I know that there are strict divisions between those for whom nuts are a desecration in their brownies and cookies and those that believe that nuts are necessary for existence. That whole debate expands when you consider whether brownies should be cakey or chewy or fudgey. Oh, and what nuts should you put in if you want them? Should you use chocolate chips or chop up your own irregularly shaped bits? Gah - cocoa powder or unsweetened chocolate when making brownies?
I swear, it's enough to make a poor girl's head spin. Let me get a few things out of the way then. I am not a fan of chocolate chunks in brownies. I use chips in cookies because they're easier. Chewy over fudgey, which trumps cakey by a long shot. And nuts? I like 'em. All of them. Give me pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, and pecans. Let me repeat that. And pecans. Nutty, wonderfully crunchy, toasted just |thisclose| to being burnt.
So when Beth chose Chipster-Topped Brownies, I knew I couldn't just leave well enough alone. Idea after idea rolled through my brain - brownies with PB cups embedded in it, topped with pb cookie batter; dulce de leche swirled into the brownies, topped with a brown sugar cookie with butterscotch chips; brownies with a hefty dose of espresso powder, topped with cookie dough studded with cappuccino chips... But in the end, I stuck with what I had around the kitchen. Whole walnut halves in the brownie batter, cookie dough sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, and an army of pecan halves in the middle. Nuts everywhere. Little bit of chocolate on top, intense chocolate below. Pure awesomeness.
Oh, and my other change? I wasn't really digging the ratio of brownie : cookie that I saw on other blogs when they made these. Not to mention that really?!? 3 1/2 sticks of butter?!? *ahem* So I changed it up. I baked in an 8x8" pan, using a quarter of the brownie batter and a half recipe of the cookie dough. Baked for 40 minutes, they were just perfect. And then were promptly wrapped up and sent back to Madison with the boyfriend. Those things are dangerous!
Last Week: Fresh Mango Muffins
Next Week: Cinnamon Squares