A buttery shortbread crust forms the base for these chewy, chocolaty bars.
© Christina Holmes

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

These have to be one of my favorite chocolate bar cookies. The crust is buttery and crunchy and the topping is fudgy and chewy and completely indulgent. I have to admit, though, that the method is not entirely my own. We tested a homey baking book many months ago that had you combine chocolate (it used semisweet chocolate chips) with sweetened condensed milk to create a sort of quick fudge. It then got combined with something else, so you lost a little of its specialness. For my bars, the fudgy filling takes center stage. I used bittersweet chocolate (the darker the better, I think!) and spread the fudge over a buttery shortbread crust. The mixture is then topped with a pecan streusel and baked. When cooled sufficiently, these cut into the most perfect little bars. I love the high ratio of chocolate to crust—the opposite of a more delicate chocolate-dipped cookie. Most cookies scream for milk, but I have coffee with these because the warmth of the coffee melts the filling, making it ridiculously decadent. SEE RECIPE »