Many will declare that being single on Valentine’s Day is a terrible thing. For me, it’s the opposite: finding myself single on Valentine’s Day is something to be cherished. Think about it: Valentine’s Day comes with all kinds of pressure and expectations. People always ask “what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” as though one absolutely must do something. Restaurants are packed and noisy, serving special menus to the masses.
I’d rather go without the clichés and all that forced romance. I welcome a night in to pamper myself. I bake myself something sweet and chocolaty to enjoy in front of the TV for a quiet, carefree evening.
This skillet “brookie” is the perfect dessert for one and combines two classic treats: a brownie and a cookie. Both the brownie and the cookie recipes make small amounts of dough so you can easily prepare them by hand. No special equipment needed. And if you don’t have a small skillet, you can always use a small cake pan or baking dish. This recipe calls for one egg total, split between the brownie and the cookie. Here’s how to measure out half an egg: crack it into a small bowl and whisk thoroughly so that you can divvy it up between the two recipes (half an egg corresponds to about 1 1/2 tablespoons).
Skillet Brookie For One
Serving size: 1
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 oz (28 grams) good quality semi-sweet dark chocolate (I like to use the “Mi-Amère” chocolate from Cacao Barry)
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 large egg
1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (15 grams) light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (18 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (12 grams) cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (28 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons (45 grams) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 17 cm (~6.5-inch) cast iron skillet or cake pan.
- Prepare the brownie batter by melting the dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at 50 percent power (about 2 minutes), stirring ever minute or so. Add the butter, and microwave again for an additional minute at 50 percent power or until the butter is melted. Stir well, then let cool before adding the egg, sugars, and vanilla. Add the flour to the bowl and sift in the cocoa powder to remove any lumps. Stir everything together with the salt. Set aside.
- Prepare the cookie dough by stirring together the butter and the sugars until they are well mixed. Add in the egg and the vanilla, and mix well again. Dump in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and stir until the dough comes together. Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Place a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter in the centre of the prepared skillet and spoon the cookie batter inside the heart. Carefully lift up the cookie cutter to remove it, leaving behind the heart-shaped cookie. Spoon the brownie batter into the pan, smoothing it around the cookie heart.
Bake the brookie 10 minutes then remove the pan from the oven and fix the cookie heart using the back of a knife to smudge it back into a heart shape. Put the pan back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until set.
Optional: Serve with really good vanilla ice cream.
Janice Lawandi is a PhD-chemist-turned-baker with a serious sweet tooth, working as a recipe developer and food stylist in Montreal, Quebec. To learn more about Janice, visit her blog Kitchen Heals Soul.