Baking “Crownies” for the Teachers

Sweet, yet salty.  Fudgy, but also crispy. Opposite textures crumble together as one beautiful mouthful melts in my mouth. There’s nothing too complicated about baking brownies or cookies, but combined together, the “crownie” rises to the top with a level of sophistication unmatched by its unexpected delight. The Jager home has become a test kitchen this fall with new recipes being prepared on a daily basis. The head chef, Derek, has integrated a few desserts into the weekly meal plans for the pure pleasure of baking something that he’s never had before. Such was the experimentation of a “brookies” recipe on delish.com, which we renamed as “crownies.” Since we monitor our sweet intake, the target audience for this delicious fusion was the New Buffalo Middle and High School staff. 

The process of baking crownies was interesting because it was almost as if we had to make the treat twice. First we mixed the brownie ingredients and refrigerated the batter while retracing our steps to mix the chocolate chip cookie dough. Derek portioned a scoop of cookie dough and a scoop of brownie batter onto the pan while I rolled them together like a chocolate and vanilla twist. 

The final touch was a sprinkle of sea salt on the surface for flavor and texture. When the oven hit 350 degrees, we baked the crownies for roughly 10-15 minutes until the brownie side came out clean with a toothpick test. After cooling for 5 minutes, it was time for the taste test. I took my first bite on the brownie side and every bite following had a brownie after-taste. On my second crownie, (because you can never base your results on just one taste test,) I went right in through the middle and had the most extraordinary contrast of a sweet and savory blend of a brownie and cookie all at once.  

In the spirit of safety precautions, each crownie was individually bagged for personal consumption to avoid multiple hands reaching into the cookie jar in the office. I delivered Derek’s crownies before school and by the end of the day they were completely gone. It was a winning combination that received rave reviews from the teachers days after the crownies had already been eaten up. Chef Derek asked for me to take notes on their feedback so that he could improve upon his baking execution for the next dessert to come their way. I admire my husband for his noble intentions to bake for the teachers. We shared a sweet taste of royalty with crownie treats. “Simplicity and complexity need each other.” -John Maeda 

How to make “Crownies:” The secret is now yours for the taking! 

INGREDIENTS

For the Brownie:

1/2 c. (1 stick) melted butter

3/4 c. granulated sugar 

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 large eggs 

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

1 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. kosher salt 

For the Chocolate Chip Cookie:

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened 

1/2 c. packed brown sugar 

1/4 c. granulated sugar 

1 large egg 

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 

1/2 tsp. baking soda 

1/2 tsp. kosher salt 

1 c. chocolate chips

Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. Make brownie batter: In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, and cocoa powder. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until glossy. Add flour and salt and whisk until just combined. Refrigerate while you make chocolate chip cookie dough. 
  3. Make chocolate chip cookie dough: In another large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour, baking soda, and salt and beat until just combined, then fold in chocolate chips. 
  4. Make your “Crownies!”: Using a small cookie scoop, form a heaping scoop of each dough into balls. Take one brownie ball and one cookie dough ball and roll them together. Repeat with remaining doughs. 
  5. Place on a prepared baking sheet 2″ apart, then flatten slightly and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until golden around the edges and just set, approx. 10 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack, then let cool completely.

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