German Chocolate Brownie Bars

 Makes 1 9×13-inch pan of brownies



 16 ounces pecans

 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

 2 cups (14 ounces) sugar

 4 eggs

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 3/4 teaspoon baking powder


 3 egg yolks

 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar

 1/4 teaspoon salt

 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

 1 cup heavy cream

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 1 1/2 cups toasted, chopped pecans

 2 cups packed sweetened coconut

To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. 

Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until broken up into tiny pieces. Add the sugar and pulse until combined, then pour in the butter and vanilla. Continue pulsing until combined.

Press the pecan mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden and the crust feels firm. 

While the crust is baking, make the brownies: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sugar until combined. 

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. 

Whisk in the dry ingredients until combined and pour the batter into the prepared pan, on top of the pecan crust. 

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow brownies to cool completely before topping. 

To make the topping: While the brownies are baking, mix the egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat in the butter, then slowly beat in the cream and vanilla until combined. Pour into a medium saucepan set over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is puffy and begins to thicken (180 degrees), about 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the pecans and coconut. Spread all of the mixture over the top of the brownies.

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