Chocolate Walnut Bars
photo by spatchcock
- Ready In:
- 1hr 5mins
- 2⁄3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or to taste bittersweet chocolate chips, good-quality (2 cups)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (1 stick)
- 1 1⁄2 cups walnuts, chopped
- 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 freezer for longer storage.
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