“Special” Brownies

July 3, 2011

in baking

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think I may be turning into a baker again!!!


“Again?!?” You may be wondering, “Don’t you always blog about how you’re baking-challenged?”

*SIGH* You caught me. The truth is, I actually used to bake ALL THE TIME. In Junior High School we had Home Economics class, where I was fascinated by sifting flour, separating eggs, and all that other time-consuming stuff I no longer have the patience for.

I used bundt pans, frosted layer cakes, and rolled cookies…but the one thing I ate consistently, and never made from scratch, was brownies.


Yesterday I began thinking about my passion for all things salty n sweet. One of my favorite desserts is the Momofuku Compost Cookie, which combines sugar and butter with potato chips and pretzels. Heaven.

Then my crazy brain reminded me that I also love sweet n spicy. And that we still had 1/2 a bag of Zapp’s Spicy Cajun Crawtators in the cupboard.



I figured that amount of heat would be too much for a cookie. No, we needed some serious chocolate action to balance it out. I contemplated a brownie box mix, but was too lazy to leave the house to buy one. So I looked on my phone for a recipe, and settled on this, for one reason….


…it required 10 Tablespoons of Butter (which is exactly all I had left)


If you peek at the original recipe, you’ll see that Alice Medrich has all sorts of instructions which the rebel in me still couldn’t be bothered with – melting the butter in a double boiler, mixing with 40 strokes, using parchment paper….


…she’d probably disapprove that I didn’t use “the best cocoa I know” (sadly, I’m only familiar with Trader Joe’s). And of course, by not following her directions, I wound up with lumpy batter and large clumps of powder pockets.

Oh yeah, she might have had a heart attack when I added these:


But I still think they’re going to be fabulous.


I mean, look at them. How could they not be?!?


Cajun Brownies with Potato Chips

(adapted from Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies)

  • 10 TB butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 cup Cajun-flavored Potato Chips, crushed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine the cocoa powder, salt, and flour. Melt the butter, and add it to the dry ingredients, along with the vanilla and egg whites. Stir til combined (40-ish strokes, I’m only guessing, Alice!) then fold in the potato chips. Pour into a greased 8×8 Pyrex and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges slightly moist (20 was all I needed).


How do they taste? Well…you’ll have to find out later. I’m bringing them to a BBQ tonight, and am too scared to cut into them now, for fear they’ll get ugly!!!

*UPDATE* I sampled them.  Two thumbs up!


1 Candace July 3, 2011 at 7:29 am

Zapps??! in brownies?! oh.my.
I will venture to say that they will be fantastic. Sweet, salty, spicy, yum!

2 Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 3, 2011 at 7:35 am

You’re a brave woman not testing it! I always am so paranoid about doing that. They sound fantastic, though. Such an interesting mix of flavors!

3 Lynn at The Actors Diet July 3, 2011 at 7:52 am

when i get to the house i will definitely test it out. but it’s bbq with family – if it’s horrible they’ll understand!

4 Sara K July 3, 2011 at 7:56 am

Talk about an innovative recipe- still looks delicious! I love that picture of you holding the pan, cracked me up for some reason, “Have some brownies!”
Well, in any case I’m a sucker for brownies

5 chinmayie @ love food eat July 3, 2011 at 8:01 am

Really interesting recipe!! Can’t believe it has potato chips in it!!!
It looks great so i am sure it will taste good :)

6 Victoria (District Chocoholic) July 3, 2011 at 8:08 am

Um, I know how they taste. Amazing. Soft+crunch and sweet+salt+chocolate is the best combination ever. Brilliant baking.

7 Lauren Lanni July 3, 2011 at 8:17 am

I love this post. You are adorable – the photo with the oven mitts is too cute! I have never thought of putting potato chips in brownies…it sounds like it could be awesome.

8 She July 3, 2011 at 8:17 am

Lynn, I love that the baker in you might be resurrected. Keep the confections coming!

9 Krystina (Organically Me) July 3, 2011 at 8:20 am

That first picture of you is super cute. :)

10 Deb July 3, 2011 at 8:33 am

Omg! Creative! And you look so cute and proud with your batch. You are brave to not have sampled before bringing them to the BBQ! Surely they are a hit!

11 hippierunner July 3, 2011 at 9:12 am

Wowza, you sure were adventerous with those brownies! I hope they taste awesome, can’t wait to hear how they are!

12 writingandrecovering July 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

Very adventurous with your brownies. i’d never think of putting potato chips into brownies. I bet they’re tasty, though.

13 Marie-Sophie July 3, 2011 at 10:26 am

I LOVE that you used potato chips, Lynn!! I was recently telling people about the joys of dipping potato chips into melted chocolate (caramelized onion chips … so good!) and I got a few weird looks. But also a few excited ones and I am so glad that other people not only share this passion but actually make brownies!!! Thanks Lynn, I HAVE to try this recipe next weekend!

14 The Healthy Engineer July 3, 2011 at 10:46 am

Sweet and salty is, without a doubt, my favorite combo

15 Lauren at Keep It Sweet July 3, 2011 at 11:20 am

Great idea, now I have a huge brownie craving and want to try them with potato chips! Hope they are a huge hit:-)

16 marcuschung July 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Not the “special” I was expecting, but I’m sure they were tasty!

17 Andie July 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Yes, the brownies look good and you are oh, so very Betty Crocker in that first photo. Very ’50 house-wife tres chic.

… but that piano in the background. That is what’s truly making me salivate…. yowza.

Hope your brownies cause a delicious stir!

18 edyta July 3, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Hi Lynn, i’m reading and enjoying your blog for a really long time now, this is my first comment actually, but since you’re in the baking mood, i thought i need to tell you that Christina Tosi did share her recipe for the compost cookie, maybe you already know about it, if not there it is: http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2010/02/momofuku_milk_bars_compost_cookie_recipe.html

19 Lynn at The Actors Diet July 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm

thank you edyta!

20 jess @ Multicultural melbourne July 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Ohh what an awesome idea!!! Chips in brownies!! LOVE it!

21 cindy July 4, 2011 at 7:12 am

i love sweet and salty! alice medrich’s best cocoa brownies are my FAVORITE recipe…if you ever get your hands on some valrhona cocoa powder, they will rock your socks off.

22 Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) July 4, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I have been on the lookout for the ULTIMATE brownie recipe … perhaps this is it!!?

P.S. When I read the title, I thought you made “special” brownies … like you know … with weed in them – ha!

23 Liz July 5, 2011 at 5:53 am

*LOL* Saw your post about the bbq and clicked on the link thinking COMPOST COOKIES and there they are! I actually tried making a batch yesterday and they turned out well. Unfortunately they didn’t get eaten- they never made it to the potluck- but my coworkers seem to like them a lot! (Those that aren’t begging off because they have to watch their girlish figures, that is.) YAY! for getting back into baking! :D

24 janetha @ meals & moves July 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm

You are the absolute cutest baker! Lynn Crocker.

25 Jerilyn July 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Totallly mentioned you and T.A.D. when we did a taste-test of the Black Bean Brownies you mentioned a while ago on last week’s episode of The Because Show. Now will have to follow up with the Potato Chip Brownie Recipe – looks delish!

26 Cait's Plate July 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Mmm those look delish. I JUST had Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Snack Ben & Jerry’s last night and I think it was so awesome due to the chocolate covered potato chips :) These brownies would be an excellent alternative to it!

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