Cooking

Brownies on their own are delicious, but with a little extra help, they can be turned into a unique combination of gooey chocolate and a handful of other flavors.

The brownies I made are just that — extra. These kitchen sink brownies are inspired by the kitchen sink cookies Panera Bread carries. As a rewards member at Panera, I have had my share of its famous chocolate chipper cookies.

I discovered the kitchen sink cookie by accident when I was given a kitchen sink cookie instead of a chocolate chipper cookie because the chocolate chippers sold out. Needles to say, that accident was or the better.

The name kitchen sink brownies comes from the idea that everything but your kitchen sink is in these brownies, almost like a metaphor. The fun thing about any kitchen sink recipe is that any ingredients can be added into the recipe to make it a kitchen sink recipe.

This wonderful combination of brownie, chocolate chips, caramel and pretzel pieces is delicious and sure to catch anyone’s attention at a party or bake sale.

Ingredients — serves 8-12

  • Three-fourths cup of flour
  • One half cup of sugar
  • One half cup of brown sugar
  • Three-fourths cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • One half cup of milk or water
  • A quarter teaspoon of salt
  • A half cup of unsalted butter (softened)
  • Three eggs
  • Two teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • One cup of chocolate chips
  • One and a half cups of pretzels of your choosing
  • One half cup of caramel sauce of your choosing
Brownies

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line an eight-inch, square baking pan with parchment paper to ensure your brownies will not get stuck to the pan.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour and salt.
  4. In a separate large bowl with an electric mixer, whisk together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until the combination is creamy and light.
  5. Gradually combine the eggs to the mixture by beating them into the mixture one at a time.
  6. Stir in the vanilla to the wet ingredients.
  7. Gradually add the mix of dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until the ingredients are well combined and you have a smooth brownie batter. Add the water or milk to thin out the batter.
  8. Put the pretzels of your choosing in a gallon bag, then with a rolling pin or other tool crush the pretzels into bite sized pieces.
  9. Fold the crushed pretzels and chocolate chips into the brownie batter.
  10. Layer the caramel sauce throughout the brownie batter by adding a third of the batter into the pan at a time then use a toothpick to swirl the caramel layers throughout the batter.
  11. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after poking it through the batter in the center of the pan.

Any additional ingredients can be added into this recipe to make it a kitchen sink recipe custom to you. I’ve seen other combinations added to brownies such as M&M’s, marshmallows and chocolate chips — or walnuts, caramel candies, peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. The possibilities for creativity are endless.

***

The next recipe was inspired by my brother who can never keep his hands off my recipes when I’m baking. This safe-to-eat, edible cookie dough is for those bakers out there who can’t wait for their chocolate chip cookies to come out of the oven to eat. This recipe is easy to make and can last for weeks in the freezer.

Ingredients — serves 5-8

  • One cup of flour
  • A quarter cup of granulated sugar
  • A half cup of brown sugar
  • A half cup of softened, unsalted butter
  • A quarter teaspoon of salt
  • A half teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Milk as needed
  • Three-fourths cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
cookie dough

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat your flour so that it is safe to eat by spreading it thinly on a baking sheet and toasting it for at least five minutes at 350°F.
  3. Whisk together the butter, brown sugar and salt with an electric mixer until the combination is creamy and light.
  4. Mix in about two tablespoons of milk and the vanilla extract into the mixture.
  5. Add flour to the mixture until all the ingredients are well combined. Use milk as needed to keep the dough at a soft, malibale consistency.
  6. Fold the chocolate chips into the dough.
  7. If you want the dough to harden, allow it to set for one to two hours in the fridge.

The best part about this edible cookie dough is that by adding an egg, it can be turned into a traditional dough meant for baking. You can make chocolate chip cookies from the dough by cooking the dough — with the eggs added — for 11-16 minutes in the oven at 350°F.

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