Thursday, June 3, 2010

Espresso Shortbread Brownie Bars

I don't know what other food bloggers do on days when the brownies, cookies, cakes, or other sweets they're baking don't turn out well. Do we just write up the post anyway and hope the readers never try the recipe? Well, that wouldn't be fair! But yesterday, as well as today, I baked a new recipe and each day it turned out really..lousy!
Yesterday I made something called a Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bar. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Well, it was dry, hard and tasteless and I just couldn't bring myself to post the recipe.
Then today I found this brownie recipe in the May 2010 issue of Food and Wine Magazine. Espresso coffee flavor in the crust with a chocolate brownie top? Again, sounds pretty good.
Well, It just didn't have any taste to me. The brownie didn't have a strong chocolate flavor and the espresso coffee taste didn't compliment the chocolate at all :(
But still, I'm giving you the recipe. I mean, it's from Food and Wine! It should be
If you do try it, please let me know what you think.
Well, I guess, sometimes, things just don't go as planned. And I didn't want you thinking I'm taking the summer off..or anything!

The layered brownie idea still appeals to me and I will definitely try the idea again. Perhaps the bottom crust should just be a plain shortbread crust topped with a more chocolatey brownie recipe. So, I'll keep working on it! Check back. In the meantime, I have some chevre I need to use in brownies..inspired by having just watched the episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay vs. the Vermont Brownie Co. (Let's hope I pick the right recipe for this!)

Espresso-Shortbread Brownie Bars ( from "Food and Wine May 2010).
Makes 24 bars

Shortbread crust:

1 stick plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. finely ground espresso beans ( Ok, I didn't have this so I used 2 tsp. espresso powder)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Brownie Topping:

1 1/2 cups AP flour
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick plus 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
3 large eggs

To make shortbread crust:
Preheat oven to 350.
1. In food processor, combine butter with flour, sugar, espresso and salt.
2. Pulse til coarse crumbs form. Press into a 9" x 13" metal baking pan to form crust.
3. Prick all over with a fork, then place into freezer for 5 minutes.
4. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes, or til crust is lightly browned and cooked through.

Brownie layer:

1. In medium bowl, whisk flour with cocoa, salt and baking powder.
2. In large saucepan, melt the butter with the chocolate over low heat.
3. Remove pan from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla.
4. Then stir in the eggs.
5. Add the dry ingredients and stir til the brownie batter is smooth.
6. Pour the brownie batter over the shortbread crust, smoothing the surface.
7. Bake 30 minutes, or til the brownie top is dry and lightly cracked around the edges.( The center will still be a bit soft).
Cool completely before cutting into bars ( I put mine into the fridge to speed up the cooling).
The bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temp.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing and for being so honest! It is so frustrating when recipes don't come out how they are supposed to. It always seems to happen at the worst time! Like you, I don't pass these recipes along to my readers. Hopefully they next few days of baking will work out well for you. You have so many great ideas!



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