Brownie Bites for Taming the Chocolate Beast

Brownie CookiesI have several weak spots when it comes to food but brownies pretty much tops the list. I like them in their basic form — warm, chocolatey goodness and I love them slutted up with all kinds of goodies, including but not limited to walnuts, caramel, chocolate chips and peanut butter.

There was once a time when I could eat huge chunks of brownie but those days have dwindled as my waistline has expanded. I find that a little bit goes a long way with me and have tried to restrict my portion size.  This is not an easy task when I am faced with a 9×9 pan of gooey madness.

Seeking inspiration, I turned to old reliable — my New Dieter’s Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens.  I’m not even sure this is in print any more. Often times, I envision myself leaning over a cauldron, reaching for my magic book when I scan the stuck-together pages of my decade old cookbook for a recipe. I may not follow the recipe ingredient for ingredient, but it gives me a good basic start for weaving my kitchen magic. Then I let my muse of inspiration take over.

Brownie RecipeBrownie Cookies are drop cookies that are easy to make and are, by their very nature, single serving.  Plus, at 73 calories a cookie (for the regular format), these suckers are almost guilt-free. Well, I did say almost.

I add cinnamon to pretty much everything and feel that chocolate chips can only add a bit more ummph. Those are my staples in this recipe. However, there are a few additional yummy options that I have included at the bottom of the recipe.

I should note that they make the house smell “like heaven” and tempt people to take them while they are still extremely hot. My husband found out the hard way that “done” doesn’t mean “ready to eat” . . . but it is a lesson he learns over and over again.

Brownie Cookies Recipe
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens “New Dieter’s Cookbook” (p. 498, 2003 edition)

Prep: 20 minutes
Chill: 1 hour
Bake: 8 minutes per batch
Oven: 350 Degrees
Makes: 24 Cookies

1 cup AP flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon**
1/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (prefer minis, but any will do – even peanut butter!)**

Brownie Recipe Cookies1) In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking soda; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugars, cocoa powder and cinnamon. In a small saucepan, melt butter and remove from heat. Add butter to the sugar/cocoa powder and mix well. Add buttermilk/sour milk and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. Cover and chill dough for an hour. (Dough will be stiff.

2) Lightly coat cookie sheet with cooking spray. Roll rounded teaspoons of chilled dough into balls and drop onto the cookie sheet. (For size estimates, I can get 12 on one cookie sheet – they shouldn’t spread much). Keeping the balls small is what makes the two-bite brownie bites — without the pan or cutting.

3) Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges set. Cook on cookie sheet for one minute before transferring to a wire rack and let cool.

OPTIONAL yummy additions that aren’t necessary but take these delightful cookies to the next level, along with the calorie count**:

* Miniture Snickers Bar (little cubes)
* Peanut Butter (stick a little in the center of the ball before rolling)
* 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
* 1/4 cup chopped peanuts

*NOTE: To make 1/4 cup of sour milk, place 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1/4 cup total and stir. Let mixture sit for five minutes before using.

** Not in the original recipe but part of my version!

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