Skip to content

Brownie Shortbread

January 23, 2012

I consider myself a pretty independent woman except for one area.  Car maintenance. I would rather scrub my bathroom top to bottom with a toothbrush then sit in a dirty, smelly, awkward auto body shop waiting “room”.  I use the term “room” loosely as it often means a single stained chair squished between two desks piled high with papers, ashtrays and random car parts with gruff men shouting back and forth to each other about jobs and other oddities wishing someone would please text or call me so I would have something to do.

Thankfully I don’t have to visit often and when I do it’s normally because it was completely out of my control, like when a belt decides to snap on your way to work and you have to use the tow truck service provided by the state highway department.  Other times it’s to give moral support to my sister who shares my distaste for awkward situations.  Today was one of those times (hence my random time of posting) and for some reason whenever I do find myself at the aforesaid establishments it’s rainy and nasty outside making the trek even more fun.  The only way to make a day better after that is to consume massive amounts of calories in the form of chocolate.

I’ve realized its been over a month and a half since I’ve posted anything chocolate! Shame on me!  These should make up for it though 🙂  Ultra fudge-y, rich, chocolate-y, dense brownies atop a crispy, buttery shortbread crust.  These aren’t one-bowl, quick-and-easy brownies but they are so worth the effort! Enjoy responsibly with a tall glass of milk 🙂

Brownie Shortbread
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking Cookbook by way of The Brown Eyed Baker


2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cold and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup flour
5 teaspoons cocoa powder (dutched or natural)
3/4 teaspoon salt

9 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate
13 tablespoons (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees (F).  Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil leaving a 2 inch overhang.  Spray the pan evenly with cooking spray and set aside.

2. For the crust: Stir together the 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar.  Cut in butter until the largest pieces are no bigger than the size of small peas and the flour starts to cling to the butter.  You can do this with a pastry cutter, two knives, a fork or with the paddle attachment on your standing mixer.  Press the dough into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  (the “dough” may be very crumbly-its OK!  the butter melts into the flour while its baking creating flakey layers)

3. For the brownie topping: In a small bowl whisk together the 1 cup flour, cocoa powder and salt and set aside.  Place the chocolate, butter and espresso powder in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir constantly until almost completely melted.  Remove from heat and whisk until completely smooth.

4. Combine the sugars in a medium size bowl and then whisk in the melted chocolate.  Whisk in the eggs 2 at a time (to avoid over-mixing the batter) and then add the vanilla.  Fold the whisked dry ingredients into the chocolate batter just until combined.  Pour the brownie batter over the baked shortbread, smoothing the top to the edges and then bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with moist crumbs.  Cool the entire pan on a cooling rack before cutting and as with most brownies, the flavor will develop as they sit so they are even better the next day 🙂

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Angie permalink
    January 23, 2012 2:45 pm

    These look decadent and delish!

  2. January 23, 2012 3:12 pm

    Oh wow, look at that! Looks seriously amazing!

  3. January 23, 2012 3:22 pm

    Hooooly cow, that looks to die for!! You’ve married two of my favorite things 🙂

  4. January 23, 2012 4:12 pm

    Buttery rich shortbread and brownies, I seriously cannot think of anything better at the moment. Your picture is something that will be floating around in my head until I make this. Awesome post-buzz buzz!

  5. January 23, 2012 4:37 pm

    The lord and lady of afternoon tea in one! I can’t believe this isn’t a regular on the menu already! Love the recipe. Love the blog.take a look at ours for all things related to baking and tea and cake!

  6. January 23, 2012 4:56 pm


    I love how you can exactly described a Auto Shop and regardless of where you are from it is point on – do they teach “how to decorate your auto shop” in mechanics school so they all include the lone stained chair, non purified air and the 1984 coffee maker 🙂

    • January 23, 2012 5:25 pm

      lol, I’m beginning to think they do! that or I wonder if that’s just what happens when men are left alone to “decorate” to their liking 🙂

  7. January 23, 2012 5:07 pm

    Yummy pairing! The gooey brownie layer sold me on this 🙂

  8. January 23, 2012 5:18 pm

    These look amazing — imagine if you made chocolate caramel shortcake but with brownie as the chocolate…………… *mind boggles*

    • January 23, 2012 5:23 pm

      lol I almost did a caramel layer in between the shortbread and the brownie…but I restrained myself 🙂 If you try it you have to let me know!!

  9. January 23, 2012 6:37 pm

    This looks delicious! two of my favorite cookie types in one piece?? Yes please! 🙂

  10. January 23, 2012 8:10 pm

    I think I will go to bed dreaming of these! Awesome!

  11. January 23, 2012 9:14 pm

    Oh man I could just faint from the sweet look of this one.

  12. January 23, 2012 11:35 pm

    How sweet of you to hang out with your sister during an even you already despise! And these would certainly brighten a horrid afternoon, except I can only look! mental note to self, one post at a glorious time here, lol. These look amazingly decedent!

  13. January 24, 2012 9:16 am

    Brownies + shortbread = best idea ever. Awesome!

  14. January 24, 2012 9:57 am

    omygosh these look sooo good! And yes, chocolate totally makes every day better 🙂 Especially when its a fudgy brownie on top of buttery shortbread… yum!

  15. January 24, 2012 3:59 pm

    Enjoying “responsibly” is not possible with these. Enjoying with reckless abandon very doable!

  16. January 30, 2012 2:46 pm

    Oh yummy! These look fantastic. Two good things in one sweet treat.


  1. Brownie Shortbread Cookie Pops « the purple spoon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: