And this was in Harrogate.
Catherine Tate did a series of comedy sketches where a supposedly well-to-do, middle class couple get themselves bent out of shape discussing seemingly horrifying foods. They can’t get their heads around things like French bread sandwiches, tempura or my personal favourite, shiitake mushrooms. The punchline being that they had encountered these foods in grandiose areas of Yorkshire such as Beverley and Harrogate, and that this in itself had somehow made their experience all the more horrendous. How could these dreadful and/or overpriced foods have appeared in these enclaves of tasteful posh-nobbery? There are not many foods that I would dismiss entirely, the obvious exception being insects as a source of protein for human consumption – bleeurgh! When I do feel a little bit dubious about something it’s now become a matter of habit that my first thought is – and this was in Harrogate. So when I’ve seen recipes that use cauliflower or sauerkraut in Bundt cakes – and this was in Harrogate. Savoury cheesecake – and this was in Harrogate. I have to admit that when I saw this recipe used raw cookie dough, I thought to myself it was a little bit ‘Harrogate’. The idea of raw cookie dough brownies might seem a bit off-kilter, but if you can get past your initial doubts this recipe is actually quite good. And anyway. If you need some convincing just tell yourself it’s not really a raw cookie dough. There are no eggs involved, so it’s really more like a layer of frosting. You’re welcome.
The brownie recipe used in this traybake is not the best brownie recipe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly acceptable taste-wise. It just not one of your Nigella luxury girdle-buster brownie recipes. Seriously, I think the delectable Nigella is having a competition with herself to see how much butter and chocolate she can stuff into one tray of brownies. Delicious but coronary-inducing. The reason I like the brownie layer in this recipe is that it cooks in an even layer. For a tray bake brownie of this size not to dip in the middle is something of an achievement. And it gives you a solid, level base to spread your cookie dough on. In essence, everybody should get a slice that is fair and equal comrade.
Being from Yorkshire, I am a thrifty sort. It’s hardwired. If I can get away with using cheaper ingredients in a recipe and still have the end product taste amazing, I regard it as a personal victory. The original recipe for the cookie dough layer had said to use granulated sugar. That to me was a delight. I’m a big fan of granulated sugar. I don’t feel it’s always necessary to use caster sugar in baked goods. Why burden yourself with the extra expense? You are just giving the sugar barons an undeserved bonus. But therein lies the rub. The cookie dough was not going to be baked. So when it came to testing the brownies, the cookie dough layer was a little bit Yorkshire gritty. That’s not rhyming slang by the way. Apart from the sandy quality the whole thing tasted delicious. It was just unfortunate that using the wrong sugar gave it a grainy texture that slightly spoiled an otherwise good recipe. Or as Crystals Gayle used to sing – Don’t It Make Your Brown-ies Blue.
A tin to bake it in.
This recipe is based on an American brownie, so it will come as no surprise that the tin I used for this traybake was the good old American favourite, the 23cm by 33cm traybake tin. The one thing I will point out is that I lined the tray with tinfoil. It just made it easier to lift the finished brownies out before cutting them into squares. You could try to make them without the foil and cut them in the tin if absolutely necessary, but you’ll want to be careful. I know if it was me I wouldn’t risk the non-stick by having at it with a metal knife. And besides, it makes the washing up easier. And if you’re still having reservations about these brownies, just cookie up a batch. You’ll be dough-ing yourself a massive favour. Now here’s that recipe… Enjoy.
Cookie Dough Brownies.
- 400g Granulated Sugar.
- 250ml Vegetable Oil.
- 4 Large Eggs.
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract.
- 160g Plain Flour.
- 60g Cocoa Powder.
- ½ tsp Baking Powder.
- ½ tsp Salt.
- 160g Unsalted Butter or Margarine.
- 100g Soft Dark Brown sugar.
- 200g Caster Sugar (NOT GRANULATED).
- 45ml Whole Milk.
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract.
- 220g Plain Flour.
- 100g Milk Chocolate Chunks.
- Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4. Line a 23 by 33 cm cake tin with foil and lightly grease with oil.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat together the sugar and vegetable oil until well blended.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat for 3 minutes or until thickened but not too foamy.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt directly into the bowl and fold in using a large spoon until just combined. Take care not to over mix.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until just cooked. They will continue to cook for a few minutes in the tin.
- Cool completely in the tin. Place in the fridge to chill.
- To make the cookie dough: cream together the butter (or margarine) and both types of sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat to combine.
- Fold in the flour using a large spoon until just combined, taking care not to over mix.
- Fold in the chocolate chunks until evenly distributed.
- Spread over the chilled brownie base and level the surface.
- Place back in the fridge to set for at least two hours or preferably overnight.
- Carefully remove from the tin and cut into squares to serve. This is easier if you use a knife dipped in hot water.