They say acceptance is the first step on the road to recovery. Well, I’ve accepted that I have a chocolate addiction, but I’m not sure I want to recover. I enjoy indulging every once in a while. I recently felt the urge to bake, so I brought out my oh-so-lovely cookbook, Chocolate: Cooking with the World’s Best Ingredient, to find something fun. I found a wonderful recipe for Chocolate Walnut Bars, but was unable to find my 8 inch square pan! I ended up using a pie pan instead, so my version was more of a cake style. I semi-frequently make bars, but rarely make cakes, so making something to eat in slices was pretty exciting. I’m sharing the original recipe, but encourage you to experiment.
Chocolate Walnut Bars
Recipe by Christine McFadden and Christine France
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3 oz unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 in chunks
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 5 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the base and sides of a 8 in square baking pan.
In a food processor, grind the walnuts and 2 tbsp of the 1/4 cup of sugar. Combine the ground walnuts, remainder of the 1/4 cup sugar, and flour. Rub in the 3 oz of butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs.
Pour the walnut mixture into the prepared pan. Pat the mixture to distribute evenly on the base of the pan. Bake 25 minutes.
While the walnut layer is baking, make the topping. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp butter with the water in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar in stages. Remove from heat, then mix in the vanilla and salt. Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in the eggs.
Pour the topping over the baked walnut crust. Bake until chocolate is set, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Mark bars into 2.5×1 after cooling for 5 minutes. When completely cool, separate and transfer bars to wire rack and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve and enjoy!
For my cake version, I used the same cooking times. The bottom layer has a shortbread-like consistency that was delicious under the moist chocolate layer. I still cut it into 24 small slices. A little bit was very satisfying!
If you want a rich treat, this is excellent. Chocolate and walnuts… where can you go wrong?!