One Bowl Chocolate Brownie Cookies and San Francisco Travel Tips

UPDATE:  Filed under “Travel Tips” because the comment section has tips on traveling in San Francisco.  Feel free to add some if you’d like!

It’s going to be a short week here at Cookie Madness, because on Thursday I’m shipping out! For the first time ever, I will be going to San Francisco where I plan to spend part of the time meeting other bloggers and part of the time wandering around aimlessly – which is my favorite thing to do in new cities.

The trip would be more productive if I had a small laptop or an iPhone, but I am having a hard time jumping on the bandwagon. I went to the mall yesterday and the Apple store looked like a nightclub. They had a rope in front and a security guard. “Can I go in and look at a Power Book?” I asked. “No, because we don’t have anyone to assist you. You have to go the end of the line.” I was kind of miffed for 10 seconds, then got over it and went to The Gap.

So anyway, I am debating whether to borrow (and lug) Fuzz’s large Dell laptop or just take a spiral notebook and update Cookie Madness from various Internet cafes….if there are any. I suspect most places are just set up for wireless.

Anyhow. I did take some time off from obsessing about San Francisco to try a recipe for brownies in cookie form.

san francisco travel tips

One Bowl Chocolate Brownie Cookies

6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups granulatedsugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, toasted chopped
3/4 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine both chocolates and butter in a microwave safe bowl; microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted. Alternatively, if you are using newer model more power microwave, use the 50% power setting. Or skip the microwave and use a double boiler.

With a mixing spoon, beat sugar into chocolate. When well mixed, beat in eggs and vanilla. When eggs and vanilla are thoroughly incorporated, beat in baking powder and salt, scraping sides of bowl and making sure baking powder is well distributed. Add flour and stir just until mixed, then stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons, 1 1/2″ apart onto parchment lined cookie sheets.

Bake 12 min. or until set. Do Not Overbake. Cool 5 min.; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely on wire racks. Store in airtight container.

Makes 36

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  1. judi0044 says

    You should have a great time in SF. I went there many times when we lived on the west coast. Lots to see and places to shop. Have fun!

  2. Michelle W. in Calif. says

    Have fun in SF, Anna! It’s one of my fave cities, esp. since we only live a couple of hours away. We’ll be heading there for a weekend in September, to go to eh Chocolate Festival…

  3. says

    Have an awesome time in SF! It’s an awesome city for walking. Just make sure you pack your SNEAKERS. No worse pain that tromping up and down those hills with regular shoes. Trust me.

    If you get a chance, check out Citizen Cake. (Elizabeth Faulker–a regular on Food Network Challenge–owns it.) Oddly enough, the food is better than the desserts. The avacado, bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich was really yummy.

    And Golden Gate Park is really pretty and nice to wander around. My first trip to SF, Jon and I walked from Union Square all the way east through Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach. (That’s how I found out about the necessity of sneakers!)

  4. yatesy says

    have fun in san fran! take a sweater, it gets cold at night. also, go to bet buy, they sell mac’s now. and the hooha over at the apple store should be calming down soon as well!

  5. says

    I love San Francisco. So much to do! The Pier is awesome and just being right there at the water. Of course, you’ll have to spend at least a day just at Ghiardelli! 😉 Took a tour around the city in a limo once, that was so fun! (Company I worked for paid for it, otherwise, I’m not sure how fun or worth it it would have been.)
    Have a great time.
    The brownie cookies look great.

  6. says

    Those look fantastic! My boyfriend is going to want me to make those ASAP. He’s a fiend for brownies.

    I’ll be at BlogHer too and I don’t have an iPhone or a laptop. I’m rather looking forward to being unplugged.

  7. Karen says

    Anna, I live here in the Bay Area (Berkeley) and work in SF.
    Let me know if you have any questions or want any tips or advice for your upcoming trip!
    Make sure you pack enough warm stuff, people are always shocked at how cold it is here in the summer.


  8. says

    I’m sure you’ll be inundated with food recommendations. Here’s mine — if you can get to the Farmer’s Market, don’t miss it! A foodie’s dream come true, the best of the best. My favorite chocolates are there too, Recchuiti Chocolates. Here’s a link:
    The prices are very high if ordering online, but buying directly at their shop, I found the prices more reasonabe.

  9. Gayle says

    Hi Anna,

    Karen is right, dress in layers. It looks like we may have some blue sky for you, after the fog burns off. It’s been pretty hazy here for the last month with all the fires. Have a great time in this neck of the woods. Gayle

  10. says

    Thanks for all the San Francisco tips! I am copying and pasting each and every one of them into my own personal travel guide.

