Café au Lait Bars are the little black dress of cookies: there is no occasion these would not be perfect for. Everyone adored these. Affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
Have you ever promised a dish (or dessert) to someone (a potluck, your husband’s students, the school bake sale, etc) and then sorely regretted it? Like selfishly, no-doubt-about-it contemplated coming up with some big fat lie of an excuse about why you could not contribute that dish?
Yeah I came this close with these bars.
Alex and I actually made a double batch together, one batch for the teachers for conference meals, and one batch for John’s students. Almost neither batch left. I loved them that much. These bars are a coffee dessert lovers dream come true. They actually do not even need the chocolate chips, and I am not convinced I would use them next time. (If you are wondering, John’s students–the best fed students on campus–said these were the best things I had ever made!)
Guys I have been so excited for this Creative Cookie Exchange. Coffee flavored desserts are one of my all time favorite sweets. I mentioned a few days ago that I had recently become re-obsessed with The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook when I made those Salty Sweet White Chocolate Cashew Bars. Well these Café au Lait Bars are the recipe that kicked off the “re-obsession.” I have had them bookmarked for ages, basically since I got the book. Possibly because John is not the world’s biggest coffee dessert fan (if you are wondering–he loved these) I had never gotten around to making them. What a mistake! if I sound a trifle crazed it is because I loved them that much.
I hope you guys check out everyone else’s coffee and tea based cookies. What a great theme! Right!? I seriously want to make all of them!
One note about the optional miniature chocolate chips: The recipe suggested sprinkling them onto the hot, baked bars–but that really was not enough to help them stick much, so I have written the recipe below as adding the chips before baking if you want to use them.
- 3 T instant espresso
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks; 6 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 t vanilla
- 2 cups (252 g) AP flour
- 1/2 t fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips, optional
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a 9X13 baking pan with parchment paper that overhangs on at least 2 opposite sides. Set aside.
Whisk together the instant espresso and cream. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour and sea salt. Set aside.
Beat the eggs using a whip attachment (handheld mixer or stand mixer) until foamy and thickened. Add the sugar in a stream while running the mixer on medium low speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl down to completely incorporate the sugar. Then return to beating on medium high speed until the eggs are thick and pale yellow, about 3-5 minutes.
Beat in the vanilla and melted butter.
Add the flour mixture and mix in on low until mostly incorporated. Then finish folding by hand with a large spatula to completely incorporate the flour.
Remove 1 1/2 cups of this batter to a separate bowl.
Mix the espresso-cream mixture into the remaining batter in your original bowl. Spread this batter into the prepared pan.
Spoon the reserved 1 1/2 cups of "vanilla" batter over the coffee batter. Then use a butter knife or a skinny spatula to swirl the 2 together.
If desired, sprinkle the miniature chocolate chips over the top of the bars.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the center of the bars is set.
Cool completely then remove from the pan by the parchment paper overhang and slice.
The theme this month is Wake from Winter with Coffee and Tea–because unlike last month, now our Spring Fever has some basis in reality! Creative Cookie Exchange has decided to stop using the linky. What this means is that the only way to join in the fun is to become a host. Just contact me at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and I will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.
You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Facebook page, our Pinterest Board, and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made: