As you may guess from yesterday's post, my husband is Scottish and loves shortbread. However, for me, I love CHOCOLATE! The combination is really, really good and I get so many compliments on these brownies. The recipe is easy and I'll give you some options on how to change them...with the season.
First, I use a 9 x 13-inch pan, but not just any pan. This one is a "springform" pan with a removable bottom. I like this pan so much for bar cookies that if someone said I could only keep 5 baking pans (of all the many I have), this would definitely be one of the top five. But...any 9 x 13-inch will do if you don't want the expense of another pan.
Preheat oven to 345F-degrees, if you're using Convection heat, like I did. If not, go to 350F-degrees. Spray pan with a vegetable oil spray or you can brush it with melted butter.
In the bowl of a KitchenAid and using the paddle attachment, beat:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugaruntil fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add: 1 tsp. pure Vanilla extract. Mix to combine. Then, add:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Beat just until combined. Drop shortbread dough into the pan and use floured hands to press in the pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until a light golden brown.
While the shortbread is baking, start the brownie topper. In a double-boiler, melt a 12-ounce pkg. of bittersweet chocolate pieces and 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter. Set aside to cool.
In the KitchenAid and using the paddle attachment, combine:
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. pure Vanilla extract
Beat at medium-high speed until light yellow. Add the chocolate/butter mixture and mix to combine.
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix to combine, but don't over beat. Finally, stir in another 12-ounce pkg. chocolate pieces. I usually do semi-sweet, but today, I used Dark Chocolate & Mint chips (the green mint chips kept with my theme of the month.) You could also use: Peanut Butter Chips, White Chocolate Chips, Toffee Bits, etc...you get the picture.
Spread the brownie mixture on top of the shortbread and return to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes. The top will appear "shiny" and a toothpick inserted in the middle will have some moist crumbs on it. Don't overbake! These are a fudgy brownie, not cake-like.
Run a spatula around the outer edge of the pan, but let it cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares. As you can see, with the removal "sides", the springform pan makes it very easy to cut brownies (or any bar cookie) into squares. Enjoy!