Monday, November 8, 2010

Brookies


Two little brookies sitting on a plate...

First and foremost, thank you to Anna Balasi from Hachette Book Group for sending us a review copy of Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook! For those of you who are already drooling over the cover photo, the cookbook is available today in stores and online.

Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook
Written by DeDe Lahman and Neil Kleinberg
Photographs by Michael Harlan Turkell

ISBN 13: 978-0316083379
ISBN 10: 0316083372
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Hardcover: 224 pages

While I am very sad that we didn't visit Clinton St. Baking Company the last time we were in New York, we have made it a priority for our next trip. However, if you would like to see some more fabulous photos of their food, here is une-deux senses' breakfast visit during her trip. Scrumptious! And from the look of her photos, it isn't a greasy breakfast joint (yes I'm thinking of Denny's) with oily puddles on the plate.

It was quite the coincidence as I had just gotten the book in the mail when I saw Michelle's blog post appear! Now I really can't wait to try the place out. Howard's also agreed (and he's a meat and potato kind of guy) after looking through the cookbook. Yes!! Just look at some of their acclaims:



This is a beautifully designed book, yes I noticed the copyright and dedication page photos and love them. The introduction begins with "Love & Butter" and if that's not enough, there's a photo of a big pot of melting butter beside it. Here, DeDe chronicles how she met Neil and how their mom-and-pop shop came to be and grew to something bigger.

The cookbook covers biscuits, muffins, scones, eggs, pancakes, soups, sandwiches, fried chicken, sides, condiments, desserts, and drinks. A pretty thorough selection from their restaurant. For those who wonder how I can "read" a cookbook, you just can. Good cookbooks don't just list recipe after recipe. They share stories with the recipes. They include notes and tricks to help you recreate their food. They offer suggestions in which you can make variations of their food that are simple enough that you don't need a new recipe written out for you.

So yes, I read the stories and the sidebars because I like the insight to how their restaurant does things. I like knowing which recipe is a customer's favourite. You can read this cookbook as if you are reading your favourite food blog. Each recipe starts with an introduction before you go into the step-by-steps.

The gorgeous photos by Michael Turkell make breakfast food look appealing for all three meals of the day.

Clinton St. Baking Company is known for their delicious brunch, a cross between breakfast and lunch. Since a "brookie" is a cross between a brownie and a cookie. Is it not fitting that I test this recipe first? I know that the restaurant is more well known for their pancakes, biscuits, and delicious brunch items, but the brookie really stood out to me. I mean, just look at that page:



These brookies come from Ernie Rich (formally at Clinton St. Baking Company and is now an executive pastry chef in his own right). You will have a hard time eating just one!

Brookies
From Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook
(Makes about 18-20)

1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 teaspoon of unsalted butter
2 cups of semisweet chocolate chunks (52-62% cacao)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
  1. Have all your ingredients ready! I found that having prepared three bowls of ingredients made this all very manageable.

  2. Melt the oil, butter, and 2 cups of the chocolate together in a stainless-steel bowl of a double boiler. The cookbook also suggests that you can use a microwave for 2.5 to 3 minutes (at 1 minute intervals) to melt the mixture. I used the double boiler method - it is such a satisfying feeling of accomplishment when your chocolate is evenly melted! I felt very chef like at the stove. Let the mixture cool.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla together until combined.

  4. Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until combined. Please note that I opted out of using my stand mixer for this recipe. I did it all using a rubber spatula to avoid over beating the batter. I've learned that if the batter is over mixed, you still get a cake-like result instead of a brownie texture. Your batter should look like this:

  6. Freeze the batter in a shallow pan (for example, a pie plate) for 6 to 8 minutes until the batter sets and hardens slightly. I left it in for 15 minutes as I washed all the bowls and tools. Here is the chilled batter when I took it out of the freezer:

  7. I would recommend that you stick to their recommended freezer time. The batter became quite frozen near the edges of the bowl and made it harder to scoop. Also, you can preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) at this time.

  8. Coat 2 cookie sheets with nonstick cookie spray or line your tray with parchment paper. I used two ice cream scoop sizes. I had eight 2 tablespoon brookies on one tray and twelve 1 tablespoon brookies on the other.

  9. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes until the tops look dry and cracked. I found them still quite soft so I baked it for a longer time. I found that you can't really over bake these brookies, they remained very soft and moist inside!

