Brownie bites? Oh, they’re just delightfully cute bite-size versions of brownies, in sandwich form, with a vanilla mascarpone cream filling. Why do you ask?
Why is a teeny-tiny version of just about anything so much more fun than a regular-sized version of that same thing? For instance; regular wool hat? Mmm, nice. Ridiculously tiny hat that sits on top of an egg cup? Oh-my-god-adorable-but-why-is-it-so-expensive?
I swear, I usually have an allergy to things that are “cutsey” but a wee little Eames chair just pokes me right in the awww-bone (which, oddly enough, is right next to the eeeew-bone).
NERD ALERT: Speaking of the eeeew-bone, as I was “researching” miniature stuff (also known as wasting time on the internet), I came across the work of Lisa Wood who makes Miniature Insect Dioramas! I am officially obsessed with these. My favorites are “Caterpillar having an Eye Exam” and “Ants Looking into a Crystal Ball”.
So, back to mini-edibles. Especially when it comes to sweets, something that would be way over the top when full-sized can be a perfect little bite when scaled down. This idea worked well with our Lemon Squares so I thought, why not try it with something chocolaty?
Well… ahem, *breathes on nails and buffs them on shirt*, these, my lovelies, are really good. Think whoopie pie meets brownie meets sandwich cookie and then scale it down to its adorable nexus. It’a a diminutive delight! A mini marvel! A Lilliputian lovely … okay, I’ll stop now. [Matt says: “I can’t believe you didn’t use the phrase ‘dessert sliders’ “]
But I mean, come on! Look at that thing! It’s not a giant hand! They’re tiny brownie bites.
- Portioning the dough using a small ice cream or cookie scoop helps keep them exactly the same size which is useful for sandwich cookies.
- I love Silpats. They are the absolute easiest way to keep the brownie bites from sticking.
- I refuse to use the term “Brookie”, but the cookie part was adapted from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook. Even without the creamy filling, these are definitely worth making.
Brownie Bites with Vanilla Mascarpone Filling
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks or chips 52-62% cacao [We used mostly Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips]
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 16 ounces mascarpone cheese at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 scraped vanilla bean
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 - ¼ cup heavy cream
- While the oven preheats to 350°, melt the oil, butter, and chocolate together in the microwave on high heat for 2 1/2-3 minutes, stirring at 1-minute intervals (or melt the mixture in a double boiler). Let cool for 5-7 minutes.
- In another bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
- Whisk together the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine the flour mixture with the chocolate mixture until just combined (Don’t over-mix).
- Place batter into a shallow dish (like a pie-plate) and freeze for 6-8 minutes.
- Prepare 2 cookie sheets with Silpats or parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray). Using a 1 tablespoon measure, scoop mixture on the cookie sheets. Press them down slightly with your fingers to an even thickness (about 1/4-1/2 inch high). Bake for 8-10 minutes until the tops look dry and cracked (the insides will still be quite moist). Cool completely.
- Place the mascarpone and vanilla extract in the bowl of a mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Start adding the cream, one tablespoon at a time until you have the consistency you want (the filling will stiffen up a bit when chilled).
- Pipe or spoon the filling on one cookie, top with another and press down slightly. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let them come to room temperature before serving.