Brown butter is distracting. Chocolate chips are distracting. Add them together and you have double the distraction, and double the deliciousness. In fact, this post has taken me two days to write because every time I get started I remember the container of shortbread bars sitting on the kitchen bench just waiting for me to open it up and devour another crumbly, buttery, dark chocolate morsel filled bar.
My sister and I did a mega-workout morning on Saturday (9km of dog walking, 5km of cycling, and a Body Attack class) and by the afternoon my tummy was craving a treat for all the hard work my body had put in. When my body wants a treat the first thing that crosses my mind is chocolate chip cookies. They are my favourite everything. But then I started thinking about browning the butter, maybe adding some hazelnut meal, and so the Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bar was born.
This recipe is the answer to your buttery dreams because in addition to browning a half cup of butter, we also cream another half cup with sugar and vanilla. Double the butter = double the treat = double the happiness. To this beauteous bounty of butter we add a medley of gluten free flours, an egg, and a large helping of chocolate chips (to be honest, I should have added more chocolate chips to my mix because you can never, ever, have enough chocolate chips).
You then press your mixture into a lined slice tray (steal a little taste test of the dough too – oh boy) and it gets to rest in the fridge for two hours. This ensures the butter chills again and gives your shortbread the flaky, buttery crumble that we expect.
When these bars emerged from the oven I knew I had created the treat my body was craving. Crumbly but chewy, brown sugar sweet but browned butter salty, and studded with semi-sweet dark chocolate chips. These are the perfect treat for when you are resting your weary legs on a Saturday night with a new novel, and a happy dog at your feet.
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars
Gluten Free | Makes 24 bars | Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days
Note: this article is a great explanation (with photos) of how to brown butter.
- 250 grams butter, softened
- 150 grams brown sugar
- 50 grams caster sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 75 grams brown rice flour
- 75 grams white rice flour
- 75 grams sorghum flour
- 75 grams hazelnut meal
- 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (or more, to taste) dark chocolate chips
- Place half the butter (125 gram) into a small heavy-based saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Keep heating butter once it has melted continue to heat it, stirring frequently. The butter will foam a little and once the foam has disappeared keep a close watch of the butter – it should now be a light caramel colour and smell nutty. When little brown specks begin to appear at the bottom of the pot remove it from the heat and pour the butter into a small bowl to cool for 20 minutes.
- While browned butter is cooling line a 7 x 11 inch (18 x 28 cm) slice tray with baking paper. Set aside until required.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together brown rice flour, white rice flour, sorghum flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Beat together remaining softened butter, brown sugar, caster sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Once browned butter is cooled beat it into batter until fully incorporated.
- Beat egg into batter.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined.
- Add chocolate chips and mix until well distributed.
- Press mixture into prepared tray and chill in the fridge for two hours.
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and bake bars for 30-35 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and bounces back when lightly touched.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing. I recommend slicing the bars in the tray as it saves you a lot of mess.
These buttery bars are sure to become a favourite in our house, and I hope you enjoy them too.