Day 11 of our 12 Days of Cookies extravaganza thing, and I can't believe it's almost over. I had my eye on these mocha toffee bars because I adore chocolate and coffee together, and after making and enjoying them I've converted Michael as well. He even asked if we could add these to our annual Christmas cookie list along with the Cajun macaroons, so we have found a couple new favorites.
The cookies are straightforward and easy to make. The only trouble I ran into was baking time. My oven tends to run cool, plus my jelly roll pan doesn't exactly heat evenly so the sides were done before the middle was even set. I ended up with crispy edges and chewy middle.
The coffee flavor is in the shortbread crust, and I simply use instant coffee and add a little extra coffee to the hot water. The original recipe calls for espresso powder, which isn't always easy to find. The chocolate topping is simply melted semi-sweet chocolate chips poured right onto the hot shortbread, though I mixed dark and semi-sweet chips. The chopped cashews are roasted and salted, a nice contrast to the slightly dark chocolate topping.
Be sure to visit all our friends in the cookie clan to see what cookies they chose as well as the Gourmet website to see all their favorite cookies from 1941-2008.
The Rest of the Cookie Baking Clan
- Kelly of Sass & Veracity
- Courtney of Coco Cooks
- Judy of No Fear Entertaining
- Sandy of The Bakers Bench
- Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen
Mocha Toffee Bars
- stand mixer with paddle attachment, or hand mixer and large bowl
- 15-½ x 10-½ x 1 inch jelly-roll pan
- large angled spatula (optional, but helpful for spreading the shortbread)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder (or 4 tablespoons instant coffee, dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (or half semisweet + half bittersweet, melted)
- ¾ cup salted roasted cashews (chopped)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F/175° C.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer cream the butter, then add the brown sugar and beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy.
- Beat in the yolk, then add the vanilla and the espresso mixture a little at a time, beating between additions. Continue to beat the mixture until it is combined well.
- Add the salt and the flour, and beat the mixture until is combined well.
- Spread the batter evenly in a jelly-roll pan, 15 ½ by 10 ½ by 1 inch, and bake it in the middle of a preheated 350° F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it pulls away slightly from the edge of the pan.
- Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the baked layer and sprinkle the chopped cashews over it. Let the mixture cool in the pan on a rack, cut it into 48 bars, and chill it for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chocolate is firm.