Macadamia Shortbread Brownies

By Ryan Fratzke on

Famed Dessert Chef Alice Medrich shared her fab recipe for Macadamia Shortbread Brownies. Use our salted Macadamias. As Alice told us: "We all like a bit of salt with our chocolate these days." Recipe below:

Excerpted from Seriously Bitter Sweet by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Deborah Jones.

Macadamia Shortbread Brownies Makes 25 brownies

Nuts underneath shortbread batter rather than mixed into it save a toasting step and make an especially crunchy layer.

Ingredients 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract Pinch of salt ¾ cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour ½ cup (2¼ ounces/65 grams) macadamia nuts, chopped medium-fine 1 recipe of any brownie batter (without nuts) (recipe below)

Special Equipment 9-inch square baking pan


  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. To make the crust, combine the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the flour to make the dough.

  3. On a square of wax paper, pat or roll out the dough to a square slightly smaller than the bottom of the baking pan. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the nuts and press them in. Cover with a 12-inch square of foil. Grasping the edges of the wax paper and foil together, lift and flip the dough so that it rests, nut side down, on the foil.

  4. Peel off the wax paper. Lift the foil and dough off the tray and into the pan. Press the dough, on the foil, evenly into the bottom, and press the foil up the sides of the pan.

  5. Bake until the crust is nicely brown all over, 15 to 20 minutes.

  6. Spread the brownie batter evenly over the hot crust and bake until the edges puff and begin to show fine cracks, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack.

  7. Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting up the ends of the foil, and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 25 squares with a heavy knife.

New Classic Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients 4 ounces (115 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped 8 tablespoons (115 grams/1 stick) unsalted butter 1¼ cups (250 grams) sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon salt 2 cold large eggs ½ cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour ⅔ cup (2⅓ ounces/65 grams) walnut or pecan pieces (optional)


  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the bottom and all four sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil.

  2. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test.

  3. Remove the bowl from the skillet. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring until the first one is incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the flour and beat with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until the batter forms a shiny, cohesive mass and comes away from the sides of the bowl. It is important that the batter pull together and away from the bowl, so don’t stop stirring until it does. Stir in the nuts, if using. Scrape the batter into the lined pan and spread it evenly.

  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the brownies just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. The surface of the brownies will look dry, but a toothpick inserted in the center will come out quite gooey.

  5. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath by filling a roasting pan or large baking pan with ice cubes and about ¾ inch of water.

  6. When the brownies are ready, remove the pan from the oven and immediately set it in the ice bath. Take care not to splash water on the brownies. Let the brownies cool.

  7. Remove the pan from the ice bath, lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares. (The brownies can be stored, airtight, for 2 to 3 days.)

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Author: Ryan Fratzke


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