I was flipping through the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living (June 2017) and the page with the “All-American” picnic made me drool. Seriously, the picnic section of this issue is like a bunch of foodie centerfolds. This was exactly the inspiration I needed for the picnic I planned to take for opening night of the Hollywood Bowl. Fried chicken, watermelon spears, and an Uncle approved mayonnaise-less potato salad. The showstopper for our family was the chocolate chip streusel brownies. This recipe is the perfect example of two really delicious foods coming together to make something better. The brownie is tender and fudgy and the cookie streusel gets crunchy with a buttery saltiness that cuts the richness of the chocolate brownie. You bake it in a 9×13 inch pan so this recipe is perfect to feed a crowd too. This is going to be my new staple baked good. It’s different enough to be special, but familiar enough that everyone will love it. I can’t wait to host my next open house so I can serve these to all of the people who come in. It will really make the houses I sell feel more homey and inviting.
You could be like Martha and lay your picnic out on a $140 patchwork chambray tablecloth, pack your food in beautiful enamelware containers, and serve your drinks in glass tumblers. I am not like Martha. I snag some salad bar containers when I am grocery shopping and pack everything up in those. They are free, (at least, I’ve never been charged for them and I offer every time) and at Whole Foods they have compostable ones so I don’t even feel guilty for tossing them after we have finished our picnic.
A note about the chocolate that I used for the brownie batter. I like dark, rich chocolate brownies that are not tooth achingly sweet so I adjusted the original recipe and swapped out some of the dark chocolate with unsweetened chocolate.
brownies with cookie streusel
The perfect combination of fudgy chocolate brownies and crunchy cookies.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for the pan
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces dark chocolate (70% or higher cocoa content), chopped
- 1 stick unsalted butter cut into large pieces
- 4 ounces dark chocolate (70% or higher cocoa content)
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1. For the cookie dough: Preheat oven to 350°. Brush a 9-by-13 inch pan with butter and line with parchment paper.
2. In a large heat proof bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking power and salt.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined, scrape the sides of the bowl and add the rest of the flour mixture. Beat just until all of the flour is incorporated. Add the chopped chocolate and mix until the chocolate is evenly distributed throughout the dough. Set aside.
4. For the brownie batter: Melt butter and chocolate in the heatproof bowl that you mixed your cookie dough flour in (see I saved you a dish) on medium heat in the microwave for 30 second intervals until the chocolate and butter are just melted. Stir to combine and whisk in the granulated sugar. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Whisk in cocoa powder and salt. Fold in flour with a rubber spatula.
5. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. The batter will be a bit thick. Crumble the cookie dough over the batter. There should be enough to generously top the batter without any brownie peaking through the cookie streusel. Cover the pan with parchment lined foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until the brownie has just set. Remove the foil and bake until the cookie streusel is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (avoid the chocolate chips),about another 25-30 minutes more. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Lift the brownies from the pan using the parchment paper; cut into 15 squares. These brownies keep really well stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. If they aren’t eaten up beforehand.