Some kids get neglected. That’s a tragedy I don’t want to talk about. But something I can handle discussing? Candy bars that get neglected.
When I was a kid, my dad would pick us up after school and on simpler days, we’d go straight home. But sometimes there were errands to run, so we had to go out and about. While I hated errands, it usually meant I got to pick out an after school candy bar. For years, that candy bar was Baby Ruth. Those chocolate-covered peanut and caramel bars have a great deal of nostalgia for me.
Which kind of got me to thinking. I rarely bake with Baby Ruth bars, and that’s a crying shame. So today, I’ve remedied that neglect. They’re getting their very own brookie!
For those of you who are way behind the trend, a brookie is a fantastic mashup of a brownie and a cookie. It’s one of my favorite combinations, right up there with pake (pie and cake, a combo I fell in love with thanks to the show Drop Dead Diva) and pookies, a pie and cookie combo. Mashups don’t just belong in music, after all. They hold up even better in dessert. If you want to learn more about them, read my friend Dorothy’s amazing cookbook. She has some rocking recipe mashups!
Mashups also extend to other areas of life. Like the spork. You know the spork, right? That miraculous blend of spoon and fork? Why in the name of all that’s holy don’t cutlery sets (the real ones, not the plastic) come with sporks? They’re the only answer to the question, “What is the best way to eat an ice cream cake?” Duh! Spork!
Another mashup I love is the skort. I know that sounds incredibly dorky, but hear me out. As the mother of daughters, it’s so great to have them wear something that looks like a skirt, but has shorts underneath for when they inevitably do a downward-facing dog pose in front of a crowd. See, little girls love to show off their fancy underpants. The skort stops that from happening.
In fact, the skort is so awesome that I found a couple of really chic ones (no, I’m not kidding) on sale at Athleta. They look like miniskirts, but really, they’re miniskorts. I look cute, and I don’t have to worry that someone is looking up my skirt when I’m not sitting with my knees clamped together.
So if you haven’t gotten it by now, I love mashups. And these Baby Ruth brookies are no exception. The bottom layer is a brownie made with real chocolate. That happened because I ran low on cocoa, so I made it up as I went along. It worked! Brownies are forgiving, and now you have the recipe below. The top layer is a cookie dough, and it’s run through with chopped fun-sized Baby Ruth bars. If ever there were an appropriate name for smaller candy bars, it’s “fun-sized.” What marketing genius came up with that?
If you haven’t spent much time thinking about the joy of mashups, you’d better start now. Begin with a neglected candy bar from youth and then branch out to cutlery and clothing. It’s the perfect way to reject having to compromise. Get something exactly the way you want it!
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 fun-sized Baby Ruth bars, chopped into four pieces per bar
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 X 8 pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate chip for one minute. Stir until smooth. If not melted, heat an additional 20 seconds and stir again.
- Mix the cocoa into the melted butter and chocolate until it dissolves. Add the sugar and stir again. When the sugar is incorporated, mix in the vanilla and eggs. Add the salt and flour, mixing until just combined.
- Spread the brownie batter in the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until mostly, but not all done.
- While that's happening, make the top layer. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg, beating again until smooth.
- Beat in the dry ingredients until a cookie dough has formed. Mix most of the chopped Baby Ruth bars into the dough.
- After the initial brownie baking time, carefully spread the cookie dough on top of the partially baked brownies. Press the remaining Baby Ruth pieces into the top. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until golden.
- Cool and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.