I have birds.
Living in Los Angeles is like living in a jungle. Instead of dense tropical trees and dangerous pumas, Los Angeles has obnoxious cars and… actors. There is very little visible animal life besides dogs on leashes, squirrels rummaging through the trash bins and pigeons just walking around being pretty gross.
But I have birds. I call them my Midnight Song Birds. They live in the tree outside my bedroom window and sing to one another all night long. All night! Sometimes I’ll be up until 1 in the morning and the birds are still going at it. They keep up the chatter all night long.
I’ve come to love sound of these birds chirping as I fall asleep. It helps erase the occasional helicopter or paramedic siren. My birds sound beautiful. And though they sound completely out of place at 1 in the morning, they remind me to be thankful for the little things- like the simple joy of chirping birds, or chewy chocolate cookies.
How about some cookie adventures? Follow me.
I’m convinced that these cookies are actually brownies in disguise. They’re super soft, full of chocolate, and my favorite part- they have that brownie crackled skin on top. I think it’s the slightly flaky chocolate top and soft center that won my heart.
Topped with darling chocolate covered sunflower seeds, these cookies are perfect to snack on with a glass of cold milk sitting in front of the TV watching dvds of Big Love… or maybe that’s just me.
Chocolate Brownie Cookies
recipe from King Arthur Flour
yields 26 cookies without chips, 30 cookies with chips
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped or in chips)
3 Tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
In a double boiler, or in the microwave, gently melt together the chocolate and butter. To avoid heating the chocolate too much and possibly burning it, the best method is to heat till the butter is melted and the chocolate has partially melted, then remove from the heat. Stir till all the chocolate melts.
In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs till they’re thoroughly combined. You don’t need a mixer, just do it in a medium sized bowl with a wooden spoon. Add the hot melted chocolate, then stir in the remaining ingredients, including the chocolate chips, if you’re using them. Refrigerate the batter like dough for 1 hour, to make it easier to handle.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets, three if you have them.
Drop the cookie dough by the tablespoonfuls (about the size of a small ping pong ball) onto the prepared baking sheets. A tablespoon cookie scoop makes this task extremely simple. Leave about 2″ between the dough balls, as they’ll spread as they bake.
Bake the cookies for 11 to 12 minutes, until their tops are shiny and cracked. They won’t crack until the very end, so keep a close eye on them; when they’re cracked all the way across the top surface, they’re done. The point is, you want these baked all the way through, but just barely; additional baking makes them more crisp rather than chewy. Remove the cookies from the oven, and top each with a kiss-shaped chocolate, a bittersweet chocolate wafer, or a chocolate covered sunflower seed. Wait 5 minutes then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.