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If you’ve been to a Trader Joe’s, you know it’s impossible to leave without some kind of treat. With the huge selection and amount of time my wife spends shopping there, we’ve tried them all, from Scandinavian swimmers (their clever take on a Swedish fish), to churro bites and all the cookies in between.
The latest trendy snack she brought home were brookies, the marriage of a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie. Brownie batter is pressed into a baking dish, topped with cookie dough, baked and then sliced into bars.
I’ve kind of been obsessed with making them at home ever since. Since the holidays are upon us, I thought I’d transform traditional brookies into a dessert worthy of our Thanksgiving table. The best part is that it couldn’t be easier.
It all starts with a box of your favorite brownie mix, a can of pumpkin puree and a little bit of pumpkin pie spice. Did you know you can mix together a can of pumpkin with brownie mix and completely eliminate the need for oil, eggs and water? The result is a fudgy, decadent brownie that’s just as delicious as a traditional brownie. They’re also dense, making it the perfect bottom layer to stand up to the cookie dough. I like to think of them as the lazy man’s way to a perfect brownie.
Since we’re all about keeping things simple, I developed a recipe for the easiest chocolate chip cookie dough. No hand-held or stand mixer is required – just a big bowl and a whisk. The trick? Melted butter. Using melted butter instead of softened butter not only eliminates the need for a stand mixer but it makes the dough denser and more compact. This is exactly what we want, since we’re slicing it into bars. I like to use browned butter to give the dough a nutty flavor and make it feel a little fancier. I also throw in a little cinnamon to stick with the fall baking theme.
This recipe is not just simple, it’s practically foolproof, and just what your Thanksgiving dessert table needs.
Brown Butter Pumpkin Brookies
Makes 12 bars
1 (18-ounce) box brownie mix
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup dark chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with nonsticking cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together brownie mix, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Stir together until completely combined. Mix in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
3. Spread brownie batter into bottom of prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.
4. Add butter to small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until it foams and then browns, about 5 to 8 minutes.
5. Add browned butter to a large mixing bowl. Whisk in brown and white sugars until combined, about 1 minute.
6. Add egg, stir until combined and then add vanilla.
7. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk until combined and then stir in remaining chocolate chips.
8. Dollop large spoonfuls of cookie dough over the pre-cooked brownie, leaving space in between each dollop.
9. Add back to oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
10. Allow to cool, then slice and serve.