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Friday, November 13, 2009

Brownie Mess Cookies

What computer?

I haven't spent much time online this week; I apologize to all the wonderful bloggers I have not visited! There are some computer issues here at That Old House; I am not blaming anyone; I'll just glance over at Howard and whistle.

But today, while the winds of a Nor'Easter send the leaves skittering across the conservatory roof, and rattle the old shutters something fierce, I thought I'd make a few quick and easy cookies.


My poor husband. We hosted about 20 people for a casual dinner last Saturday night. Our daughter Alida was home from California for a a quick visit, and she invited some friends and family to the house.

We set up appetizers in the conservatory.

That's my brother-in-law Bill digging into the shrimp and the hot artichoke dip; past him, a study packed with 20-somethings, and in the foreground, my 89 year old Dad.

Now I ask you -- would you trust this man on the left
to choose and bring home dessert for the evening?

I did.
And he brought home the Mother Lode of great big bakery cookies.
I think my husband was hungry when he went shopping.

I sent the many leftover cookies home with the young people, and on Sunday night about nine o'clock, when Howard toddled off to the kitchen to scavenge for a snack, I heard him rustle thru the leftovers . . . and then I heard, "Dang!"

No cookies.
Cookies all gone with the young'uns.
But when he gets home tonight, there will be some nice freshly baked cookies for him.

I usually have brownie mix in the pantry, Duncan Hines being our house brand.
And you can make a respectable cookie with it.

You will need:

And the recipe, such as it is:

My printer isn't working. Can you tell?

Dump the mix, the oil, and the eggs into a bowl:

I tried to make a smiley face with the egg yolks as the eyes.
Hey, not everything works.

Mix it all up, by hand, as some lumps are okay. It is really stiff.
The whisk stood up all by itself in the dough.
Look! It's the Eiffel Tower!

When it is all mixed, toss in whatever you want.
Within reason. Probably not capers.

The recipe calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips, but I didn't have any. So I plunked in a handful of milk chocolate chips, some white chips, and some dried cranberries. I wanted to put in coconut, which is really good in these cookies, but Howard doesn't like coconut. I also wanted to put in some nuts, but nuts don't like Howard.

Do you have your cookie sheets stored like this?
It's my Moment of Awful Truth for today:

Someday they will tumble out and kill me.
And I will richly deserve my fate.

The cookie sheet gets a spritz of cooking spray, and it's time to make the cookies.

An ice cream scoop makes nice even plops of dough.

Dion takes up sentry duty across from the wall ovens.

Look at that concentration. He knows what is in those ovens.

Ten minutes -- voila!

Houston, we have cookies.

Sweet, huh?

Now, it would be a shame if these cookies just languished on the kitchen counter for hours until Howard gets home.
I think they need a test run, don't you? How about we go into the study,
where That Old House gets written, and bring some coffee and a couple of cookies?

The old cherry drop leaf table between the sofas is just right for holding snacks, and books.
I've been poring over kitchen books, and that's what I'll do now,
while I test drive the cookies. It is called multi-tasking.

Ummm. . . I really did eat one! And it was delicious --
a little crusty on the outside and the edges, and soft and chewy on the inside.

Remember there are many real recipes at Foodie Friday, at the Designs by Gollum blog. Go visit Michael! Now. Or no cookie for you, either!

Have a lovely weekend! We are tackling that big counter in the kitchen tomorrow, if by "we," I mean "Howard." I will be lunching and shopping with Annie in central Jersey, far from the sounds of drills and hammers. It's a good plan, don't you think? -- Cass


  1. I can be having the most rotton awful day, and I come here and laugh and it all melts away!
    My stupid ~ er ~ poor printer isn't working either! Those cookies should do the trick ~ for me at least. Who cares about the stupid printer! And I think I will have a Jersey Highball with that! ;~}
    (That would be a tall glass of ice cold milk, for those wondering!)

  2. My hubby looked over while I was reading your post and said, "Gee those baking pans in that messy cupboard look like ours!"


    Thanx for the recipe. I will be making it for moi!

  3. Awesome! I just bought a brownie mix while shopping this week. Hubby having a cousin dropping in this weekend for opening day of deer rifle season. I planned on making breakfast but hubby's job to make the dinner. I think I'll add cookies for desert!

  4. Won't you just be my best friend? You are too funny!

    You may have jumbled cookie sheets but was your oven actually shiny?

    Mine is in serious need of a cleaning. I think it is beyond just self sad moment of truth.

    Have an awesome weekend!

    Becky K.

  5. I can't wait to make these with the kids! What a great recipe. We always bake something on the weekend to carry us through the week! Although, they usually only make it to Monday. LOL
    yeah a new recipe!! Thank you!

  6. My pots and pans and baking sheets are in a worse jumble thsn yours. I actually avoid baking becaue I can't stand trying to wrestle the baking sheet from between the muffin pans. Someone has to come up with an idea for storing these things!!

