First let's talk baking pan. I ended up with two different pans. The Brookie pan from William's Sonoma and the Wilton nonstick 6-cavity mini pie pan. I prefer the Wilton pan because the wells in this pan are more shallow and wider and makes for a more even baking. They are a similiar price point but I definitely prefer the Wilton and think it has a better chance of being used for other things like individual pies both sweet and savory. The Williams Sonoma pan is called "Brookster" pan and retails for $19.95. The Wilton pan is available on Amazon (is on Prime if you have that, no shipping cost, no tax) and sells for $14.99.
Now for the recipes.
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE
From "Baked" bakery in Brooklyn, NY
1 cup plus 2T AP flour - if using self-rising omit the baking powder & salt
1/2t baking soda
1/2 cup (1stick) butter, a little soft, but still cold
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1t vanilla extract
6oz semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and both sugars until smooth and creamy, Using a spatula scrape down the side of bowl; add egg and beat until well combined. Mixture should be light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat just incorporate, about 5 seconds.
Add half the flour mixture and beat until just combined, about 15 seconds. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
Cover and refrigerate three hours.
You can do what I did, get in the car, drive to your local store, purchase two boxes of Betty Crocker brownie mix, add about 1/4 of a cup of good unsweetened cocoa (if you do this you will need to add a tad more water to the mix). Follow instructions and now you have your brownie mix. Nice and easy!
Here is a recipe that I found that is "supposed" to be from "Baked" but I cannot authenticate:
The Baked Brownie, Spiced Up
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking and the Baked Bakery in Red Hook, Brooklyn
So, of course the story is even more complicated than this. You see, my friend jotted down the recipe they were using back in the day for the chipotle brownie, so I could try it at home. But I lost it. For three years. And only found it recently, coincidentally, just a couple weeks before someone gave me a copy of the Baked cookbook. Which turned out to have their brownie recipe, improved over the years with more chocolate and more butter (thank you very much) but no chipotle version. And I really had liked that chipotle version.
Below, I have cobbled together the spices from the older recipe with the current one so you can attempt an unofficial version of their very subtly spicy brownies. Not interested in spices? Just skip the chipotle, cardamom and cinnamon. Either way, welcome to your new brownie nirvana.
Yield: 24 brownies
1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
2 tablespoons (10 grams) dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder (I didn’t have this and used smoky spicy paprika, with a very similiar flavor profile, instead) (for the spicy version)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (for the spicy version)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (for the spicy version)
11 ounces (310 grams) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces or 225 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (105 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 glass or light-colored metal baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cocoa powder and spices (chipotle, cinnamon and cardamom), if you’re using them, together.
Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over-beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them int squares and serve.
Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MAKING THESE AND MAKING THEM COME OUT LOOKING LIKE A BROOKIE AND NOT A MELTED MESS IS TO MAKE SURE YOU DO THE FOLLOWING:
1. Make the brownie mix (I made 18 Brookies so I made two boxes of brownies) and then put it into a shallow casserole pan, cover with plastic wrap and put into the fridge.
2. Make the cookie dough (once again I doubled the recipe) make two logs of this dough, wrap with wax paper, seal the ends and put into the fridge.
3. When the brownie mix has cooled for a couple of hours take it out of the fridge and and put a scoop of the brownie mixture into each of the six wells in the pan (spray with non-stick spray first) and put back into the fridge to cool some more.
4. After about 45 minutes or so pull the pan out of the fridge, cut off about an inch or so of the cookie dough, very quickly so as not to heat up the dough, roll it around in your hands to make it a little round and gently push into the brownie mixture.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 18 minutes, turning the pan half way. Let them cool a little in the pan and then transfer to a rack.
Sounds complicated but really is not, just takes some time for the cooling, especially if you are making several pans and some patience.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.