In the Cookie Jar · My Family

Baking with Natalie


I was extremely fortunate yesterday to bake with my fabulous niece, Natalie.


Her only request?  That we bake something chocolate.


She’s a smart girl.

So we ended up making a batch of Dorie Greenspan’s Chipster-Topped Brownies, something I’d skipped for some reason while I was still part of Tuesdays with Dorie.  You can take a look at the recipe here.  The only change we made was to substitute 3 oz of milk chocolate for the 3 oz of unsweetened chocolate called for in the recipe.  It was the only other kind of chocolate I had on hand besides the bittersweet, and I really didn’t want to run to the store for one item.


The brownies tasted just fine, so if you have to do the same thing one day, you can proceed with confidence.  At least in this instance.


Natalie didn’t want me taking her picture, but she had no choice. 


I can be a really mean aunt at times.

You know what was cool?  Having two KitchenAid mixers came in really handy.

Natalie worked on one end of the counter making the brownie batter.


I worked at the other end making the cookie dough.


Instead of using a 13” x 9” pan, we used a 14” round pan.  We were thinking, initially, of making thin brownies and cutting them out with cookie cutters instead of slicing them, so that’s why we used the larger pan.


It was an interesting recipe – the brownie batter is thinner than the cookie dough, and the directions say to dot the brownie batter with the cookie dough and then gently spread it out evenly with a spatula and a gentle touch. 


We opted to just leave the cookie dough in little blobs on top of the brownie batter.


Once the brownie pan went into the oven, we kind of looked at each other. 

Should we make something else?


So we made muffins, which I’ll share in another post.

After about 55 minutes I took the pan out of the oven and set it on a cooling rack in the dining room with the ceiling fan going just to speed things up a bit.


The cookie top was kind of crisp and crackly looking.  It smelled really, really good.

While it cooled, Natalie helped me start a vat of leek and potato soup.


That’s my apron, by the way.  Natalie would have opted for something in brighter – and solid – colors. 

Just so we’re clear on that. 

Next step, I needed to flip the brownies out of the pan.  Did I mention it’s a big pan?  Yeah.

I used a huge, heavy, round wooden cutting board.


It worked.


Then the harder part – flipping this back over so it could cool on a rack.


It worked.  Mostly.  The far edge, which you can’t see, broke off in the process. 

No matter.  It was still edible.

Eventually the brownie cooled enough so I could cut it.  We decided, at this point, not to use cookie cutters because the top crust was too crisp and fragile to cut through cleanly with the cutters.


Natalie got half and I got half. 

Not that you’d know it.

Bill and the kids have been eating these far too quickly.


Not that I blame them.

Thanks, Natalie, for baking with me!

3 thoughts on “Baking with Natalie

  1. Two KitchenAid mixers?! How did you get so lucky?
    If you look at the picture of Dorie Greenspan in one of her kitchens right before the Index in AMFT, she has two mixers also.

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