Apparently I like putting words together as much as I like fusing food flavors. It’s probably best if you just go with it.
Can you believe it’s August already? Wow, I feel like someone stole the first two-thirds of my year. I don’t really like August all that much. Actually, if I had to choose a least favorite month in the year it would probably be this one. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it really, it’s just that there isn’t anything special about it. There’s nothing to look forward to in August and I kind of forget about it until it gets here
I think another reason that I’m a little prejudice against it is that it always seemed like the longest, hottest month of summer when I was growing up in Tennessee. I can almost feel the cut-the-air-with-a-knife humidity right now just thinking about it, yuck. The only redeemable aspect I can think of were the summer storms, which I do really miss. Other than that though, it was mostly the miserable month that we spent trying to stay cool in the pool. Now that I live in southern Chile, August represents that stupid rainy month smack dab in the middle of winter, and we don’t even get the benefit of a white blanket of snow to brighten the mood.
“Wow Tori, why don’t you tell us what you really think about August.” Sorry, I’ll stop complaining right now. In fact, I’m going to put on my positive pants and I refuse to let this August be a bad one. Thinking happy thoughts, and speaking of which, let’s talk about these little pieces of heaven in bar form.
It’s probably just the indecisive part of me speaking, but I can’t help admitting that I think there’s something genius about a brookie. I mean why choose between a cookie and a brownie when you can have them both at the same time! These brookie bars are extra amazing because they have a bonus layer of caramel and layers of chocolate chunks and, (the nuts that I prize more than any other now because I can’t get them here) pecans! That’s right, what you’re looking at is a layer of cookie bar, topped with caramel, then a fudgy brownie layer, then a layer of chocolate, then pecans, then more cookie, then more chocolate, then more pecans for a total of 8 decadent layers!
They take just a bit longer than your average Jo cookie bar because you have to let a few layers bake and then cool off a little before adding more. They are pretty simple though and so worth the effort! Here’s to making August awesome by eating these all month!
- 1/2 cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 200g (about 1 1/3 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, divided
- 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
- First make the caramel. Combine sugar, milk, cream, and butter in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring just to a boil, stirring gently. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and continue stirring often, every 60 - 90 seconds, until caramel is thickened and smooth, it should take 12 to 15 minutes depending on your stove. Remove from heat and cool while you make the cookie dough.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease a 13x9 inch glass pan. Cream butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Scrape sides of bowl, then add eggs and mix until combined. Add vanilla, soda, and salt until mixed, then add flour one cup at a time and beat after each addition. Scrape the dough into a separate bowl and save mixer bowl for brownie layer. Divide the dough in half and press one half into prepared pan in an even layer. Pour caramel sauce over top and place in oven to bake for about 10 minutes.
- While that bakes, mix up the brownie batter. Cream butter and sugar in medium mixing bowl. Add oil, eggs, vanilla, salt, and soda and mix well. Stir in flour then cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Remove pan from oven and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes to cool a bit then sprinkle on half of the chocolate and pecans. Gently drop large spoonfuls of brownie batter, starting around the edge and working your way to the middle. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula and use to spread batter evenly. Return pan to oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Remove pan, again, and cool it for another 5 minutes to let the brownie layer cool off. Sprinkle remaining nuts and chocolate over top then crumble remaining cookie dough on last. Return to oven and bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until the top crumbs are browned. Cool completely before cutting.
I found it was best to bake these on a higher shelf in my oven to avoid getting the bottom too done. If your oven only had 3 racks then the center should be fine, but if it has 4 or more, choose the second from the top.