Chewy German Chocolate Cake Brownies


Shortbread Crust: 
(adapted from A Montana Table's Huckleberry Cobbler Crust)
*12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cold and cut into cubes
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon salt

*If you don't have unsalted butter, use salted butter, and leave out the 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Brownie Layer:
4 ounces butter 
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar 
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, straight from the jar, unheated

Coconut Caramel Layer:
3 cups toasted coconut,
1 (17 oz.) jar caramel or butterscotch topping

Chocolate Drizzle:
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 300. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread coconut evenly over baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to make sure coconut browns evenly. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all crust ingredients and cut with pastry knife, or mix with mixer until coarse pea-sized lumps form. Press evenly over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Bake until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, prepare brownies according to directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and chocolate over low heat in a small, heavy saucepan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in salt, brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla. Cool until just warm. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs lightly. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Add hot fudge topping. Stir in the flour and nuts.
 Pour over shortbread crust and bake as directed, until a toothpick comes out nearly clean with only a few crumbs remaining.

When brownies are almost finished, scoop caramel topping into a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat over low until caramel is soft and easy to stir. Add toasted coconut and stir gently until evenly mixed. If brownies are not quite finished, keep this warm, stirring occasionally. Keeping the coconut caramel mixture warm will help it to spread evenly without tearing brownies apart.

Pour coconut caramel mixture over brownies and gently spread evenly over the top. 

Place chocolate chips into a zip-loc baggie and put into microwave for 20 second intervals. Squish the bag with your fingers to mix and smooth the chocolate between intervals. When melted smooth, snip a tiny piece off of the corner of the bag and drizzle over bars. Cool.

Allow the brownies to cool for about half an hour, and then put them if the refrigerator to finish setting. They will cut much more neatly if you wait for them to set. Enjoy!

*recipe has been modified from original version.