Experiment #4:

This wasn’t exactly an experiment, as I’d done it before a couple of times. A couple of years ago while browsing on AllRecipes.com I came across a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough-stuffed cupcakes. At the time, I didn’t feel like making my own cookie dough (oh, who are we kidding – chances are, my sink was overflowing with dirty dishes and I didn’t want to wash them so I could bake), so I picked up a box of cake mix and some refrigerated break-apart cookie dough (and cupcake liners) the next time I was at Shaw’s. And it worked quite well.

However…I am actually not a big fan of cake, and cake-mix cakes in particular. I still had a dozen cupcakes’ worth of cookie dough…and I happened to have a box of brownie mix (yeah, I know…but I occasionally will pick them up if they’re on sale and I have a coupon). So I gave it a shot – yum.

So fast forward to last week. I had just enough cookie dough left to scoop out 12 balls (I used the small cookie scoop for this), and I froze them (first on a small cookie sheet, then tossed them into a ziploc). A couple of days later, I was ready to bake. And since I didn’t have any mixes on hand, cake or brownie, I had to go in search of a recipe.

I knew I wanted brownies, but I didn’t want to use my usual recipe – I thought that with all the chocolate in that one, plus all the chocolate in the cookies, it would be overkill (shut up). And honestly…I just didn’t feel like dealing with melted chocolate. So I went hunting for a cocoa-based brownie recipe, and settled on Cocoa Coconut Brownies, minus the coconut (and I got it out of my copy of Best-Loved Hershey’s Recipes rather than online). And I added a smidge of both cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

Mixed up the batter and went to line the muffin tin. And I realized my pack of cupcake liners (originally bought during the first time I tried this) had two extra liners in it. I just shrugged and grabbed the bowl of brownie batter and started filling the cups.

…and was only able to fill 10 of them. Which brought back a vague recollection of the same thing happening the first time I tried it with brownie batter. Which would explain the two extra cupcake liners.

Okay. Smooshed in the frozen cookie dough balls (I ate the two extra). And for the hell of it, I sprinkled on four different shades of colored sugar crystals (pink, green, yellow, and blue). Baked them for 20 minutes. Brownies still seemed a little wet, so I gave them a few more minutes (it was either 2 or 5).

(I really need to do something about the lighting in my kitchen. And/or just get better at food photography)

Close-up:

Cross-section:

(yes, my cupcake liners are plaid)

The Verdict: The brownie part was a little dry for my taste, but I find that to be an issue with cocoa-based brownies, anyway (hence why I usually make chocolate-based brownies). The cinnamon and cayenne pepper really enhanced the flavor, though. The cookie dough was no longer dough, but it wasn’t a fully-baked cookie, either. The extra baking time was a little too much extra. The sugar crystals gave it a nice little crunch on top.

Overall, I still like this idea, but because the nature of the Jacques Torres recipe, I don’t think that’s a good fit for this. I still need to try this with a different cookie dough and a fudgier brownie.

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