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Macadamia Shortbread Brownie Bites

December 22, 2014

Sing to the tune of  “Where have all the flowers gone?”

Where have all the people gone? Munching on rich desserts everyone…. Oy vay, the sugar that’s in me… oy vay the su-gar that’s in me…

Forgive me dear Readers, we just returned from a Chanukah party where Novio was quite the bandleader with his group, Jolt City (what a voice that Novio has, what fingers, playing those songs on the keyboard, not to mention the rest of the guys- Phil (guitar), Mike (drums), Eli (bass) and Chazzy (super-cool sax). Why weren’t you on the dance floor with me? Well, next time – the guys were great! And in between, you could find me at the dessert table -so that’s why my brain is a little odd right now – it’s the sugar!

I can’t exactly classify these little babies that are featured here as healthy. But I am not one of those people who eliminates things (like this) completely from my world. I used to, but it got kind of old. I believe in moderation (or at least aiming at it) with an occasional splurge. This is definitely a splurge item but I do keep an eye on portion control. And that’s how I deal.

You generally can’t go wrong with Alice Medrich. This recipe is right out of Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies (how’s that for a title?). If I want to splurge, I proceed quickly to that book. Although Alice, you do have some amazing and healthier treats in there too, like your Fruit-Nut Bars.

So back to portion control. One easy thing to do is make the bars smaller. Also, make the brownie top a little lighter by using less chocolate and butter. A little trim here. A little trim there. Everyone is busy oohing and aahing and no one notices anything.


I’m into butter made from grass-fed cows.

Up with sunshine – hurray for Vitamin D!

Irish butter

Macadamia nuts are more flavorful when you chop them.


shortbread batterBasic shortbread dough

nuts over shortbreadsprinkle nuts over batter and press in

shortbread doughuse your fingertips to ease dough into corners

baked shortbreadbaked dough

Back to the chocolate part of our programming

brownie ingredientshow easy does this look?

brownie layerbrownie layer spread over the top…

… and “over the top, it is”

(insert your best Grouch Marx impression here)

cutting brownie bites

brownie minis

They came with me to the Food Bloggers LA Cookie Swap
Table 2where every cookie was delicious! I also brought the Lemon Rosemary Biscotti (below), set up by the Brownie Bites (for Lemon Rosemary Biscotti recipe, click here)

MS Br Bits-1

Macadamia Shortbread Brownie Bites

slightly adapted Alice Medrich’s

Chewy  Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies


Shortbread Crust

5 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 c. untoasted macadamia nuts, salted or unsalted, medium-finely chopped
Brownie Top
4 oz. dark or bittersweet chocolate
4 oz. unsalted butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
2 large eggs
1/2 c. unbleached flour


Preheat the oven to 350° and position rack in lower third section.Line a 9″-square baking pan with two layers of aluminum foil with corners tucked in snug and the bottom layer cut a bit longer with the ends hanging over (for easy removal).

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

On a piece of aluminum foil, pat the dough into an even square layer slightly smaller than the bottom of the 9-inch square baking pan you’re using. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the nuts and press them in. Slide the dough on foil on a cookie sheet and place  in freezer while preparing brownie layer.

For the brownie top, using a medium glass bowl, melt together chocolate and butter  in microwave. Take care not to overheat the chocolate. Melt for one minute at full power, and then in increments of 1/2 minute at half-power. Stir at each interval to combine until smooth. It should take about 1 1/2-2 minutes.

With a wooden spoon, stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Add one egg, stirring until incorporated. Stir in second egg. Sprinkle flour over the batter and lightly mix until all the flour is incorporated and batter is starting to come away from the sides of the bowl.

Remove the dough from the freezer. Invert it, nut side down, into the bottom of the lined pan and remove the top foil. Let the dough soften for a few minutes.  Then press evenly against the bottom of the pan, making sure to reach the edges of the pan and into the corners using the tips of your fingers.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is lightly brown all over. Spread the brownie batter evenly over the hot crust and bake for 20 minutes, or until the brownies begin to show fine cracks. Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack.

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

The brownies can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 weeks.


Macadamia Shortbread Brownie Bites

Happy Holidays!


From → Desserts

One Comment
  1. I LOVE this brownie. It is definitely one of my favorite bars/cookies you have created!

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