amount of joy.  I love cooking and baking for my family – and with my family – and I love sharing what I make with others.

I remember when I started the blog, people started to find me.  I started to find people who were like me – they had regular jobs and families, but who loved food – they were obsessed like me.  I remember going to one of my first food photography classes at The Pantry, and finding out that there were a ton of people just like me.  It was great to be able to bond with them.  One of the people who found me was Keren Brown.  Her story is amazing – she was new to Seattle, and created a blog to connect with the Seattle food scene – and what a scene there is.  I had no idea.  I was so flattered that she invited me to one of her food events, it was like a dream come true.  Unfortunately I don’t get to participate as much as I would like to – my job is just slightly demanding (ha!), and when I am not working, I am spending time with my family – but occasionally I do something just for me – and it is pretty incredible.  She calls her events Foodportunity  – and they are just that – they are an opportunity to be surrounded by food.  Food to eat, food to discuss, and people to meet who are obsessed with food.  It is food attached to people who love it – getting them eating and talking about food, the perfect combination.

My mother sent me this recipe, and I was hitting myself for not thinking of this myself.  This recipe comes from the Brooklyn bakery Baked – and boy have they got a winner here.  Two great tastes that taste great together – is it a cookie or a brownie, no wait – it is both!!!  It was almost like someone dropped chocolate chip cookie dough onto a brownie, and it was genius – just like those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were.  Personally, I prefer a Brookie.  In a way, it was like a Foodportunity.  An opportunity to be surrounded by two of the most classic american baked goods, and opportunity to taste two favorites as one, and boy will this get people talking about food…


chocolate chip cookie dough

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

brownie batter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, plus more for muffin tin
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 5 oz. dark chocolate (top quality, 60 to 72 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Using butter or nonstick spray, grease the bottom and sides of a 24 cup mini-muffin tin.  Set aside.

chocolate chip cookie dough

Add flour, fine grain sea salt and baking soda to a large bowl, whisking to combine. Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together butter, white sugar and dark brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until just incorporated. Add half of the flour mixture to bowl. Mix for a few seconds on low then increase the speed to medium. Beat until just combined (15 – 20 seconds). Add the remaining flour mixture and repeat the process above. Do not overmix here. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.  Cover bowl, transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 3 hours before using.


Add flour, fine grain sea salt and cocoa powder to a medium bowl, whisking to combine. Set aside.

Bring a large pot filled with 2 inches of water to a simmer. Set a heatproof bowl on top of the pot, but make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the simmering water. Add butter and chocolate to the bowl, stirring until melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl on the pot. Whisk white sugar and light brown sugar into the chocolate mixture. Remove the bowl from the pot and let cool to room temperature.  Add eggs to the chocolate mixture, whisking until just combined. At this point, switch from a whisk to a spatula. You want to avoid adding extra air to the batter. Add vanilla and stir until just combined. Gently fold flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until just incorporated. Do not overmix here.

Fill each well of the muffin tin halfway with batter. Transfer muffin tin to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 1 hour. Both the cookie dough and brownie batter must be well chilled before baking to insure even cooking.

Preheat your oven to 375°F and place a rack in the center of the oven (please see notes above regarding cooking times and temperatures).

Once thoroughly chilled, take the muffin tin from the refrigerator. Using a small spoon, scoop out a small amount of chilled cookie dough. Using your hands, shape dough into ball then slightly flatten it into a disk. The disk should be a bit smaller than the top of the muffin tin wells. Gently press the disk into one of the wells of batter. Repeat this process with remaining 23 wells.*

Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake until the cookies are golden brown ( 11 – 13 minutes), rotating the muffin tin halfway through.

*You will have extra chocolate chip cookie dough leftover. Don’t throw this out. Make cookies. Roll remaining dough into balls. Slightly flatten the balls into disks and place on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake in a 375 oven until golden brown (9 – 11 minutes depending on the size of your disks). Let cool for a minute on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Or enjoy warm.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Brookies