These fudgy brownies will make the perfect dessert for any night of the week! And the best part is that this dessert brings together two amazing desserts!
Fudgy Brownie Bars combine two fabulous desserts: brownies with cookies! How did this come about? A co-worker brought me in a box of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies… (which is how all fabulous stories start, right?)
What Are Fudgy Brownie Bars?
I drove home with them in the car, went to the gym and by the time I got home they had heated ever so slightly and then stuck together. When I tried to pry them apart I got nothing but Thin Mint dust. I love Thin Mints and was not going to let this go to waste. #nothinmintleftbehind
What to do, what to do? Mix into a cookie dough, make cookies out of cookies? Press into a pie crust? Or combine with brownies.
I decided not to make the typical brownie batter and just fold it in, like my Junior Mint Brownies, but instead to make a thick, rich, chewy brownie bar.
I based my recipe off Nestle Toll House Brownies and the rest is history! Cake-like brownies spread thick with a layer of heavenly cream cheese whipped with your favorite cookie crumbs and capped with a crunchy layer of chocolate.
You can use whichever cookie you want! Oreo‘s, Nilla Wafers, Grasshoppers- anything you can pulse into dust in a food processor will make amazing cookie brownies! You can even use crushed candy like Rolos, Snickers or Butterfinger.
Why You’ll Love the Best Fudge Brownies
What’s better than box mix brownies? These homemade brownies! And here’s why:
- Simple ingredients – most, if not all of the ingredients on this list you probably already have on hand in your pantry!
- Three layers – With three layers of goodness including a ganache and cookie layer, these brownies can’t be beat.
- Perfect texture – Perfectly chewy, a warm brownie would taste great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Fudgy Brownies Ingredients
It really only takes simple ingredients to make the best homemade brownie recipe, most of which you probably already have on hand!
- Granulated sugar – Just plain white sugar is all we need for this fudgy brownie recipe.
- Butter – I always prefer to use unsalted butter when cooking or baking. That way I can control the amount of salt that goes into the recipe.
- Eggs – Whenever a recipe calls for eggs, always assume they mean large eggs. It also helps if they are room temperature.
- Vanilla extract – I like to use a good quality vanilla extract. It makes all the difference for these perfect fudgy brownies.
- Flour – All purpose flour is what we need here. I have not tried gluten free flour.
- Cocoa powder – I also like to use a good quality cocoa powder. It helps to make the best brownies
- Baking powder – Baking powder acts as a leavener and helps to create the rise we need in out brownies.
- Salt – If using salted butter, omit this altogether. Salt just helps to bring out all of the flavors.
- Favorite cookies – Maybe my favorite part about this easy brownie recipe is the cookie layer. You can mix up which cookies you use too.
- Cream cheese – Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature. When mixed with the cookies, it makes the most delicious, creamy layer for these brownies.
- Semi sweet chocolate chips – You could use milk chocolate, but I prefer semi sweet.
- Heavy cream – It’s super simple to make a ganache with bold chocolate flavor. The heavy cream thins out the melted chocolate to make it pourable.
How to Make Fudgy Brownies
You are going to love how easy it is to make these perfect brownies!
- Prepare oven and pan. Preheat oven and lightly coat a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray or parchment paper.
- Cream butter and sugar. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter until light, fluffy and pale.
- Add eggs, vanilla and water. Add eggs, vanilla and water, blending until fully incorporated.
- Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Gradually add to wet ingredients.
- Add chocolate chips. Fold in 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips by hand.
- Bake. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. Remove and allow to cool fully.
- Make cookie layer. Place cookies into a food processor and pulse into crumbs. Blend together cream cheese and cookie crumbs. Spread in an even layer over cooled brownies.
- Make ganache. Combine chocolate chips and heavy cream, stirring continuously. As soon as it reaches a spreadable consistency, pour over cookie layer. Spread out evenly and place into the refrigerator to set.
- Slice and enjoy. Run a sharp knife under hot water to slice. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
Fudgy Brownies Variations
We love these easy homemade brownies exactly as is, but there are plenty of ways to make fun variations too.
- Bold flavor – If you want something with a little more oomph, try adding a tablespoon on espresso powder.
- Frosting – Instead of the ganache topping, you could add some chocolate brownie frosting on top instead.
- Mix ins – We like to add a cup of chocolate chips into the batter, but switch it up by adding peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips instead.
- Crackly top – If you like your brownies to have the signature crinkly top, simply leave off the last two layers.
Storage and Freezing
Storage: You can store these chocolate brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last up to one week.
Freezing: These fudgy brownies also freeze well. Make sure to wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fudgy brownies have more fat than cakey brownies. Things that add more fat to brownies are things like butter and chocolate.
If you like your brownies to be a little lighter and airy, mix the batter a little longer than normal. It allows more air to be incorporated into the batter.
The secret to keeping them moist is to store them correctly. Make sure to keep them wrapped and refrigerated.
More Chocolate Desserts
- Single Serving Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Chocolate Caramel Pretzels
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
Fudgy Brownie Bar Recipe
- 10 ounces favorite cookies
- 8 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter until light, fluffy and pale.
- Add the eggs, vanilla and water, blending until fully incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Gradually add to wet mixture.
- Fold in 1 cup of the semi sweet chocolate chips by hand.
- Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. Remove and allow to cool fully.
- Place the cookies into a food processor and pulse into crumbs.* In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a medium mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, blend together the cream cheese and cookie crumbs. Spread in an even layer over cooled brownies.
- In the microwave or a double boiler, combine the remaining chocolate chips and heavy cream, stirring continuously. As soon as it reaches a spreadable consistency, pour over cream cheese layer. Spread out evenly and place into the refrigerator for 20 minutes to set.
- Run a sharp knife under hot water to slice. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.
- If you do not have a food processor, put cookies in an airtight plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin. The crumbs won’t be as uniform or small, but it will do the trick.