I drink 2 cups of coffee a day. Sometimes, if I’m feeling rough or I’m out meeting a client, there might be a third cup. I’ve never tried to quit because I know the kind of pain I’d be under. Plus, I really, really love coffee. My husband once quit drinking coffee for a month just to see if he could do it. He drank green tea instead which is caffeinated. He had bad headaches for a week or so until they faded, but they did fade. Yet when the month was up, he was back on the mud. You can’t quit a good thing.
So I’m surprised it has taken me this long to make these cappuccino bars which are packed full of good ol’ java flavour. You see, Dana posted this recipe way back in 2009 and I wanted them immediately. But like all things online, I then found something else to crave. And then something else came along. I forgot what happened next. That happens to everyone else, right? But I think the real issue I had with this recipe was that it called for a jelly roll pan. What the heck is that? Thankfully, the internet is also good for answering stupid questions. It turns out that my walled cookie sheet is also known as a jelly roll pan. The pan that I’ve been using for years for cookies and roasting vegetables and pretty much everything else is one and the same. Doh!
I got to work making these squares right away. Not that there is much work involved, mind you. These bars are unbelievably easy to make. And if you want to cut the time down a bit, just use chocolate chips instead of chopping chocolate down from a block. However, I should note that I used some mighty fine bittersweet chocolate and I think chopping it down was a very good thing to do.
But the thing I liked best was the cinnamon glaze. I think I’ll use this glaze for other recipes. Making doughnuts or muffins, use this glaze. Please don’t skip the glaze!! It really elevates these bars into something really special. Think about it. Chocolate. Coffee. Cinnamon. It’s a perfect match! Bake up a batch and share them with a bunch of friends. You’ll need to share because these bars are pretty intense and rich.The only real cautionary tale I can provide is to square off the ends and sides. My dough didn’t fill out the pan and the edges looked all ragged and ugly. And they got brown pretty quickly.
Some bars are for keeping. Above, the ugly ones. Eat those and share the nice looking ones. Now.
(adapted from Dana Treat)
1 c butter, at room temperature
1 c brown sugar, firmly packed
1 T instant espresso powder
1/4 t finely ground espresso powder
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/4 cu flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 c bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped finely
2 T milk
1 T butter
3/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 F with the rack at the middle level. Line a 10×15 inch jelly roll pan (aka cookie sheet with 4 sides) with baking parchment or grease lightly.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, coffee, and vanilla. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt. The dough will be crumbly, this is good. Now, add in the chocolate and stir well.
Dump the dough evenly onto your baking tray and press the dough evenly into the pan using your hands. To flatten things out, use a rolling pin to get an even layer. Use a spreader or spatula to straighten up the sides. Bake for 5 minutes and rotate the pan. Bake 5 minutes more until the edges start turning brown – watch carefully! I left mine in for 8 minutes and they were a bit too dark, I think. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before spreading with glaze.
To make the glaze, put all ingredients into a small pot and let melt over medium heat. Whisk briskly to remove any lumps and stir until barely bubbly. Drizzle glaze evenly over bars and smooth out to the edges and corners with a rubber spatula.
Cool until pan is just warm to the touch and cut into squares. These are rich so cut small squares. Also, these freeze well in sealed plastic containers.