Café au lait Bars

This is another excellent recipe from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, and our second favorite cookie made this holiday season.

The basic idea here is to have a cookie that tastes like Café au lait. But in actuality, the result is a bar where the espresso/coffee flavor is understated rather than dominant, giving the treat a bit of nuance that can often be lacking in cookies.

Yes, I said it. This cookie has nuance.

If you’re a fan of coffee shops and cookies, this recipe is a must to put into your repertoire.

Also, while I am at it, let me give a hearty recommendation to the King Arthur Cookbook. I’ve tried several recipes from them lately, and every one of them has worked out well. Several other cookie cookbooks that I own cannot make that statement. The recipes are concise, correct, and in my opinion, delicious.

Note: Sugar, butter, flour, and coffee/espresso measurements all by weight, not volume.

  • 3 large eggs
  • 10.5 oz Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter, melted
  • 8.5 oz All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 oz. instant coffee crystals OR 3/8 oz. instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees F. and grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat the three eggs until thick. Add the sugar, and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Add the vanilla and melted butter until the batter is thick. Then add the flour and salt, mixing well. The batter will be pasty at this point. But this is okay. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the batter and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix your coffee powder and cream together and then add to the remaining batter. Mix well, and then pour this batter into the 9 x 13 inch pan, spreading out the batter with a knife to ensure that the entire dish is covered.

Then take the batter than you had set aside and pour that on top of the coffee-laced batter. Use a knife to make any design you find appropriate.

Pour on the walnuts and then place the glass dish into the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with the chocolate chips whilst the bars are still hot. Allow to cool before cutting.

Makes about 24 bars