Chocolate Chunk Bars

Dense, chewy, delicious and oh-so-addictive!

Chocolate Chunk Bars

As I hunker down in my home, socially isolated from everyone I know, I look back at all the things I made in a time that now seems so far away. So many recipes made and shot in my Manchester dorm, each bringing nostalgia in various forms.
These bars, for instance, were first made during one of my many dissertation-writing blocks. With my mind whirring, fingers crimping, and eyes bleeding after hours of slaving away over my laptop, I always headed towards the kitchen as my refuge.
Easy to make, quick to bake; these rich, gooey, dark golden bars were my ultimate comfort treat.

This recipe involves one pesky little step which might sound quite extra but trust me when I tell you that it makes a world of a difference!
Browning the butter
Browning butter is truly a magical process. Simply by adding a little heat, plain molten butter transforms with bits of nutty caramel notes that elevates the flavor of nearly everything its added into.
You can skip this step if you must. The taste won’t as intense and rich though.

After browning the butter, its all down to a one-bowl flow. It can’t get any easier than that. Here are some extra tips:
  • Use dark chocolate to offset the overall sweetness of the bars.
  • Bake until the top is set and the sides are beginning to turn golden brown. They will be soft when you take them out, so let them cool before cutting.
  • My favorite way to eat these bars is cold when they have set up nicely. They are dense and chewy and o’so good.
Chocolate Chunk Bars Dense, chewy, delicious and oh-so-addictive!
Stay home, stay safe, and enjoy these delicious chocolate chunk bars.

Chocolate Chunk Bars

 Yields: 16 small squares
·         1/2 cup (113g) salted butter
·         1 cup (190g) packed brown sugar
·         1 large egg
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/4 tsp salt*
·         1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour
·         1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into large chunks
·         ½ cup toasted and chopped walnuts, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment or wax paper.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally, until it becomes golden brown at the bottom and develops a nutty aroma. Do not burn! If you prefer not to use brown butter, you can skip the browning and just proceed with plain melted butter.
  3. Pour brown butter into a large bowl and whisk in the brown sugar until smooth. Let the mix rest for a few minutes until it is lukewarm.
  4. Whisk in egg, vanilla, and salt.
  5. Stir in flour, chocolate and nuts. The batter will be thick.
  6. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth with spatula.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center looks just set and the edges turn golden brown.
  8. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.
* If using unsalted butter, increase the amount of salt to 1/2 tsp.
**Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Recipe adapted from My Modern Cookery

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