  10. Cool completely for a soft and chewy Brookie. Absolute heaven when they're fresh out of the oven and still great the day after (and that was it, they were all gobbled up).

Looks exactly like the photo in the cookbook. =)


An oh-my-gosh melt-in-your mouth rich and decadent chocolate experience. I love the dry flaky exterior combined with the soft and chewy interior. This brookie encompasses the best textures of brownies and cookies.


PS: Remember in a few posts back I asked about finding better ice-cream scoops? Well, the plastic one I picked up was NO good at all and didn't release the batter. My darling Howard surprised me with metal one. This one did the trick. Not only will it not crack or break when scooping frozen batter, it also did a great job releasing the batter.

23 comments:

  1. Nice brookies - that's a cute name. I have some really good metal scoops like that I got from The House on the Hill, they are the best.

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  2. Those look mouth-watering good. Bookmarked :)

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  3. i always make my own cookies and just ran out. i'll give these a go!

    and thanks for sharing on the ice cream scoop. I have a small one for little cookies but im in the market for a regular sized ice cream scoop - for larger cookies and cupcakes. this will do nicely.

    : )

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  4. Bookies?! Such an awesome name. It's like Spork or Spoonula. And looks delicious too!!

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  5. Okay... and by "bookies" I meant "brookies". Fail.

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  6. Thanks for the book review (and the education as I've never heard of a 'brookie' before...very cool creation).

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  7. Goodness, these look too delicious to ever pass up!

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  8. oh my gosh! i will definately be making these! I have everything in my pantry except for the chocolate....darn! gotta go to the store!

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  9. Just Cake Girl - Thanks! =)

    Linda V @ Bubble and Sweet - It is! Can't take credit for the name though, I love this fusing of two yummy desserts.

    Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] - Yay! You don't be disappointed.

    The Lime Shop - Let me know how it goes. Funny how a scoop can make all the difference!

    jenna laughs - You are too adorable!

    Stephanie - Most welcomed and thank you! =)

    jodye @ 'scend food - They get addictive, you've been warned...

    Bonnie - I love chocolate shopping, hope you liked your brookies!

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  10. Am I missing something in the recipe? How can you possibly have a gooey, moist baked good when there is 1 tbls. oil + 1 teaspoon butter? Seems like way too little fat.

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  11. These do look absolutely addictive! I am intrigued by freezing the batter - and I need to get a metal ice cream scoop like yours!!

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  12. Wow I've not heard of a brookie before but am totally in love with it now. Thanks :)

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  14. I baked these last week and they were a FAIL! :'( (And I'm really good at baking!)

    NOW - I used a SMALL ice cream scoop so I don't know if that's why they came out all flat...

    I did end up buying the Crate & Barrel ice cream scoop you recommended, but only yesterday, so a week to late.

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  15. Anonymous, I don't think anything is missing from the recipe. Others have also cited the recipe the same: http://www.justdessertsnyc.com/2010/11/clinton-street-baking-co-brookie-recipe/
    There is a lot of chocolate, so that may make up for the little fat.

    Scarletta, they were very addictive in bite size!

    Baking Addict, me too. I love cute baking names!

    The Lime Shop, oh no! What could have went wrong? How did they come out? Another blogger tried it out and it worked for her: http://rainforestgurl.blogspot.com/2010/11/that-kind-of-day.html
    Please let me know, I hate it when baking experiments fail! =(

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  16. whoever said that its way too fat so it wouldnt be moist obviously doesnt know about brownies.
    the more fat, the more moist and chewy - at least thats what the betty crocker brownie FAQ says!

    By the way, these brownies are delectable! <3

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  17. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! The dough is a little weird (like a gritty truffle) but it's super easy to work with even using the traditional spoon method for scooping and I can be pretty dense when it comes to working with cookie dough...
    I had family visiting from out of town last week and I made these for them. They went insane for them!

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  18. hannah @ bake 5 - Yay!!

    Anonymous - You're welcome, glad it worked out for you and that your family loved them! =)

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  19. Fabulous recipe! My husband loves everything chocolate, didn't even need to finish describing what's a brookie before he says "must try the recipe".

    He describes the brookies as being portable brownies, they have everything that's good about brownies without the crumbs so you can eat them anywhere!

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  20. Swan, we must thank Ernie Rich for the fabulous recipe! These are so delicious and addictive, I think I have to make some more soon.

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