These may not be the prettiest bars, but they just might be the tastiest! The light orange-glazed exterior hides crunchy walnuts, a gooey brown sugar filling, and sweet chocolate chips on a buttery shortbread crust. I like to cut these bars into small squares so I can have a few of them– one is never enough!

You will need:

Crust:

3/4 C softened butter
3/4 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 C flour 

Filling:

1 C packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
2 T flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 C chopped walnuts
1/2 C mini chocolate chips

Glaze:

1 C powdered sugar
1 orange or 2 clementines
3 T butter, melted

Set your oven to 350F.

Add the crust ingredients to your mixing bowl, and mix slowly at first so you don’t dust your entire kitchen in flour. 

When the butter is fairly well distributed, you can kick it up a notch and mix on a higher speed until the shortbread starts to come together in clumps. Dump the contents of your bowl into a parchment-lined 9” x 13” rectangle pan. (It’s okay if you don’t have parchment paper– your bars might be a little harder to get out of the pan, but they will still be tasty.)

Press the crumbs together into the bottom of the pan and prick the crust all over with a fork so it doesn’t puff up too much. Bake 12-15 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. 

While the crust is baking, give your mixing bowl a rinse, then add to it the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix these together on high for about 30 seconds. 

Zest and juice your orange and set the zest and juice aside.

When your baked crust has come out of the oven, give the filling ingredients another quick mix. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips to the filling and stir them to combine.  

Pour the filling over the baked crust. (It might still be warm, that’s okay.)

Bake the bars for 20 minutes, or until the surface is dry and crackly and the bars have risen slightly.

While the bars are cooling, add the orange zest and juice to a bowl with the powdered sugar and melted butter, then whisk to combine. 

Pour over the warm bars, spreading the glaze around to cover them.  

Let these cool completely before cutting them into squares and enjoying! They’re great with coffee in the morning, or as a late-afternoon pick-me-up. Keep leftover bars in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

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