Fudge Brownie Shortbread Bars

I love it when good food reminds other people of me.  This recipe for fudge brownie shortbread bars was passed along to me from a friend who said that she thought of me when she came across the recipe.  A thick, fudgy brownie sits on top of a buttery, crumbly shortbread bar, and the whole thing is topped off by a smooth, rich chocolate ganache.  The recipe takes a bit of time to make because of the three step process, but the outcome is worth the extra effort.

Shortbread Brownies- 12 tomatoes 2

Fudge Brownie Shortbread Bars

(Adapted from 12 Tomatoes)
Makes approximately 20 bars

Ingredients

Shortbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Brownies
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
8 tablespoons unsalted butter cut up into 8 pieces
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup cake flour (or 1 cup all-purpose as well)

Topping
1/2 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions

Shortbread

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F, and line a 9×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides.
  2. In the bowl of food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt and pulse together.
  3. Gradually add cold, cubed butter and vanilla extract and pulse until dough begins to come together.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form a dough ball with your hands.
  5. Transfer dough to greased baking dish and press firmly into the bottom, corners and edges of dish in an even layer.
  6. Place dish in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is a light golden color.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.  Leave the oven at 350º F.

Brownies

  1. Prepare the brownie batter while the shortbread is baking.
  2. Line an 8″x8″ metal baking pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Combine chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes.
  5. Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until evenly incorporated.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs mixture and stir until combined
  7. Add the flour and walnuts and fold in until the flour is just incorporated (no white streaks, but be careful to not over-mix)
  8. Pour batter over cooled shortbread crust.  Pour the batter into the baking pan and push it to the edges in an even layer. Use a rubber spatula to smooth out the top. and place in oven.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until edges begin to pull away from baking dish and center is set. (It’s ok if center has cracked.)

Topping and Finishing

  1. Place chocolate chips and heavy cream in microwave safe bowl. and stir until mixture is completely smooth and melted.
  2. Remove brownies from oven and let cool 15 minutes.
  3. Drizzle chocolate over brownies and let cool completely.
  4. Remove bars from baking dish by extracting parchment paper and cut into squares

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