When faced with a difficult choice such as brownies or blondies, my answer is both! We love dense, chewy brownies, and lots of Dutch processed cocoa makes the brownie layer in this recipe super chocolatey. Slightly caramelizing the brown sugar gives the blondie layer a rich caramel flavor. There doesn’t seem to be a clever portmanteau to name these bits of deliciousness… How about Double Decker Blondie Brownies?
Every couple of weeks I have a bake sale in my classroom. Students save up tickets and can buy various privileges, or they can choose to spend their earnings on Barbra’s Bakery. Everyone wins, right? I get to bake and they get to enjoy freshly made items created just for them. The tasty products keep them earning tickets!
Last Friday, I asked my students for some ideas. They were smitten with the blondies I’d previously whipped up and suggested a double-decker version of blondies and brownies sandwiching a layer of chocolate frosting. I love sweets, but that sounded too sweet. However, the double-decker idea was intriguing. The key would be to somehow keep the layers separate for an appealing visual effect, like a black and tan beer.
The trick turned out to be first partially baking the brownie layer and then gently layering on the blondie dough before the final bake. The concoction was a big hit with the students and also with all the lucky adults who got to participate in the tasting.
Brownie Double Deckers
For the brownie
1 1/4 cups dutch processed cocoa
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the blondie
2/3 cup unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
a little less than 2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with foil and generously butter. Set aside.
Sift together dry brownie ingredients – flour, cocoa, and salt – in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, mix together melted butter and granulated sugar.
Mix in one egg at a time until all 5 eggs are thoroughly mixed in.
Stir in vanilla extract.
Stir dry ingredients into wet.
Pour brownie batter into baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Brownie should be just starting to set.
While brownie is baking, make blondie dough.
Place butter and brown sugar in a medium pot. Stir over medium heat until mixture is just melted.
Let mixture cool for a few minutes, then stir in eggs and vanilla.
Stir in flour one cup at a time.
Stir in baking powder and salt. Do not overmix.
After the brownies have baked for 20 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Carefully spoon blondie mixture on top of brownies. Gently spread blondie mixture to cover brownies. Don’t worry about making the dough perfectly even, it will spread during baking.
Bake double-decker for an additional 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies will come out clean when it is done.
As delicious as these smell straight out of the oven, they taste best when totally cool. We served ours with freshly brewed cups of chai tea.
Creamy, homemade butter pecan ice cream sandwiched between chewy, chocolatey, frozen brownies – a guaranteed cure for winter-darkness doldrums!
Store-bought ice cream sandwiches have the right idea – it’s fun to eat ice cream with your hands. The problem is that the outside layers of the store-bought variety leave much to be desired. We wanted a delicious brownie that would be more than just an edible barrier between ice cream and hands. So we created a not-too-thick brownie that retains its chewiness when it’s frozen. For the ice cream filling, we chose butter pecan to add the texture and flavor of the nuts we like best in brownies. Turned out to be the best ice cream sandwiches we’ve ever had!
Brownie & Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
butter pecan ice cream (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pans with foil. Butter the foil. Set pans aside.
Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water. Mix completely. Let mixture cool slightly.
Beat eggs and salt in a mixing bowl.
Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla.
Mix in cooled chocolate.
Mix in flour.
Pour half of the batter in each loaf pan.
Bake for 25 minutes. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
Gently lift brownies with foil out of loaf pans and place in freezer.
Place one of the empty loaf pans in freezer.
Scoop out several scoops of butter pecan ice cream* into a bowl. We used about six.
Stir ice cream with a rubber spatula to soften a little. You want ice cream to be spreadable, but not soupy.
Retrieve one brownie and frozen loaf pan from freezer.
Place brownie back into loaf pan.
Spread all the ice cream evenly on brownie.
Retrieve second brownie from freezer. Remove foil.
Press second brownie atop the ice cream layer. Place sandwich in freezer to set, about 30 minutes.
Remove sandwich from pan and place on cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice sandwich into slices of desired size.
Let sit for about 5 minutes to slightly thaw before serving.
*If you want a top notch filling for this sandwich, try making your own butter pecan! Here’s how:
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup pecan halves, chopped slightly
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
Melt butter in a heavy pan over low heat.
Add pecans and salt and sauté, stirring constantly until pecans start to brown.
Set pecans aside to cool. Leave melted butter in pan.
Whisk eggs until light and fluffy.
Whisk in sugar a little at a time until completely blended.
Pour in cream and milk and whisk to blend.
Add reserved melted butter from pan. Mix well.
Complete by following the directions of your ice cream maker or method. Add buttered pecans near the end of the ice cream maker’s cycle, when the ice cream has thickened.
Fudge-like brownie batter swirled with chocolate chip cheesecake make this decadent dessert irresistible.
As we go through our annual shopping list, I have to wonder why I thought I needed twenty pounds of chocolate chips! It is a challenge to shop for a whole year in one fell swoop. In most regards, we were really accurate, but I must have been suffering from a chocolate craving while we were in Costco! I did make it through about five pounds so far. With 15 pounds remaining and big chocolate lovers around, I am inspired to keep baking wickedly chocolate confections.
Marvelous Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, separated
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 8-inch square baking pan or baking dish.
Combine cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, and vanilla in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Stir 1 cup chocolate chips into the cream cheese mixture. Set aside.
Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. Set a heatproof mixing bowl over the water. In the mixing bowl, combine butter with the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips; stir until just melted and blended together.
Mix in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 2 eggs in a bowl. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into sugar and egg mixture. Mix in chocolate-butter mixture into flour mixture so that it is evenly blended.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the chocolate layer. Top with remaining chocolate mixture (this doesn’t need to completely cover the cream cheese layer). Using a knife, swirl the top chocolate layer into the cream cheese to make a marble pattern by cutting the blade through the mixtures in a swirling pattern.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top is cracked and edges pull away from sides of the pan. Cool thoroughly. Cut into 12 to 16 squares. Store in refrigerator or freeze.
We tried the brownies cooled on the counter and chilled in the refrigerator. We preferred them chilled in the refrigerator.