Do you think food can make you happy? I think so. But have you ever been to “dessert heaven”?

During my childhood I loved when mum was doing some baking – my sister and I used to be there just in time to make sure we won’t miss out on some cookie dough or cake batter.

I had the pleasure to meet a chef at the Retreat and one day she decided to do some baking. When I came into the kitchen on that special day, a sweet, warm and buttery smell of baking was in the air. Tina was behind the kitchen counter and bowls & muffin trays in front of her. I couldn’t wait to find out what she was doing and where this delicious smell came from.

Until this day I have never heard of “Brookies”. And I bet my face must have been full of question marks when Tina was talking about them. Now I know Brookies are a mix of brownie and cookie. After finding out that a combination like this actually exists, I got even more excited as I do LOVE cookies and would potentially never say “No” to a brownie either. 

Thank god that some of these Brookies were already in the oven so the promised tasting part wasn’t far away 😊. The whole place smelled soooooo good. But besides that, it was great to see what food does – It creates memories and connections. And I also realised once again you can always learn something new every day – if you want to. You just need to be curious and open.

The tasting of my first ever Brookie:

The freshly baked and still warm Brookie looked very similar to a muffin. The base & the outside part was made out of cookie dough so it isn’t as soft as a muffin and more like a crispy cookie. The inside/middle part of the Brookie was made out of a lemon brownie and was soft, creamy and mouth-watering. I was enjoying every single bite of it and far far away in “dessert heaven”. Fortunately, Tina made heaps of them so everyone was very lucky to get to try a Brookie. 

But to be honest I’m glad my sister wasn’t around so I didn’t have to share. But I will happily make them for her at some point as Tina has kindly shared her recipe!

Tina’s BROOKIES
COOKIE BASE
200g butter (melted)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla essence
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

Grease muffin tray.
Beat butter and sugar for 1 minute.
Add eggs and vanilla, beat for 1 minute.
Stir in flour and baking powder.
Dough should look and feel soft. But not sticky.
Roll into 30g (or Table spoon size) balls and press into muffin trays, dough should come up at least 3/4s to the top.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING
1 packet of cream cheese (250g)
4 T sugar

Mix sugar through cream cheese.
Spoon into cookie cases. (1 big teaspoon)

LEMON BROWNIE
250g butter (melted)
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs (I use size 6)
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of 4 lemons
Juice of 2 lemons
(You will use the other 2 lemons to juice for the lemon glaze.)

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Combine butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt until smooth.
Stir in lemon zest and juice.
Spoon over cookie cases. Just to the top. Try not to over fill.
Bake for 15 – 20mins.

LEMON GLAZE
3/4 cup of icing sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
Hot water if needed.

Add lemon juice to icing sugar. Stir until smooth. Add a teaspoon of hot water if glaze is too thick. Glaze should be thin enough to drizzle over the BROOKIES with a fork.

Author: Michele Reiher, Christchurch
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