Monday, June 17, 2013

Shortbread Brownies

Reader Alert
This is BHG newest publication available in some grocery stores and in larger bookstores.  It is on news  stands till July 15th.  I have bought their publications before and find the recipes easy to follow and with what I call "down to earth" recipes for the average cook. This particular publication has a different approach than other ones. Recipes are featured from different decades that were winners for BHG over the years. It is an interesting read to see how much cooking, palettes and needs of families have changed over time.
I picked shortbread brownies to try because who doesn't like a brownie and with the addition of a shortbread crust seemed like a winning combination. This recipe was a winner from BHG 2005 and the category was Best Brownie Ever

 Shortbread Brownies
Cook's notes: I adapted the recipe by cutting back on white sugar to 1 cup rather than 1-1/3 as stated in the original recipe, added cinnamon to the crust and 2 TB. Kahlua to the brownie mixture. The brownies have more a cake-like texture and beg, I mean beg to be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream :)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white sugar
  •  3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  •  4 TB. melted butter
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Line a 9 inch square baking pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan and set aside
  • Stir 1 cup flour, cinnamon and brown sugar together and add to Cuisinart 1/2 cup softened butter
  • Mix till coarse crumbs
  • Sir in 1/4 cup chocolate pieces and pat crust mixture evenly into bottom of prepared foil lined pan (tip flour your hands to pat in crust)
  • Bake 8 minutes-let cool slightly
Brownie Mixture
  • Stir together 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour, cocoa powder,  baking powder and salt
  • Add in eggs, 4 TB. butter, Kahlua and vanilla
  • Beat by hand till smooth and stir 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Carefully spread over crust
  • Check for doneness at 25 minutes

Khaled Hosseini has a new book out. He is the author of the popular novels; The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
I have read several reviews each giving the book 5 stars. 
The novel is a moving saga about sacrifice, betrayal and the power of family. The book spans three generations and includes overlapping tales of expatriates, aid workers, parents, children, doctors and drug lords.
Unlike his other books this novel doesn't center around regional conflicts, but stories of individuals who are going through real life journeys. Each chapter is written from a different POV from another different character. Each characters's journey at the end all relate to each other. 
The character's stories focus mainly on life in Afghanistan but do reach a global span.

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