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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Shortbread Brownies

This luscious brownie is my current favorite. 


Shortbread Brownies 

Source: New York Times Cooking 
Yield: one 9X13 pan

4,000-5,000 ft elevation tweaks:
No adjustments for the shortbread layer.

For the brownie layer, subtract 2 T sugar and add 1 T flour.

For the shortbread:

1 1/2 c cold unsalted butter (3 sticks) cut into half-inch pieces
3 c AP flour
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 teas fine sea salt or table salt

For the brownie:

1 c plus 2 T unsalted butter (2 1/4 sticks)
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 c light brown sugar
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c plus 1 T cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 T vanilla
1 1/2 c AP flour
1/4 teas fine sea salt or table salt
3/4 c chopped walnuts or pecans, or slivered almonds, toasted
flaky sea salt, optional

Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 9X13 baking pan and line with some parchment paper, ensuring some overhang on the two long sides.

In a stand mixer's bowl, place the flour, sugar, and salt and mix to combine. Add the butter cubes and with the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated and come together. It's all right if it is still a little crumbly. You may also pulse the ingredients together in a food processor if you prefer.

Drop the dough into the prepared pan, pressing with your hands until it is in all the corners and is spread evenly. Use a fork to prick the dough all over. Place in the oven and bake until it is golden, about 30-35 minutes.

As the shortbread bakes, begin prepping the brownies. Melt the chocolate and butter together. The easiest way is to place them in a large glass bowl in a microwave and heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring afterwards. In my microwave it took bout 4 30-second periods. Another option is to place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and the chocolate and butter to melt, while stirring occasionally.

When the chocolate and butter are melted, stir in the sugars and the cocoa until smooth. Then add the eggs and vanilla and stir well.

Mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir into the chocolate mixture until there are no streaks of flour. If you chose to use the nuts, fold them in at this point. Using an offset spatula or a rubber spatula, spread the brownie batter on top of the still warm shortbread. If desired, sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

Place in the oven and bake for 23-28 minutes until the batter is pulling away from the sides but the center is still soft. You'll find if you test with a toothpick, it will come out still gooey. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack until completely cool. Use the overhanging parchment paper to remove the cool brownies from the pan and slice into sizes of your choice. I find these brownies particularly rich (look at all that butter) so I cut them about 2 inches by 3/4-1 inch.

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