Brownies & Bars

Espresso Shortbread Brownies

Most people can tell you what their favorite food is. At the very least, they can tell you their favorite breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert if you were to ask. I think most people can tell you what they would choose for their last meal on Earth. That seems pretty normal. But…I am not a normal person. I can tell you this: chocolate and espresso are an *awesome* combination. I would say *one of* my favorites. Suffice to say, these Espresso Shortbread Brownies are amazing.

In addition to the chocolate-espresso dream team, these brownies have a combination of flavors and textures that you usually don’t find in a single dessert. The espresso shortbread is crisp and barely sweet. Playing off the shortbread perfectly, the brownie is sweet, rich, and fudgy.

No specialty bakeware or tools for this recipe. I do have a couple of notes on ingredients:

I used the ground espresso beans pictured below because they were available at my local grocery store. If you can’t find ground espresso beans at your local store, you can find them [here]. Alternatively, you could substitute espresso powder. 

I highly recommend using chocolate extract in the recipe! This (sometimes overlooked) extract lends an amazing depth of flavor to chocolate baked goods! If you can’t find it in your local grocery store, you can find some [here]. Even better, makes yourself some [Homemade Chocolate Extract] for next time!

Shortbread and brownies are pretty easy to execute, but the result is pretty impressive. Yes, I said easy. Even homemade! Even from scratch! Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!!

Seriously, even if you’ve never made *anything* from scratch before, brownies are probably the place to start.

I cut the brownies into 16 large triangles. Because they were pretty cut in triangles…and because who doesn’t want a sizeable brownie? You can cut them into squares/bars/smaller if you’d like. There are no rules on this.

I almost tried cutting them into rounds with a biscuit cutter, but:

a) I’m not sure the shortbread crust would hold together well, and

b) I knew I’d end up in the fetal position after eating all the scraps from in-between the cut-outs. I have no self control. My awareness of that is key.

I hope you enjoy these Espresso Shortbread Brownies! Maybe they’ll become your new favorite. I’m sure you have favorite foods–most people do. I guess the good thing about me not being able to choose a favorite is that, whatever your favorite is, I probably love it, too. Food is my favorite. 🙂

Other posts you may like:

Chocolate Espresso Shortbread

Mocha Sweet Rolls

Oatmeal Brownies

Mocha Tart

Cocoa Stout Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

Hazelnut Espresso Truffles

Espresso Shortbread Brownies

Amee
Crisp espresso shortbread topped with fudgy brownie! You can't go wrong!
Recipe adapted (barely) from Food and Wine (link here).
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Chill Time 5 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 16 big brownies

Ingredients
  

Espresso Shortbread:

  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (1 stick + 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp espresso beans, finely ground (see note)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Brownies:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 14 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick + 6 Tbsp)
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped finely
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp chocolate extract (see note)
  • 3 eggs

Instructions
 

For Shortbread:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line 9"x13" baking pan with foil (with ends long enough to fold over the edge) and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • Combine all shortbread ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and begins to clump together. 
  • Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Freeze 5 minutes. Bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

For Brownies:

  • While the shortbread is baking, prepare the brownies. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder). Set aside.
  • In a large heatproof bowl, combine butter and chocolate. Warm in microwave until smooth on 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval.
  • Once chocolate mixture is smooth, stir in sugar, vanilla extract, and chocolate extract and mix to combine. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  • Pour brownie batter over browned shortbread crust. Bake 30 minutes, or until the top of the brownies appear dry. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
    Enjoy!

Notes

Note on chocolate extract: I highly recommend this (sometimes overlooked) extract! It lends an amazing depth of flavor to chocolate baked goods! If you can't find it in your local grocery store, you can find some [here]. Even better, makes yourself some [Homemade Chocolate Extract] for next time!
Note on espresso beans: I used the ground espresso beans pictured in my post. They were available at my local grocery store. If you can't find ground espresso beans at your local store, you can find them [here]. Alternatively, you could substitute espresso powder.
This post contains affiliate links.

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