Coffee Crunch Bars

Thank you Ms. Molly Wizenberg. When I first got into food blogs, I quickly stumbled upon Orangette and quickly added it to my reader. I have always loved her photography and recipes so I was pleasantly surprised when I found her monthly column “Cooking Life” in Bon Appetit. This is just one of the many reasons that I am very excited for her new book.

After reading the story that she tells of her friend Leah coming to spend a few days with her in Seattle and immediately making these cookies that they enjoyed throughout her visit, I knew that this was a special recipe. Leah almost didn’t share this recipe that was passed down from her Grandmother (with a few tweaks along the way), but Molly convinced her that this was something to be shared, especially in the pages of a magazine. So thank you, Leah, for sharing such a wonderful treat.

These bars were really simple to make and all I had to buy was some almond extract (which I have been meaning to do so that I can properly make these biscotti). I was a little worried when I pulled them out of the oven because they seemed rock hard, but this was exactly how they are supposed to be. They are crunchy but once they hit your mouth the flavors start to melt in amazing ways. They are rich, so it is good that they stay nice for up to 5 days (we are on number 4 and they are still lovely).

I hope you try them, you can just tell how truly special this recipe is.

Coffee Crunch Bars
From Molly Wizenberg via Bon Appetit

2 cups AP Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (preferably organic) at room temp
1 1/4 cups (firmly packed) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 325F. Whisk first 3 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until blended, 2 mins. Add espresso powder and almond extract; beat for 1 min. Stir in flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing under just absorbed after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips and almonds (dough will be quite thick).

Turn dough out onto ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Using hands, press dough into 12-inch squares. Pierce all over with fork at 1-inch intervals.

Bake until edges are lightly browned and beginning to crisp, 45 to 50 mins. Cool on sheet 1 min. Cut into 48 bars and immediately transfer to a rack; cool (they get crisper here so give them time).

10 responses to “Coffee Crunch Bars

  1. I love the closeup of the chocolate chips melting slightly. Yummy!!

  2. Thanks Chuck! I loved it too 🙂

  3. This looks absolutely delicious … Laila ..

  4. I love molly, orangette and cooking life…I am so happy on Tuesdays when I wake up and her latest installment is waiting for me in my reader! And, I’ve already pre-ordered her book…am I obsessed? Maybe… 🙂

    These bars look lovely…I will definitely be trying them!

  5. Read that article in “Bon Appetit,” too, and wondered if the brownies were as good as she promised. Sounds like they are…

  6. i’m so happy to see you tried them. i was super close to making them tonight then i read the reviews on epicurious and got nervous. i think i’ll give them a try knowing you had success. thanks!

  7. Kelly- I hope you like them. They really do have a toffee taste which I thought was lovely

    Rachel-They were a little different than brownies but still a really nice treat!

    Andrea-Her book is in my Amazon wish list…once I get closer to graduation and (maybe?!) finding my first “real” job I will clear out the wish list with Molly’s book right on the top.

    Lalia-Thanks for dropping by!

  8. These look delicious!

  9. I’ve been loving her new column in Bon Appetit as well! These bars/cookies do look delicious and for a chocoholic like me, a definite must!

  10. I made these too and heard there was a huge debate over them. First, the recipe printed isn’t the exact version Molly uses herself. Secondly, I heard that the cooking time (45 minutes?) was a misprint. I was not overly impressed with the bars I made. I gave them away.

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