    Nick, thanks for letting me know about Best Buy. I almost dropped in yesterday to check for Macs, but didn’t want to deal with Best Buy’s parking lot on a Sunday.

  11. Priscilla says

    Have a great trip. If you are in the Union Square area, don’t miss the Bristol Farms food emporium in the basement level of the Westfield Mall. The pastries in the bakery case alone are dazzling, and then there are food stations for everything imaginable (salad bar, soup bar, deli food, Asian snacks, etc.) as well as fresh produce, fish, meat, etc. Then there is the natural foods store across the aisle…

  12. Karen says

    Quick tip- make sure you go to the Ferry Building on Saturday morning (btw 8-2 I think) because that’s when the Farmer’s Market is and you want to sample our glorious summer fruit.

    email me if you have any questions, especially if you are making a trip to my side of the bay (Berkeley/Oakland). We’ve got great stuff here!

  13. says

    Hi Anna,

    My husband and I just got back from San Francisco, and you must go to Tartine Bakery. We went there as often as we could, and it is just amazing. The lemon meringue pie and buttermilk scones were our favorites. In fact, I just ordered the Tartine cookbook to see if I can recreate some of the magic at home.

    I read your blog every day, and always enjoy it. Thanks for all of the helpful tips and recipes. Have a great trip!

  14. Michelle says

    My favorite place to go in SF is definitely Ghirardelli Square! Getting an ice cream treat there is just perfect.
    Oh, and since I’ve talked to you about Mrs. Field’s cookies before and how I’d love for you to try creating a copy of her semi-sweet chocolate chip cookie, I have to point out that there are a lot of Mrs. Field’s cookie stores there in SF (including on Fishermans’s Wharf & Pier 39).
    Have a great trip!

  15. says

    You’re gonna love SF! I was there a while ago and liked it so much I actually wanted to move there at some point!
    Don’t worry about updating, we can allways come back here and stare at this brownie-cookies over and over! No problem!

  16. says

    I’ll be at BlogHer too, I’ll keep an eye out for you!

    I have an iPhone (just got it on Saturday), so I’ve been debating if I just want to take that and leave my computer at home or if I need both. I’m a little crazy like that.

  17. Katy says

    Wear layers. Don’t miss the Ferry Building. Preferably Saturday 8-2 for the farmers market. Acme Bread Bakery is open every day there. Chinatown. Fortune Cookie Factory on Ross Alley. Watch them made fresh and free samples. $2 for a huge bag of “flats”, the cookies that crisp up on the griddles before the workers can get them folded. MOMA is fantastic and has a great little cafe for breakfast or lunch. Crazy gorgeous views from a nice hike up to Coit Tower. It’s endless.
    I swear by my Blackberry. Syncs perfectly with my Mac.

  18. Rina says


    I am so excited that you are coming to SF! I have lived here in SF for the last 6 years or so and grew up in the Bay Area.

    I have so many tips and recommendations for you given that I routinely search out new places for goodies and unique baking ideas. I will compile a list of places/recommendations and post it sometime before Thursday. Feel free to email or call me with questions when you are in SF. I’d be more than happy to help with restaurant suggestions, sightseeing tips, or just general how-to-get-around questions.

    510.908.0096 (cell)

  19. says

    I’m so jealous, I’d love to get to SF. The Tartine cookbook is beautiful, definitely worth buying. Although I still haven’t made anything, the croissant recipe looks really good. Also, the Recchiuti cookbook is a good one. Now that I have my mac book, I love to travel with it. We take it to NY every time we go. It comes in so handy when you need directions, or, need to make a reservation. You should take one with you if you can. Have a safe trip and eat lots of treats!

  20. Mindy says

    Oh, Anna. Have fun in SF!!! I was there last July, and I must say July is a great month to visit. If you want a great Italian meal, we had a great one (and a fantastic bottle of red wine) at Trattoria Contadina on Mason Street. It’s kind of in the middle of a residential area, but you can walk to the waterfront afterwards which is lovely to do as the sun is setting. The food, the walking and the views in SF are fantastic…and so is the produce. I can still envision the huge strawberries I saw out there. Try to take a ride on a cable car if you have time, too. We waited in line a long time to ride one, but I would do it all again in a minute (there’s a hop-on point near Ghirardelli Square that takes you back to the city center). HAVE A GREAT TIME!!! (The Ferry Building and Pier 39…albeit a touristy place…are a must.)

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