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Brookies

Mixology: Combine two mixes into one sweet treat

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Worthington, 56187
Daily Globe
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Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

There are bakers out there who turn up their noses at using packaged mixes and insist on making everything from scratch.

I am not one of them.

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In my pantry, there's usually at least one box of brownie mix and maybe a cake mix or two. The rare times I make a cake from scratch are for the benefit of this food forum or when I mix up my favorite chocolate Crazy Cake -- a make-it-in-the-pan recipe that's actually easier than a cake mix. It's my go-to dessert when I don't know what else to make.

But today's featured recipe is not for Crazy Cake (you can find that recipe on page 245 of DotMom's "Mixing & Musing Cookbook" or on my Lagniappe blog, http://lagniappe.areavoices.com/2010/05/13/crazy-brothers-birthday-cake/).

No, today's recipe is one that caught my attention on Facebook. Recently, that social media forum has become a posting place for recipes, and each time I check it out, I find myself drooling over pictures of easy-to-make casseroles, cakes, rolls and other goodies. If any of you readers have tried those recipes and had success, I'd love to hear about it (brickers@dglobe.com).

I was recently inspired by one such posting for Brookies -- a combo of brownies and chocolate chip cookies, two of my favorite sweet treats. There are a lot of recipes out there for Brookies, including a scratch version by Martha Stewart, but I decided to take the route that used packaged mixes for both the brownie batter and cookie dough. Not only was it convenient, but when I found both mixes on sale at the grocery store, it seemed destined.

Because this version is baked in a muffin tin, it yields more of a dessert than a cookie. If you wanted a smaller bite, a mini-muffin tin could be used, adjusting the baking time accordingly.

Notes from the kitchen:

* Because I had some bits and pieces to use up in my pantry, I threw some butterscotch chips and toffee bits into the cookie dough. (That's how I usually make my chocolate chip cookies, too.) You could also add a ½ cup of white chocolate chips or anything else you have on hand.

* A cookie scoop is really ideal for making Brookies. I used the large size for portioning out the brownie batter and the small one for the cookie dough. If you don't have these tools, consider investing in them, because are the scoops are handy not only for cookies, but also meatballs.

* If you are one of those people who feels the need to make baked goods from scratch, you can certainly substitute your favorite brownie and/or chocolate chip cookie recipe for the mixes.

Brookies

1 value-sized (makes 3½ dozen cookies) package chocolate chip cookie mix

1 family-sized box (makes a 9-by 13-inch pan) brownie mix

Ingredients required to make mixes according to package directions (eggs, oil, water, butter or margarine)

Coat 18 muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In separate bowls, mix the brownie mix batter and cookie dough according to package directions.

Fill each muffin cup about ½ full of brownie batter. Use a small cookie scoop to drop a ball of cookie dough into the middle of each filled muffin cup. You should use up all the brownie batter and have enough cookie dough left over to bake about a dozen cookies separately.

Bake for about 20 minutes, checking periodically after 15 minutes. (The recipe I followed did not provide a baking time. It just said to use the baking time on the brownie mix, cut it in half and then check every few minutes until they look done. I found that 20 minutes was ideal in my oven, although I initially went a bit longer. The Brookies will appear slightly underdone when you take them out, but if you leave them in until both the brownie and cookie parts appear done on top, they are overbaked.

Daily Globe Features Editor Beth Rickers can be reached at 376-7327.

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Beth Rickers
Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at http://lagniappe.areavoices.com/.  
(507) 376-7327
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