Sweets & Desserts

Tri-level brownies

Tri-level brownies | casaveneracion.com

After three consecutive baking disasters, I finally came up with a winner. These tri-level brownies are exactly what the name says they are — brownies with three distinct layers.

The crust is made of oatmeal, flour, sugar and butter. The middle layer is a fudgy cookie, achieved by underbaking. The top layer consists of coarsely chopped walnuts over which a simple chocolate frosting is poured.

Adapted from a recipe from my sister-in-law — forgot if it’s Ava or Susan.

Tri-level brownies
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 24
Author: CASA Veneracion
For the crust:
  • 1 cup oats I used rolled oats; you can use instant
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup muscovado or any dark brown sugar, firmly-packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup butter softened
For the middle layer:
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate I used Ghirardelli
  • 1/4 cup butter
For the top layer:
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons very hot water
  1. Make the crust
  2. Mix together all the ingredients for the crust.
  3. Press down firmly onto the bottom of a 11" x 7" x 1 and 1/2" baking pan.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes. Cool.
  5. Make the middle layer
  6. Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Cool.
  7. Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  8. Stir the sugar into the melted chocolate and butter. Add the egg and vanilla essence. Stir just until combined. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the chocolate mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Spread the batter over the cooled crust and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overbake. The top should be moist so that a finger print is left when touched. Cool.
  9. Prepare the top layer
  10. Sift the powdered sugar.
  11. In a double boiler, melt together the butter and chocolate. Stir in the powdered sugar. Add hot water, little by little, until just pourable.
  12. Scatter the chopped walnuts on top of the cooked sheet of brownies. Slowly pour the chocolate mixture over nuts. If some parts of the surface are not covered with the chocolate mixture, tilt the pan in different directions. The chocolate mixture is still liquid enough at this point. After a few minutes, it will set so work fast.

Tri-level brownies

Cover the baking pan with cling wrap. Chill the brownies for several hours. When firm, cut into squares to serve.

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