A towering German Chocolate Cake is definitely a dessert to look forward to, but there isn’t always time – nor do I always have the desire – to construct a multi-layered cake. The solution to this little problem is a batch of German Chocolate Cake Brownies. These brownies have all the flavor of the cake, including a coconut-pecan topping that is very much like the gooey frosting that usually finished off a traditional German chocolate cake.
This recipe comes from the Taste of Home Baking Book, a favorite of mine because it has so many classic American baking recipes in it, including cakes, cookies, pies, breads and, of course, brownies. These brownies are very rich and chocolatey with a slightly unusual melt-in-your-mouth texture that makes them seem almost like a very tender cake. They are neither fudgy nor cakey, but are a great balance somewhere in between that should appeal to all brownie fans. The brownies are also not too sweet, so they balance well with the sweet, sticky topping.
The topping is a mixture of coconut, chopped pecans, brown sugar and butter. It is spread onto the brownies after they bake and then broiled to melt it and caramelize the top. Be careful with this step because it is easy to burn both the coconut and the pecans. Either set your oven rack a little ways away from your broiler (a middle rack instead of a top rack) or keep a very sharp eye on it, rather than setting a timer and walking away.
These brownies keep very well and, in an airtight container, will still taste great after several days.
German Chocolate Cake Brownies
slightly adapted from Taste of Home
1/2 cup butter
3-oz semisweet chocolate or German sweet chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
1/2 cup chopped, toasted and salted pecans
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt together the butter and the chocolate. Stir until smooth and then allow to cool for several minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl with sugar. Beat in vanilla extract and then add the eggs one at a time.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to chocolate mixture and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with very moist crumbs, not just batter, attached.
While the brownies bake, prepare the topping. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. When brownies are done, gently spread the topping over the brownies, adding it in dollops to cover the whole surface evenly.
Place pan under the broiler for 2-4 minutes, until topping has lightly browned. Watch closely so that it does not burn.
Cool completely before slicing. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 20 brownies.