Tuesday 15 June 2010

Crunchy coffee bars

A nice alternative to a biscuit. Also, they're bigger!

I wanted to get some work done on my thesis today so I convinced myself that I 'needed' some 'study treats'. I didn't take much convincing so I decided to give these a go. I had read a recipe online for toffee coffee bars and it looked pretty good; I made a few small changes and the result was pretty tasty. I was hugely confused when the original recipe instructed me to put exposed chocolate directly into the oven - wouldn't it burn? The answer is yes, yes it would. Caught it in time and covered the baking tin to stop the chocolate spoiling. I'm guessing there is some ingredient in American chocolate chips (which the original recipe called for) that makes them more resistant to the heat of an oven. I used chopped German chocolate (a mix of 70% and milk) and it did NOT like being in the oven. Anyway, I recommend cooking the base separately and then drizzling melted chocolate on top when it has cooled. That's what I would do the next time.

- 4 oz butter, softened
- 1 cup soft brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 2 cups flour
- I cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

- Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until lighter and fluffier.
- Add the baking powder and salt and mix.
- If your coffee granules are quite coarse, put them in a pestle and mortar and grind them into a powder. Add this to the mixture.
- Add the flour and work it through (this takes some effort) until you have a crumbley 'dough' - a bit like a shortbread.
- Dump this crumbley mixture into a greased baking tray and press it down well.
- Bake at 160 (fan) or 180 (conventional) celcius for approximately 15 minutes until it has darkened slightly. Don't be nervous if it hasn't hardened - it will be really soft until it comes out and has fully cooled.
- Allow to cool in the tray for ten mins or so, then cut into squares and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Melt the chocolate and drizzle generously over the squares. Serve to your friends and siblings as bribes.

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