Brownie-on-Shortbread Bars

Brownie-on-Shortbread Bars


1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsifted powdered sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch slices

Brownie Topping

1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 2/3 cups dark brown sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups chopped nuts

1/2 cup powdered sugar (optional)

Adjust rack to lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350°. Invert a 9-inch square baking pan on a work surface. Place a large sheet of foil over the pan and press to mold over the bottom and sides of the pan.

Remove the foil form, invert the pan and put the form in the pan, gently pressing it to fit; set aside.

Shortbread: In a food processor bowl, briefly process the flour, sugars and salt to blend. Add the butter slices all at once and process with on/off bursts until the mixture forms a ball. Press the dough into the foil-lined pan and prick with the tines of a fork. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

Brownie: Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and briefly blend with a whisk or fork. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat until the mixture is smooth.

(Alternatively, combine the butter and chocolate in microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted.)

Remove from heat and stir in the sugar until thoroughly combined.

Add the eggs and stir until blended. Add the vanilla, then the flour mixture. Stir until blended.

Pour over the shortbread crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle the nuts evenly over the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Don’t overbake (chocolate firms as it cools).

To test for doneness, insert a wooden toothpick into the brownie about 2 inches from the edge; it should reveal some chocolate crumbs. Insert a second toothpick into the center; it should reveal a soft chocolate mixture.

Remove from oven to a cooling rack to cool completely.

When cool, gently pull up the foil ends and lift onto a cutting board.

Using a sharp knife, cut into squares or 1 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch bars.

If desired, sift powdered sugar over brownies before serving.

To store after cutting: Return the bars to the baking pan and cover with aluminum foil. Seal the foil around the pan.

Will keep up to 2 days at room temperature.

Yields about 2 dozen (depends on the shape)

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