Sunday Dinner

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Crispy Cheese Wafers
Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly Spread

Shortbread Brownies
Vanilla Ice Cream

I am going to keep this short and sweet because it is way to beautiful outside right now to be blogging. I mean sunshine with a "real feel" temperature of 65° F!! Oh the things I get excited about. And these brownies are something to get excited about as well.

Brownies with a shortbread crust are definitely in the "Brookie" (brownie + cookie) category of sweets.  It is a two in one treat that is delicious on it's own, but is taken to a whole other level when paired with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. Jaws are cracking.  

Now, to point out a few tid-bits and minor adjustments to the original recipe.  For the shortbread crust, I added a bit of salt to the shortbread because otherwise, there will be a heavy flour taste.  That little bit of salt heightens the sugar and butter flavors. For the brownie batter, I added a bit of espresso powder because that really amps the cocoa flavor. The only other thing that I need to point out in the brownie batter is the butter; the recipe calls for 1/3 cup.  That is such an odd measurement for butter using the U.S. system of measurements. When baking, I prefer to use the metric system, so I included equal measurements to 1/3 cup in grams and ounces (1/3 cup is also 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon). Baking is a science, but even if you are .5 grams off in butter, I think you'll still be really pleased with the end result.  Happy Sunday!

Shortbread Brownies
makes 16 brownies

For the Shortbread
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (4-ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the Brownie Batter
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 extra large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup (75.5 grams or 2.66-ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Make a foil sling for an 8-inch square baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so each is 8-inches wide.  Lay the sheets of foil perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over the edges of the pan, smoothing foil flush to pan; set aside.

For the Shortbread
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles pea-size crumbs. (Alternatively, you can pulse all the ingredients in a food processor.) Stir in the mini chocolate chips.  Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes.

For the Brownie Batter
Meanwhile, in a large bowl stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder and salt.  Add the eggs, melted butter and vanilla and stir the mixture until smooth.  Add the mini chocolate chips and stir until combined.

Remove the shortbread crust from the oven.  Using an off-set spatula, carefully spread the brownie batter over the crust.  Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the batter comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Using the edges of the foil, lift the the brownies out of the pan and cut into bars.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from BHG-Best Loved Recipes, July 2012


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