I recently decided to bake along with Baked Sunday Mornings, a blog that posts weekly recipes from Baked, Baked Elements, and Baked Explorations, cookbooks written by Brooklyn bakery owners Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. While I’ve never been to their Brooklyn storefront, I checked out Baked Explorations at my local library when it first came out and fell in love with it. The recipes were beautifully photographed and very enticing. A lot of the recipes seemed unique as well, like the Orange Creamsicle Tart. When I heard that the new release, Baked Elements, would be themed around ten of the author’s favorite ingredients, including pumpkin, cinammon, chocolate and booze, I was sold, and ordered it right away. I have not been disappointed.
First off, the Brooksters came out really well. If you’ve made chocolate chip cookies or brownies before these will be really easy for you. I was a little skeptical that this recipe would improve these old standbys, and I wasn’t exactly wrong on that point. While this treat is fabulously delicious, I don’t think I would make it again. The appeal of a brownie or a chocolate chip cookie, besides the fact that they are delicious, is that they are easy and fast to make. This recipe requires making them both, and then has a three hour chill time, which is kind of a bummer. The recipe also called for six, four inch pie plates. Even as a veteran baker, who owns four different sizes of bread pans, I thought that was a strange thing to have on hand. There is a side bar in the book that says that you can make the recipe in a muffin tin instead, which seemed much more reasonable, and you end up with 12 desserts instead of 6. Even though I love dessert (clearly) I don’t really feel like eating a miniature pie when I can have something smaller. And these are very decadent indeed. When they were ready to eat I had trouble finishing even one of the smaller sized ones.
I also ended up with a lot of extra cookie dough, like enough to make a dozen chocolate chip cookies. At first I considered this to be one of the recipes negative aspects, but then I laughed at myself and just put it in the freezer for one of those midnight “Gee, I could really go for a chocolate chip cookie” moments (also known as days that end in y).
I also thought there should have been instructions as to the best way to remove them from the muffin tin. Greasing or spraying the tins with cooking spray is a key step that you absolutely cannot skip. I think it would have been impossible to get them out while they were still warm. I let them cool completely on a wire rack, and then ran a knife along the edge to gently pry them out of the tin. I had a couple that stuck a little bit but it wasn’t too bad.
Overall, these were a decadent, rich, delicious treat. The cookie on top crisped nicely, while the brownie provided a moist, chocolatey base that melted compared to the buttery cookie crunch. I would definitely recommend trying them once, but overall I would stick with the two classics individually.