Raising the nutty bar to new heights

By on December 14, 2011

My Christmas present for our readers is Twelve Days of Christmas Baking. Each installment, I’ll be offering you a favorite recipe to try for your own Christmas baking.

These are all tested recipes that I’ve been making for over 20 years and I hope they become some of your favorite Christmas recipes too.

This is a wonderful nutty bar elevated to new heights by the addition of coffee. A simple coffee-flavored batter is spread into a large baking pan, baked, and then coated with chocolate and sprinkled with nuts.

Mocha Toffee Cashew Bars

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 TB vanilla
3 TB ground coffee mixed in 3 TB boiling water
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
¾ cup salted roasted cashews, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and brown sugar about 3-4 minutes, until fluffy and pale-colored.
Beat in yolk, vanilla, coffee mixture until combined well.
Add flour and salt and mix at low speed until combined.
Spread batter evenly in an ungreased 10 ½ x 15 ½ inch baking pan.
Bake about 18-22 minutes until top puffs slightly and sides pull away slightly.
Watch carefully toward end of baking as base can burn easily.

While base is baking, melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl held over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Spread chocolate over warm base and immediately sprinkle with cashews. Cool completely in pan on a rack, then cut into 48 bars. Chill until chocolate is firm.

Previous Days of Christmas:
Day 1: Sweet holiday gifts from the oven »
Day 2: An intense chocolate rush »
Day 3: Great neighbors, great cookies »

See more at Kitchens Are Monkey Business »

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