Chocolate Espresso Bars
For the bars:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the glaze:
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 16 chocolate-covered espresso beans for decorating the tops (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In a saucepan, put together the chopped 2 ounces of chocolate and the stick of butter and let it melt on low, about 2 minutes. While it's cooling, whisk together the eggs and the brown sugar in another bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Then add the chocolate mix to the egg mix and stir. Finally add the chocolate mixture to the flour mix and stir until even. Pour batter into the pan and bake for about 25 minutes.
Yield: 16 bars
While the bars are cooling on a wire rack in the pan, make the glaze. In a saucepan on medium heat, combine the cream and the espresso powder, until it's dissolved together and the mixture is starting to bubble around the edges. Add the chocolate and the pinch of salt, then remove from heat and stir it all together. Let cool. Spread glaze on cooled bars in a thin layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut into 1 1/2 x 2 1/2- inch bars or 2-inch squares. Put a coffee bean on each for decoration if desired.
NOTE: Sometimes it can be tough to find instant espresso powder! If you're unable to find it, get regular espresso ground as finely as possible. Sometimes "instant" powders contain sugar, so before putting the bars in the oven, test the batter and make sure it tastes slightly sweet with a bitter coffee aftertaste. If it is still too bitter, add a tablespoon of sugar and stir, and do it again if it's still not very sweet.
Source: Williams-Sonoma, Cookies
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