Recipe Review

I Tried Joanna Gaines’ Recipe for Brownie Cookies and It’s Undoubtedly the Best of Both Worlds

published May 14, 2023
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Joanna Gaines' Brownie cookies sliced and stacked on wooden surface.
Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

Do you ever get a sweet tooth so indecisive that you end up struggling to choose between two of your favorite desserts? For me, it always comes down to cookies or brownies. And I prefer each to be served the same way: soft, warm, and gooey

The point is, when it comes to cookies and brownies, it almost makes sense to combine the two into one recipe and give the people (aka me) what they really want — the best of both worlds.

As it turns out, there are plenty of other people out there who share this same sentiment, and I discovered I was not alone when I came across an interview with Joanna Gaines by People, where Gaines recalled having this exact issue with her family. With a husband and five kids, the former Fixer Upper star mentioned that they are a “house divided when it comes to cookies versus brownies,” ultimately leading to her more-than-necessary creation of brownie cookies. 

As a self-proclaimed cookie and brownie connoisseur with an extreme inability to choose one over the other, this recipe was clearly right up my alley. I couldn’t preheat my oven fast enough; I was ready to experience chocolatey bliss in a single bite. 

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

How to Make Joanna Gaines’ Brownie Cookies

Gaines’ recipe makes 35 cookies total. Start with a microwave-safe bowl and combine chocolate chips with butter. Microwave on high for 20 seconds at a time, stirring vigorously between intervals, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Scoop the melted chocolate into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set aside to let cool for about 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, Dutch-process cocoa powder, baking powder, and kosher salt and set aside. Add eggs, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture and beat on medium speed until completely combined. Reduce the speed and slowly pour the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing until combined and no dry patches remain. Add the remaining chocolate chips and mix until fully incorporated. 

Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and, using a 1-ounce scoop, portion the dough out onto one of the baking sheets. Don’t worry about spacing them out; they just need to sit in the refrigerator to chill for at least 45 minutes before going in the oven. 

When ready, place each cookie on the other prepared baking sheet that has been sitting at room temperature, making sure to keep them spaced out about 2-inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes — or when the edges are set and the centers of the cookies appear and feel soft when hot. Let them cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack for the remainder of the cooling period. Serve and enjoy! And for extra longevity, be sure to store them in an airtight container and eat within five days. 

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

My Honest Opinion of Joanna Gaines’ Brownie Cookies

Brownie cookies are undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with. With this recipe alone, I have been reassured that some things are just so much stronger together than they are on their own. Sure, a chocolate chip cookie and a chocolate brownie are both separately top-tier dessert options. And don’t get me wrong — pairing them both with either a cold glass of milk or your favorite ice cream is exactly how I imagine ending an amazing meal. But all the rules went out the window with this recipe from Joanna Gaines

The gloves were off, and I found myself going toe-to-toe with the new heavyweight champion in the ongoing saga that is my sweet tooth craving. Seriously, why not have both? The perfect amount of crunch on the outside provided the ideal texture to encapsulate the soft, moist, and chewy center of these amazing cookies. I might have to take a break from making regular cookies for a while because this recipe is already front and center in the rolodex. 

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

3 Tips for Making Joanna Gaines’ Brownie Cookies

  1. More chocolate chips never hurt anybody. If you’d like to have a few more pockets of gooey chocolate chips, add a little more than the remaining half cup of chips at the end, or sprinkle some on top of your already placed 1-ounce scoops of dough before placing in the fridge to chill. 
  2. Try not to overmix. While the process of mixing the brownie batter can be mesmerizing, try not to overmix the batter. This can cause too much air to incorporate into the brownies, which can ultimately affect the overall texture in the end for the worse. 
  3. Have fun with it. This is yet another recipe that opens up the opportunity to adjust ingredients to your liking. Use a chunkier chocolate chip, add nuts, or make a ganache to spread over top. Part of the fun is making this recipe your own, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes and you’ll become a better baker because of it. 

You can find this recipe among tons of other amazing creations in Gaines’ new cookbook, Magnolia Table Cookbook Volume 3.