I subscribe to quite a few culinary magazines; however, I don’t have a lot of free time, so they usually get filed into magazine organizers without much use. Sure I thumb through them and randomly mark pages with post-it notes, but inevitably the sit around and collect dust. For some reason, I just can’t bring myself to cancel the subscriptions.
However, this month’s issue of Food & Wine struck my fancy and I have since made three desserts from their delectable May recipe index. The first recipe that caught my eye were these Espresso-Shortbread Brownie Bars, so I decided to make them as a perfect ending to a family dinner of five-cheese manicotti.
The recipe is pretty straightforward and the espresso shortbread crust is a cinch to prepare in a food processor. When I first placed the shortbread crust into the pan, I thought there was no way I could get it to cover the entire bottom of pan. However, after a little patience and a lot of spreading, it worked out just fine. The only adjustment I made to this recipe was to use espresso powder as opposed to ground espresso beans, but my guess is they are pretty darn similar. I would definitely kick up the espresso powder amount as it was only slightly detectable in the finished product.
Although this recipe is not a new household fave, it is definitely a good recipe and a nice twist on traditional brownies. Brian prefers his brownies to be all ooey and gooey and these definitely do not fit that description. Personally, I was a big fan of the buttery espresso flecked shortbread crust.
Bottom Line? Are the decadent? Yes. Would I make them again? With so many other recipes out there to experiment with, I doubt I will give these a second try. I hope you have a delicious day and if you decide to give these a whirl, definitely come back and let me know your results!
Espresso-Shortbread Brownie Bars
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- Make the shortbread crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the butter with the flour, sugar, ground espresso and salt; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Press the crumbs into a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan to form a crust; prick all over with a fork. Freeze for 5 minutes, until firm. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, Prepare the brownie layer: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cocoa, salt and baking powder. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the chocolate over low heat.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla, then stir in the eggs. Add the dry ingredients and stir until the brownie batter is smooth.
- Pour the brownie batter over the shortbread crust, smoothing the surface. Bake for 30 minutes, until the brownie top is dry and lightly cracked around the edges; the center will still be a bit soft.
- Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
- The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
The default measuring system on My Baking Addiction is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided as a courtesy; please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
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