Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Baking. Day 4. Cookie #11. Mocha Toffee Cashew Bars.

Day 4 of the Annual Rosiethon. And Rosie is just getting warmed up. Today's first delectable is Mocha Toffee Cashew Bars.
Mocha Toffee Cashew Bar Ingredients: 2 sticks butter, softened 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 large egg yolk 2 tsp vanilla 3 TB instant-espresso powder dissolved in 2 TB boiling water 2 cups flour 1/2 tsp salt 8 oz bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened) 3/4 cup salted roasted cashews, chopped Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter. Add brown sugar and beat at moderately high speed for three minutes. Beat in yolk and vanilla. Add in espresso mixture, beating until well combined. Add flour and salt. Mix at low speed until just combined. Spread batter evenly in an ungreased 10 1/2 x 15 1/2 pan. Bake in middle of oven until top puffs slightly and sides pull away from edge of pan - about 20 minutes. Watch carefully toward end of baking since base can burn easily. While base is baking, melt chocolate. When base comes out of oven, spread chocolate over warm base and immediately sprinkle with cashews. Cool completely on rack. Then cut into bars. Chill.
I like to cream the butter for a minute or two until it's light and fluffy.
Add in brown sugar ...
... and beat at moderately high speed for three minutes.
Add in yolk and save that white for something else. I should have been thinking and made this BEFORE I made the coconut macaroons since they require egg whites.
Vanilla in.
Coffee mixture in. I don't use instant espresso powder since I don't have any on hand. I just grind up my regular blend and add the boiling water to that. Works fine for me.
Gradually add in flour on low
and beat until just combined.
Plop mixture onto ungreased pan.
And spread out with an offset spatula. If you do any baking at all, this little gadget is a must-have. Into the oven for about 20 minutes. Watch it near the end. You want a slightly lightly browned puffy surface with the edges pulling away. While the base is baking, prepare the toppings:
I put my cashews in a bag and apply a rolling pin to crush.
Chocolate ready for nuking.
Perfect base. Dixie's dreaming of doggie treats.
Nuked chocolate ...
Stir until creamy and smooth.
I'm having fun here with the designs.
Pour over top of base.
Spread evenly.
Dixie is having sweet dreams.
Sprinkle cashews over top.
Press nut pieces into chocolate.
These are some of my favorites. I love the flavors of the coffee and the bittersweet chocolate. And it's not an overly sweet cookie.

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