Sometimes all it takes is just a bit of peer pressure and I’m done in. No turning back. When I spotted these tempting baked goods in my Flickr stream and I had to find out more. I was warned by the baker and by the comments on Bon Appetit about the screwy bake times, but I didn’t let that deter me. I mean, c’mon, these bars have nuts, coffee and chocolate which are pretty much the holy trinity as far as I’m concerned. Plus, they are egg-free which was perfect since I was out of eggs (which makes them easily vegan).
Of course, I switched things up a bit. Added in walnuts since that is what I had on-hand and subbed in vanilla for the almond extract. I even did without the extra 2 tablespoons of butter, because, really, there’s already a cup in there and that should be enough (it was). As for all those dire warnings about baking times, please do take caution! I used a 13×9 pan instead of a 12×12 pan which resulted in thicker bars so I was able to bake mine for about 35 minutes or so. If you do decide to go with a 12×12 pan, see how the bars are at 25 minutes in. If they need a bit longer, let ‘em go, but keep a careful eye on them. Also, it’s important to cut the bars right out of the oven, so if they do harden up considerably, you can still get at ‘em.
Warnings aside, my bars were perfect. They were chewy and crisp all at once. And not only were they delicious warm out of the oven, they got better the longer they were around. And trust me, in the grand scheme of things, they weren’t around too long. The espresso flavour just intensified which made these cookies extra amazing. Perfection had been attained!
coffee crunch bar cookies
(adapted from Molly Wizenberg)
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 c (firmly packed) brown sugar
2 T instant espresso powder
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325F. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt together. In another bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, espresso and vanilla extract together. Add in the flour in 2 additions until well mixed. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Press dough into an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. Use a fork to poke holes in the dough every inch or so. Bake for 35 minutes or so, but check after 25 minutes just to be sure it doesn’t over-bake. Remove from oven and slice into bars right away. When they cool, they will crisp up.