Growing up, I remember hearing the phrase, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Even now as a 33-year-old woman, I can honestly tell you that I still don’t have a clue what that saying means. Sure, we can’t always get what we want and there will certainly be circumstances in which we’re forced to choose between two desires, but when it comes to dessert, I think it can sometimes be both. Maybe we can have our cake (or in today’s case, brownie shortbread bars) and eat it too.
Like with these brownie bars. Why should we have to choose between cookies and brownies? Isn’t it plausible to think that, every once in a while, we can indulge in two wonderful things simultaneously? I would argue YES. Absolutely. So today, I’m going to tell you all about how to make these brownie shortbread bars in hopes that when the craving strikes for both buttery soft shortbread and gooey fudge brownies, you don’t have to choose. You can have the best of both worlds.
These brownie shortbread bars have two layers. The bottom layer is a simple shortbread crust made from little more than butter, sugar, and flour. The crumbly mixture comes together in a single bowl before being patted out in an 8″ square pan. While the crust bakes slightly in the oven, we begin to mix up our brownie batter. On the stovetop, butter, sugar and chocolate are melted together until smooth. Eggs come next followed by the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, and just a smidge of salt. After a quick bake, the brownies are fragrant crackly-topped, and ready for absolutely devouring.
I hope you’ll give these brownie shortbread bars a try and let me know what you think! Have a terrific weekend and happy baking!
If you like these brownie shortbread bars you should try:
Brownie Shortbread Bars
These brownie shortbread bars feature a vanilla bean shortbread crust and a gooey crackled brownie top!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 60
- Yield: 16
- Category: Dessert
For the crust:
- ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1–1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the brownie:
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1–1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
To prepare the bars:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line an 8 or 9” square baking pan with foil. Lightly grease with cooking spray and set aside.
- Begin by preparing the crust. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Stir in the vanilla bean paste. Add the flour and salt and stir just until combined to crumbs. Gently press the mixture down flat into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until set. In the meantime, begin making the brownie filling.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, gently melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and sugar, stirring regularly to melt evenly and prevent scorching the chocolate. Once melted and smooth, set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium speed with a mixer until they lighten in color and fluff up, about 2-3 minutes. Gently stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, stirring just until combined. Pour the batter on top of the prepared shortbread and smooth. Increase the oven heat to 350 and bake for an additional 30-33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out only with a couple of small brownie crumbs. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely prior to slicing.