I dedicate this recipe to my father, the ultimate lover of all things chocolate.
When I was growing up, and had yet to develop my chocolate tooth, a giant chocolate bunny always managed to find its way into my Easter basket even though the Easter bunny knew very well that I did not like chocolate. And guess who in the house coincidentally always got to eat said giant chocolate hare? On the bright side, my father has since been validated by the medical community that his chocolate obsession is, in fact, healthy. However, I’m not sure a giant chocolate bunny counts as moderation.
The Chocolate Mud Bars from the Everyday Baking Cookbook are everything a chocolate lover could dream of. The ‘mud’ is a moist, rich chocolate filling which is studded with walnuts and surrounded on one edge by a graham cracker crust and on the others by a slightly crunchier chocolate shell. Use quality chocolate and I guarantee this will be the best “mud” you’ve ever eaten (and will become a favorite of any chocolate lover you know!).
Semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Mixing the smooth chocolate with the dry ingredients
The crust and the chocolate – a match made in heaven
Release the mud!
Finished bars! They really were the tastiest “mud” I ever did eat.
Chocolate Mud Bars
From the Everyday Baking Cookbook, page 54
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
¼ cup cake flour
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside.
For crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well with your hands. Add the melted butter, stir well with a fork, then rub the ingredients together well with your fingers until thoroughly mixed. Press the mixture evenly in the prepared pan to form a level layer on the bottom with a lip extending about ¼ inch up the sides of the pan. (Do not prebake the crust).
For filling: Combine the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler over not-quite-simmering water. When melted, whisk to smooth, then remove the pan from the heat. Scrape the chocolate into a medium bowl and cool to lukewarm. Preheat the oven to 325oF. Whisk the sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the lukewarm chocolate. Stir in the cake flour, mixing until smooth. Stir in the walnuts. Scrape the batter over the crust and smooth with a spoon. Bake on the center oven rack for 35 minutes only – no longer. Cool on a rack. Refrigerate an hour or so before slicing. Serve at room temperature. Makes 16 bars.