Brownie

Hello, Crownie (a.k.a. the Flaky Chocolate Mash-Up You Can Actually Make at Home)

February 13, 2018

Before we dive into today's recipe—the epic croissant brownie—I'll clarify my stance on "mash-up" recipes. In this era of cruffins and cronuts and so forth, I remain open-minded. A recipe should taste excellent, no matter what. If it happens to be creative and inspired by something funny, like smooshing together a muffin and a croissant, great! But I steer very clear of recipes that go for novelty just for novelty's (or Instagram's) sake.

I'm not just here for the 'gram, OK? Photo by Posie Harwood

At first glance, a croissant brownie might seem like exactly that. But this dessert is rightfully worthy of your time. It's delicious and decadent and, yes, a little bit more fun than a regular brownie. The idea sparked from an article I saw in an old British food magazine on Easter leftovers, including hot cross buns. The author recommended tearing up the buns and mixing them into a brownie batter.

Intriguing, I thought. Would they get soggy and soft? Would they add any flavor? Would the batter bake up properly? I decided to give the method a shot, but using a more universally available pastry: the croissant. This sounds particularly problematic, as the real draw of a croissant is the flaky, delicate layers. But somehow when you bake bits of croissant into brownie batter, they stay light and flaky.

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You end up with pockets of buttery, ethereal pastry dotted throughout the brownie. Each bite is a marriage of dense, fudgy, chewy chocolate and rich croissant. Somehow the addition of the croissant changes the texture of the brownie, too. It's still moist, but it's almost airy. One taste tester said it reminded them, in the best way, of an Aero chocolate bar.

Surprise! Photo by Posie Harwood

I'm not a food scientist, but I suspect that the add-ins of pastry cause the heat to distribute differently throughout the batter, breaking up the density.

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Top Comment:
“We baked raw cookie dough in the middle of a brownie, they were hugely popular, people still ask me about them. This recipe sounds very interesting, wouldn't have thought about adding a bread like ingredient...will give them a try.”
— mb
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Whatever the reason, they are stupendous and unusual. Given how successful this experiment was, I'm already turning over the possibilities in my mind. Why stick with one dessert you love when you can have two at once? We know and love cheesecake brownies, and now we love croissant brownies, so let's carry on! I'm considering adding bits of pie crust to brownie batter, or chunks of nougat or snickerdoodle cookie dough.

Could I tear up a cinnamon roll and mix it into brownie batter? Why not. A soft-baked sugar cookie? I think so! Cheers to a newer, better kind of a baking novelty.

5 Comments

Kristin February 18, 2018
I do this all the time. <br />Most successful is a basic Banana cake and I add a local bakery pecan bar (s) into the batter. <br />Add other baked goods into cookie batters.<br />Always a success.<br />Why the heck not!
 
Dannybear February 18, 2018
The half cookie half brownie sounds great. Did you layer the dough and batter? Any particular kind of cookie exceptionally well?
 
mb February 20, 2018
used cupcake papers half filled with fudgie brownie batter then a small scoop of cookie, we did one with a dark chocolate chunk cookie and topped with sea salt and one with peanut butter cookie topped with crushed peanuts, people still ask me for them
 
mb February 18, 2018
I owned a small bake shop where we called our version of the crownie, half cookie half brownie. We baked raw cookie dough in the middle of a brownie, they were hugely popular, people still ask me about them. This recipe sounds very interesting, wouldn't have thought about adding a bread like ingredient...will give them a try.
 
Rachelwrites February 13, 2018
Genius! Can't wait to riff on this!