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I Love Chocolate

by Stephanie Zonis

 

Chocolate Walnut Bars

Makes 32 bars

 

These aren't difficult to make, but they look fancy because they have three distinct layers. A shortbread crust is topped by a chocolate layer, which is then topped with a thin walnut layer. The bars freeze well, and they'll keep for several days at room temperature if stored airtight. I've even mailed these successfully, wrapping them in pairs with the bottoms together and packaging them in a sturdy, well-padded carton before placing them in a similarly sturdy, well-padded box. The most important thing to remember about these bars is that the chocolate layer needs some time to set up, even after the bars have cooled to room temperature. I usually make the bars the night before I'm going to cut and serve them, but chilling the bars after they've cooled for about 20 minutes should have the same effect.

 

Crust:
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour

Chocolate Layer:
12 ounces (2 cups) good-quality semisweet
   OR bittersweet chocolate chips

Walnut Layer:
3 eggs, graded "large"
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,
   melted and cooled slightly
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts

 

Line a 13 by 9 inch pan (at least 1-1/2 inches deep) with heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side up. Set aside. Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For Crust:
In small bowl, combine softened butter, sugar, and vanilla. By hand, cream until well-mixed and fluffy. Add sifted flour and stir to combine.

Place crust mixture by small spoonfuls all over bottom of lined pan. Keeping your hands lightly floured, press crust mixture into an even layer with fingertips and/or knuckles (this mixture is a bit sticky, so re-flour your hands lightly as necessary). Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

While crust bakes, make sure chocolate chips are at hand. Start Walnut Layer by combining eggs, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl. By hand, beat until well-mixed. Set aside.

When Crust has baked for 10 minutes, remove from oven to cooling rack. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips as evenly as possible. Return to oven for 3 minutes to melt chocolate; remove to cooling rack. with back of spoon or offset spatula, spread chocolate evenly over crust. Allow to stand for about 3 minutes.

During this standing period, add slightly cooled melted butter to egg mixture and beat in. Stir in walnuts until evenly distributed. After standing period, place walnut mixture by spoonfuls all over melted chocolate, distributing walnuts as evenly as possible. Return to oven.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes. When done, top of walnut layer will be a light golden brown; edges will be darker. Remove to cooling rack. Cool completely before storing airtight. Before cutting, see Notes at beginning of recipe. To cut, use a large, sharp, straight-edged knife. Trim about 1/4 inch from each edge before cutting into bars. Store bars airtight at room temperature for up to several days, or freeze for longer storage.

 

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Copyright © 1999 Francesca Chocolate Productions. All Rights Reserved.

Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You may: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your computer for your own personal use only; and reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.

 
Kitchen Gypsy

This page created December 1999


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