Macadamia Double-Decker Brownie Bars
FOR THE BROWNIE LAYER:
Nonstick cooking spray
6 oz. (12 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into large chunks
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch processed)
1/4 tsp. table salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
FOR THE MACADAMIA TOPPING:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 oz. (1/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped salted macadamia nuts
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Make the brownie layer:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving some overhang on the sides, and spray with cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk the butter until it's melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the flour and stir with a rubber spatula until blended. Scrape into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until the top is shiny and dry-looking and the brownie springs back very slightly when pressed with a fingertip, about 20 minutes. (The brownie won't be completely baked.) Let cool in the pan on a rack. Leave the oven set to 325°F.
Make the macadamia topping:
In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and flour by whisking until well blended, breaking up any large clumps. Add the corn syrup, melted butter, and vanilla. Whisk until blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and whisk just until combined, about 30 seconds. (Don't over-mix or the batter will be foamy.) Add the nuts and coconut and stir with a rubber spatula until evenly blended.
Pour the macadamia topping over the warm, partially baked brownie layer. Using a spatula, carefully spread the mixture into an even layer. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, 37 to 40 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a rack to cool completely. (At this point, the entire pan can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then in foil, and frozen for up to a month.) Using the foil as handles, lift the bar from the pan and invert onto a work
surface. Carefully peel away the foil. Flip it right side up. Using a sharp knife, cut it into 2-inch squares.