Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Shortbread Brownies with Ganache and Dulce de Leche

These brownies are essentially candy bars for grown ups.

There's the crisp, buttery shortbread cookie base, the dark chocolate, chewy fudge brownie in the middle, the blanket of bittersweet chocolate ganache on top and a drizzle of dulce de leche.  Finished with a touch of coarse sea salt.  Sounds like a candy bar to me.

This summer is disappearing in a hurry, and as much as I would like to enjoy the slow hot days, I also can't wait for September to come, and to see all the wedding planning come to life on our wedding day.

After the wedding is over, though, our family gone back to their homes, and the last crumbs of cake eaten, I'm sure I'll be wondering, where did summer go?

One Year AgoChocolate Dipped Cherry Chip Cream Pops
Two Years AgoCoffee in the Afternoon, and a Cake for Goodbye
Three Years AgoPasta with Steamed Mussels and Lobster

Pecan Shortbread Brownies with Dulce de Leche and Ganache

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces cream
  • Dulce de Leche
  • coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 325.  Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over both sides.  Spray with non-stick spray.

Make the Shortbread:
In your food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt and pecans until combined.  Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, then the egg yolk, and pulse until the mixture resembles moist cornmeal.  Dump the crumbs into the pan and press firmly against the bottom of the pan.  Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Make the Brownies:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder and salt.  Pour the melted butter over the cocoa mixture and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add the vanilla, and the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg; batter will be thick.  Stir in the flour, just until moistened.

Remove the pre-baked crust from the oven.  Dollop the brownie batter over the hot crust and use a non-stick spatula to spread it out, being careful not to tear the crust.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist, sticky crumbs clinging to it.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the ganache, finely chop the chocolate and place in a small bowl.  Pour the cream into a small saucepan and warm gently over medium low heat just until it simmers around the edges.  Pour over the chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes, then stir with a spatula until smooth.  Pour the ganache over the brownies and smooth out with a spatula.  Let stand for about an hour, or until set (placing them in the fridge for a few minutes will speed up this step).

Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting them out by the parchment paper overhang.  Set on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into bars.

Scoop the Dulce de Leche into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip and pipe over each brownie.  Sprinkle with the coarse salt.

Yields about 25-30 brownies

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen


  1. These sound absolutely phenomenal!!

    1. Thanks, Meriem! They were quite a hit at my office. :)

  2. every element of this looks so tempting. i love the chocolate ganache, the dulce de leche, the shortbread. yum!

    1. All the layers together really was like the most indulgent candy bar!

  3. I am 3 days in to a 14 day detox. I now feel like I need to make these immediately! Bad bad bad!

    1. I myself eat really healthy 99% of the time, so when I make treats like this, I only have a bite or two. It's not easy, is it! ;)

  4. Is there any way to make these without nuts? I'm wondering should I just omit them or do I need to compensate anther ingredient.

    1. Hi Emily,
      You can definitely make the shortbread without the nuts. Since it's only a half cup, you can just eliminate them and shouldn't need to reduce the amount of butter.


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