These brownies were a fun project - the base resembles a chewy oatmeal cookie, which you end up setting a little bit of the dough aside, to form tasty golden nuggets on top. The first cookie layer gets a quick pre-bake so it can get a head start and be able to withstand the brownie part. The batter for the brownie layer is pretty typical of most recipes and is happily mixed together in one pot. Once this batter is spread over the cookie layer, the reserved bits of the sweet brown sugar cookie dough are scattered across the top.
I was a little unsure how the brownie texture would be as this recipe contained a good amount of flour - we prefer our brownies to be less "cakey" and more fudgy. It killed me to wait long enough to cut them, but once I did, I was happily surprised to see a luscious, dark and dense interior. They were not so fudgy that it was like eating a pan of fudge, but they were also not anywhere near cakey. In addition to the cookie layer, the brownies themselves had a nice chew to them with a crackly finish on top. We both commented that they had a noticeable saltiness to them that helped to cut through their rich sweetness. Besides adding a unique finish to the top, the crunchy golden clusters added a fun playfulness that make them different enough to make you reach for just "one more". Jeff said it was a little unfair that he only got to do his "quality control" check on one brownie and tried to sneak a few out of the packing box... too bad I caught him! Although, I confess I had a hard time parting with them too - maybe I should have snuck a few in the freezer. D'oh!