These chewy shortbread brownies are loaded with crunchy walnuts and plenty of semisweet chocolate chips – your coffee break and teatime will thank you for it! The chocolate chip walnut brownies have a rich chocolate flavor and a scrumptious shortbread crust. 

shortbread brownies

Homemade shortbread brownies

Looking for a new sweet bite to put on your baking-to-do-list? Then try my delicious chocolate chip walnut brownies. These moist and rich shortbread brownies are studded with semisweet chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Pair one of the chocolate walnut brownies with a glass of cold milk for a delicious treat. They’re a little different than other brownie recipesbut definitely worth it.

My family loves brownies, and I always stash some away in our freezer. Some of our other homemade brownie recipes include these pudding brownies, banana pudding brownies, almond flour brownies, this brownie tart, and the pumpkin cheesecake brownies from Becca Ink.

This easy brownie recipe was first published in 2018 and updated in July 2021 to more helpful tips and new photos.

shortbread brownies recipe

What are shortbread brownies?

Shortbread brownies consist of 2 parts: a buttery shortbread crust topped with a decadent double chocolate brownie.

Shortbread has always been one of my favorite cookies, and chocolate chip brownies are a no-crumb-will-be-left chocolate fix. So why not combine the two into the shortbread brownies of your dreams?

Chocolate chip shortbread brownies will require a bit more time, but it will be sooo worth it when you sink your teeth into a chocolatey, buttery bite.

What’s the story behind this recipe

I know. You’re here for the homemade brownies with walnuts, not listen to me rambling about the backstory. But since these shortbread brownies are tied to fond memories of a good friend and my time in London, allow me to share the origins of this chocolate walnut brownies recipe.

I adapted this brownies with nuts recipe from my former neighbor Caroline. When my husband and I first moved to London, we lived in a Victorian basement flat (which isn’t as bad as it sounds). Caroline and her hubby Graham lived next door, and these brownies are one of the many recipes we exchanged while we stayed there.

Being a British recipe, the process for making these brownies differs somewhat from most American brownies in that we’re only melting the chocolate but creaming the sugar and butter. You’ll also need to separate the eggs and beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.

Although this may not be what you’re used to, trust the process because Caroline’s shortbread brownie recipe is absolutely delicious!

Shortbread brownie ingredients

Your double chocolate walnut brownieswill only be as good as your ingredients. I recommend you buy high-quality to ensure you get the best shortbread double chocolate brownies. Here’s your grocery list:

  • Chocolate chips: Splurge on a high-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate. We melt half of the chocolate chips and load the brownies with the other half for extra chocolate chips throughout yourshortbread brownies.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is our flour of choice for these chewy walnut brownies. It creates a tender brownie texture and crumbly shortbread. Make sure to level and spoon the flour, so you don’t end up with too much flour and tough brownies.
  • Sugar: I opted for granulated sugar (white sugar), but you can use granulated for the shortbread and brown sugar for the brownie.
  • Butter: We need butter for both the shortbread bottom and the brownie batter. I like to use salted butter for a perfectly nuanced salty-sweet flavor, but you can also go for unsalted butter + 1/4 tsp fine sea salt.
  • Eggs: You’ll need 4 eggs, 3 for the double chocolate brownie, and 1 for the shortbread layer.
  • Baking powder isn’t typically an ingredient in brownie recipes, but it gives the brownie a slight rise.
  • Vanilla extract gives thechocolate chipbrownies a delicious aroma.
  • Walnuts introduce a delicious earthy flavor and balance out the sweetness of the brownies with chocolate chips. Walnuts are optional and can be left out if you prefer. You also can swap walnuts for other nuts like pecans or hazelnuts.
chocolate chip walnut brownies

How to make shortbread brownies

If you haven’t had shortbread brownies yet, you MUST try them. So without further adieu, let me show you how to make shortbread brownies with walnuts and chocolate chips:

Step 1: Preheat the oven

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°F / gas mark 4 and position a rack in the middle of the oven.

Step 2: Prep the baking pan

  • Grease a 9 in x 13 in / 23 cm x 33 cm baking pan with butter or baking spray. Line the bottom and sides of the baking tin with 2 overlapping pieces of parchment paper (baking paper) to later lift the baked shortbread brownie out of the pan.

Step 3: Mix the shortbread crust

  • Add the flour, butter cubes, granulated sugar, and one egg into a large mixing bowl.
  • Knead until large crumbles form, and you no longer see any flour.

Step 4: Bake the shortbread layer

  • Spread the shortbread mixture evenly into the lined baking tin. Press the crumbs with your fingertips (or the bottom of a glass) until the entire surface is covered. Prick the shortbread with a fork.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside.

Step 5: Melt the chocolate

  • While the shortbread is baking, melt 1/2 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz chocolate chips in the microwave, set to medium in 30-second bursts, or in a double boiler over simmering water.
  • Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Set aside.

Step 6: Mix the brownie batter

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract with a hand-held or stand mixer with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks and melted chocolate and mix until incorporated.
  • Stir in the flour, chopped walnuts, and chocolate chips.

