Monday, August 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Espresso Bars.

The most important thing you should know about chocolate chip espresso bars is that they make your entire world smell like you're baking a small Starbucks coffee shop in your oven. We're talking cinnamon, sugar, butter, coffee, chocolate... all of my favorite words.

Sidenote: They're also dangerously addictive. For the same reasons.

... and for the crackly cinnamon-sugar glaze.
They have a super soft, super rich, brown sugar cookie bar base. Swoon. And look at those flecks of cinnamon and coffee! They really make the chocolate flavor pop.

Seriously. These cookie bars rival the sugariness of the graham cracker s'mores candy.
I know. They're thin.
And if I hadn't made these, I might be a little closer to that myself. But let me tell you... these bars are so rich and so sugary, that it's almost like eating some kind of chocolate chip cookie dough frappuccino fudge sheet cake, if there were such a thing.

And there totally should be.
P.S. I really want to make these with half semisweet and half white chocolate chunks. I'm kind of in love with that combination since these cookies.

Chocolate Chip Espresso Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon espresso powder (I used instant coffee)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F, with the rack at middle level. Line a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper or grease lightly. 

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be very crumbly, with just barely enough dough to hold together the chocolate chips
Press dough evenly into the jelly roll pan with your hands.
Bake for 5 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for 5-10 minutes more or until the edges are just starting to brown (watch carefully... I baked mine for a total of 18 minutes). Cool in the pan 5 minutes before spreading with the glaze. 
To make the glaze, place milk, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth and barely bubbly. Drizzle the glaze evenly over the bars and smooth out to the edges and corners with a rubber spatula. Cool until the pan is just warm to the touch, then cut into bars and serve.

Source: Vanilla Sugar Blog.