ALIVE by Chocolate

I know the traditional name of this dessert is DEATH by Chocolate.  I would like to rename it, ALIVE by Chocolate!

This dessert gives your mouth a jolt and rush of sugar that awakens you to the pleasures of chocolate. The smooth pudding and creamy whipped topping not only look good in the bowl, they are a wonderful complement to the chunky rich brownie pieces.

Last night I took this dessert to a church Christmas potluck and brought home a nearly empty bowl.  I guess that says something, right?  It really is quite easy to make and almost too beautiful to eat.  Well………….not that beautiful!


Alive by Chocolate

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix

2 (3.9 ounce) packages instant chocolate pudding mix

1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed

3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered English toffee, optional


Prepare brownies according to package directions. Let cool. Cut into small cubes.

Mix pudding according to package directions.

In a trifle bowl (or other deep glass bowl), layer in the following order: 1/3 of the pudding, 1/3 of the brownies, 1/3 of the whipped topping.

Repeat layers in the same order.



Brownie Cookies


These are probably the most delicate cookies I’ve ever had.  And, I don’t mean delicate in flavor.  The flavor’s amazing! They’re physically very crumbly and light, but that’s also why they’re so attractive.  They have the taste of a brownie, without being too overpowering in the chocolate department.  This brownie cookie hybrid melts in your mouth and it really doesn’t take many chews before you noticed you’ve consumed the whole thing.

I kind of think that two of these cookies is the equivalent of one brownie, in size and thickness.  According to that logic, I can have 4 cookies easily, because really that’s only 2 brownies, right?  Like the way I did the math there?  When I was a teacher, I taught multiplication using Hershey’s milk chocolate bars.  I’m beginning to think that integrating chocolate into math is not a bad thing!


Brownie  Cookies

adapted from

2 2/3 cups (about 16 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 eggs

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper of a silicone baking mat.

Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth.  You could also use the microwave here.

In the meantime, stir together the eggs, vanilla and sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.

Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine well. Slowly add the dry ingredients, folding them into the batter. Once all of the flour is incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.

Wait for batter to harden in refrigerator 15 minutes, then scoop 1½ tablespoons of dough (#30 cookie scoop) onto prepared (with parchment paper) baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until they are firm on the outside. Like brownies, do not overbake! Leave to cool completely on the baking sheets.

Makes 24 large cookies


Outrageous Brownies

Ina Garten of the Foodnetwork is right when she calls these brownies outrageous.  I was a bit timid to add 4 sticks of butter to this recipe……… me a wimp.  So, I cut the butter in half and even took some of the extra chocolate chips out.  Believe me, this recipe is rich enough without it.

I’m also not a coffee-drinker, so I cut the coffee granules down by a third too.  For you java nuts out there, feel free to use the original recipe of 3 tablespoons of coffee.


Outrageous Brownies

adapted from Ina Garten

½ pound (2 sticks) butter

1 pound (16 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

6 extra-large eggs

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour a 18 x 13 x 1-inch baking sheet.

Melt together the butter and chocolate chips in a medium bowl in the microwave at 20 second intervals. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow it to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for another 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake!

Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.