    I love Dion sitting in front of the warm ove...Layla does it too!! And she risks life and limb while I stamp around that area cooking and cleaning up!!

    Wrote down the recipe. I am starting my holiday weight gain early.


  7. Yum!
    I may have to make these tonight! and yes my cupboard looks like that too every now and again.

  8. I forgot to mention that Dion is adorable. I have a black cocker( Bella) who has to be right where I am at all times!

  9. Okay I'm officially jealous!! Shopping with the daughter in central jersey....what could be better...i want to shop with my daughter anywhere in Jersey....have to wait until next month hoo...Your cookies look wonderfu and I love the blow by blow baking instructions.....Did you save any for Howard? Have fun shopping!! Sue.

  10. Yummy, these sound so good...I will try them...have to go see if I have a brownie mix...

  11. I agree with Jane-I am so willing to start my holiday weight gain a little early for these cookies. Thanks for sharing the recipe and I love the amazing pictures too.
    Have a great weekend you lucky thing!
    Best wishes, Natasha.
    PS you have beautiful hand-writing!

  12. I never thought of making cookies out of a brownie mix. These look delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

    Hugs, Jeanne

    PS: my pans are a death risk too. LOL.

  13. I am going to make me some cookies. They look great. Thanks for the recipe.

  14. Cookies look wonderful...I'll have to try. My hubby was raised on "knackies" and absolutely loves cookies.

    My kids are always making fun of my cookie sheets (they are stored on the side) and how they fit with the muffin pans and cooling racks - I tell them it's a puzzle, like life, and you just have to know how to make it work!

  15. Cookies sound delish!
    Shopping also sounds fun too!

    Have a good weekend!


  16. I have been making this same recipe for quite a while! However, I only add the choco chips and never add the other stuff. Now I feel like a fool. All this time, I could have been throwing in other good stuff! Except capers... I wont throw in capers. Thanks for the heads up. You are delightful

  17. The cookies look good and I often have a box of brownie mix in the pantry (Betty Crocker is our preferred brand -- you see, daughter Sarah works for her and knows her personally -- well enough to call her Betty instead of Mrs. Crocker!)

    I do hope Howard was happy!

    And that Dion at least got a morsel!



  19. I have a couple of those avalanche cupboards as well. I fix them but they revert. I will buy brownie mix today.

    As always, I enjoy your blog.


  20. I've never tried a cookie recipe with brownie mix - I'll have to give it a try. You crack me up with your cookie sheet storage. Mine would have been that bad, but Fly Lady had me declutter the kitchen this week. has changed my life. My husband says I just clean more now, oh well. Loved your post and the cookies look yummy!

  21. You're funny. I love the comment about the nuts not liking your hubby! Your house is lovely as well. Can't wait to try these "cookies".


  22. Mmmmmmm coookkkkiiieees. And a French press for coffee. I like your house.
    Hey where is your movie review for the Writer's Challenge. Don't tell me you forgot whilst in your cookie eating stupor. Jeesh. Hope to see you there.

  23. Yum! They look so much better than the breakfast bar I just ate. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  24. I can't believe you get all of these comments (many of them fawning - you have beautiful handwriting??) over baking some cookies . . . and you taking dozens of pictures of said task. There are way too many blogs out there full of ego . . I'm done.
    PS - your new rug was beautiful but looked awful with your couch:)

  25. I feel I have to say something about the comment above this one.

    Karen, whoever she is -- and she leaves no way to respond personally to her, but is sheltered anonymously -- apparently never took her mother's good advice of "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." At least, I assume her mother taught her that. I know mine did.

    I hope she feels better after venting. How odd. :-P

    I love to leave happy comments for other bloggers, love to get happy comments, and wonder why this would bother someone else.


  26. woowee, I can't eat those and they look so wonderful!! I could lounge around on your couch however!! I hope your hubby enjoyed them before you and doggy poo demolished them (well I guess doggy poo would have gotten poisoned from the chocolate, eh?)

  27. Hi! Just found your blog from Red lovely and fun! I live in 'that old house' too. 1869 farmhouse.

    Nice to 'meet' you.

  28. Hi Cass

    Brownie cookies YUM!!!!
    I too am willing to start my holiday weight gain a little early for a cookie such as yours.

    My baking cupboard is an avalanche waiting to happen too, I really need to think about moving it elsewhere. Did you notice I said I would 'think' about

    Love your blog
    Have a great weekend :)

  29. Cass, you crack me up with your witty commentary! I smiled all the way through this post. I hope your hubby realizes how lucky he is to live with such a fun lady. :D

    I will try making cookies from a brownie mix very soon, thanks to your very *detailed* instructions. :P

    I enjoy my visits to your blog & have become a follower, although I was sure that I already was one.


  30. What fun, I may have to try those cookies. If, I can find my baking pans. Great post,
    Kat, the one with the other old house.


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