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 🙂
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 🙂