Friday, December 3, 2010

Mocha Toffee Bars

I was going through my stack of handwritten recipes the other day, trying to choose some Holiday appropriate ones and I came across this cookie bar recipe. It's from Gourmet Magazine but I'm not sure what year. I love the flavor of mocha and if you do too, you'll really love these bar cookies.
There's a whole three tablespoons of espresso powder in the crust so that's a pretty decent jolt of caffeine! The original recipe called for salted cashews for the top but I didn't have any on hand, so I used pecans instead. I really think the cashews would have been a better choice. The pecans didn't have a distinct enough taste. They were kind of overpowered from the mocha crust flavor so next time..definitely salted cashews it is.
Another thing, I would use some good quality dark chocolate on top rather than the chocolate chips I used, but it's a great bar cookie and the flavor gets better the next day.

After the crust comes out of the oven, you sprinkle the chocolate on top and let them melt a minute, then spread them around with a knife of offset spatula.

Then sprinkle on the chopped nuts. Pop the whole thing into the fridge to set the chocolate a bit.

Then take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature just enough so that you can cut into the size pieces you want.

Mocha Toffee Bars

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. espresso powder dissolved in 2 tbsp. boiling water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups AP flour
8 ozs. semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup salted, roasted cashews, chopped
Preheat oven to 350.
1. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar til light and creamy.
2. Beat in egg yolk, then add vanilla, then espresso mixture, a little at a time, beating til well incorporated.
3. Add the flour and salt, beating til well blended.
4. Spread the mixture into a 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" jelly roll pan . ( I used a 13 x 9" pan and baked the extra in a muffin top pan).
5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or til it pulls away from edge. ( Mine took the full 20 minutes.)
6. Sprinkle chocolate on top while the crust is still hot and spread over the crust. Then sprinkle the cashews on top. Let it cool in the pan, refridgerating to help set the chocolate. Then cut into serving size pieces.

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