Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cafe Au Lait Bars

The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion was one of my very first baking books that I owned. If you don't yet have it, you should definitely look into taking care of that. It has an extensive collection of all sorts of cookies and bars. Whenever I need to make something for any occasion or I just feel like baking (which happens every day, mind you) it's the first book I reach for. They are my most trusted baking pals and I'm so glad to have them. So it comes as no surprise that I turned to them after thinking that the Chocolate Mousse Cake might not have been enough for S's bridal shower. In deciding to supplement it with something else I chose to cater specifically to S's tastes- AKA her love of coffee. I stumbled on this recipe for Cafe Au Lait bars. It just sounds dreamy and sophisticated, doesn't it? I will not lie, these bars were entirely overshadowed by the mousse cake, but they did meet my standards and S's as well. According to her, they were Am-m-a-a-a-zing. Exactly like that. I myself enjoyed their soft, pillowy texture, created, I'm sure, by the vigorous beating of the eggs until thick and then whizzed once again when the sugar had been added. I was nervous to add the full amount of espresso and I'm glad I held back; it was neither too coffee-y, nor too mild. It was just right! My only disappointment was the way they looked. The recipe called to set aside enough white batter to spread on top and swirl. I don't know what happened, but the batters just didn't swirl well at all, and so the presentation didn't have that swirled effect either; the look is that of a two layered bar. Oh well. A small price to pay and the flavor more than compensated for this and so did the chocolate chips sprinkled on top. Mocha anyone?

Cafe Au Lait Bars
from the KAF Cookie Companion
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp espresso powder, or less if desired
1/4 cup heavy cream
chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan. Set aside. Place the eggs in a large bowl.

Beat until light and thick. Add the sugar, and beat until glossy and thick. Stir in the flour and salt. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of batter.
Add the cream and espresso powder to the remaining batter.
The coffee batter. YUMMO! (And I am not a coffee person!)
Spread the coffee batter into the prepared pan.

Top with the remaining white batter and "swirl" them as best as you can.

Top with chocolate chips. Looks so cute! bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before cutting.


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