Step 7: Whip the egg whites

  • In another mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff and fluffy.
  • Fold the whipped egg whites into the brownie batter and gently mix to combine the ingredients.

Step 8: Bake the chocolate chip walnut brownies

  • Spread the brownie batter evenly onto the pre-baked shortbread crust and and sprinkle with the walnuts and remaining chocolate chips.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and cut the brownie into 16 squares.
brownies with chocolate chips

Tips for the best chocolate chip walnut brownies

If this is your first time making shortbread brownies, follow the recipe closely and heed my simple tips:

  • Don’t overmix the shortbread dough. Overmixing will activate too much gluten, which will make the shortbread tough and dry.
  • Beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. I know it’s extra work, but it will make the brownie batter so much better. You can add a pinch of salt when whipping, so the whites hold up.
  • Sprinkle the brownies with walnuts and chocolate chips before baking. Loading your easy walnut brownie recipe with these two will make the chocolate chip brownies look prettier and add extra flavor and more crunch to thechocolate walnutbrownies.
brownies with shortbread crust

Chocolate walnut brownie FAQ

How many chocolate walnut brownies does the recipe make?

I baked my shortbread brownies in a 9 in x 13 in / 23 cm x 33 cm baking dish and sliced them into 16 bars, but you can certainly cut them into smaller or larger portions. 

If you want to serve them at a party, cut them into small brownie bites, and I guarantee they will be gone in no time.

Can I use another type of chocolate?

Yes! Although I haven’t tried it, I think the brownies would also be delicious with milk chocolate for a lighter chocolate flavor or dark chocolate if you prefer an intense chocolate aroma.

Lastly, you can also sprinkle your chewy walnut brownies with white chocolate chips.

Can I bake the brownies in a different size pan?

Yes, you can bake the brownies in a different size pan, but you need to make a few adjustments.

I recommend cutting the ingredient amounts in half if using an 8-in / 20 cm square baking tin.

You can use the full amount for a 9-in / 23 cm baking pan, but you need to increase the baking time by a few minutes, so the brownies aren’t undercooked.

chocolate walnut brownie recipe

Storage and shelf life

Leftover shortbread brownies will keep well at room temperature for about 3 days when stored in an airtight container. The chocolate chip walnut brownies will last for 5 days in the refrigerator.

They also freeze well for about 3 to 4 months. I prefer to cut the brownies into squares and wrap each bar in a piece of wax (greaseproof) paper. Place the brownie bars into a freezer-safe container or a zip-top bag and freeze.

To defrost, just let them thaw on the counter for a few hours or overnight before serving.

Yield: 16 brownies

Chocolate Chip Walnut Brownies Recipe

chocolate chip walnut shortbread brownies

Chocolate chip walnut brownies are studded with semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. They range more on the side of cakey than fudgy, meaning they’re not too heavy but still an excellent, no-crumb-will-be-left chocolate fix. I used walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips for the brownies. If you’re looking to make variations, use white, milk or butterscotch chocolate chips and swap the walnuts for chopped pecans or hazelnuts.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the shortbread crust

  • 2 cups / 240 g / 8.5 oz all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 1/2 cup / 1 stick / 115 g / 4 oz cold salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar (caster sugar)
  • 1 egg (US, CA, AUS & NZ: L /UK & Europe: M)

For the brownie

  • 1 1/3 cups / 200 g / 7 oz semisweet chocolate chips, divided (can sub for dark chocolate chips)
  • 2/3 cup / 1 1/3 stick / 150 g / 5.3 oz cold salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup / 150 g / 5.3 oz granulated sugar (can sub for brown sugar)
  • 3 eggs (US, CA, AUS & NZ: L / UK & Europe: M), separated
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups / 225 g / 8 oz  all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz walnuts, shelled and chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°F / gas mark 6 and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Grease a 9 in x 13 in / 23 cm x 33 cm baking pan with butter or baking spray.
  2. Prep the baking pan. Line the bottom and sides of the baking tin with 2 overlapping pieces of parchment paper (baking paper) to later lift the baked shortbread brownie out of the pan.
  3. Mix the shortbread crust. Add the flour, butter cubes, granulated sugar, and one egg into a large mixing bowl. Knead until large crumbles form, and you no longer see any flour.
  4. Bake the shortbread layer. Spread the shortbread mixture evenly into the lined baking tin. Press the crumbs with your fingertips (or the bottom of a glass) until the entire surface is covered, and prick the shortbread with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. Melt the chocolate. While the shortbread is baking, melt 1/2 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz chocolate chips in the microwave, set to medium in 30-second bursts, or in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Set aside.
  6. Mix the brownie batter. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a hand-held or stand mixer with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and melted chocolate and mix until incorporated. Stir in the flour, chopped walnuts, and chocolate chips.
  7. Whip the egg whites. In another mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff and fluffy. Fold the beaten egg whites into the brownie batter and gently mix to combine the ingredients.
  8. Bake the chocolate chip walnut brownies. Spread the brownie batter evenly onto the pre-baked shortbread crust and and sprinkle with the walnuts and remaining chocolate chips. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and cut the brownie into 16 squares.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 156mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 6g

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