Week 7: Cafe Au Lait Bars

If you're wondering where Week 6 went, then kudos for paying attention! Well one thing after another and...I'm not going to make excuses because it just didn't get done. In that time I managed to make a couple pies though, which really doesn't have anything to do with this blog. They were delicious and I'm sharing the picture of my Coconut Cream. It was pretty. This week, again, I was in the mood to use my espresso powder. Maybe because I'm afraid that the pricey jar is going to go bad. I like coffee and so does my husband, but I'm pretty sure my family doesn't, so these probably won't go in my Christmas tins. I present to you... Cafe Au Lait Bars.

Recipe courtesy King Arthur Cookie Companion

3 large eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. instant coffee crystals, or 3 Tbsp. espresso powder
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 c. walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan or similar sized pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until light-colored and thick. Add the sugar, beating until glossy and stiff. Add the vanilla and melted butter, beating to combine. Stir in the flour and salt.
3. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the batter. Stir together the coffee crystals and cream and add to the remaining batter. Spread the coffee batter in the prepared pan. Spoon the reserved batter over the top, then run a knife through the two batters to marble them. Sprinkle with nuts.
4. Bake the bars for 30 minutes, or until the sides just barely pull away from the edge of the pan and the center is set. Remove them from the oven and cool before cutting.

These are easy! I needed something easy. You can add the nuts. I don't because my son has an allergy to them. Because of this, you won't find me making many recipes that call for nuts. Apparently you can't just leave them out unless the recipe says "optional". If you avoid nuts like I do, then I will be giving you some tips in future posts for ingredient substitutions.

I used an offset spatula to evenly spread my coffee portion of the batter in the pan. Then I dropped the remaining batter 3 dollops down and 3 dollops across. You can use a butter knife to marble the batter. I started by making s-curves down the length of the pan and I did this until it started looking nice and marbled. Then I drew my knife down the length of the pan in three rows and then repeated that again down the other side between the rows I made.

Before I let them cool completely I decided to add the suggested glaze to the top. I was glad I did because it made these bars extra yummy. I recommend you do this too, so here's the recipe for the glaze:

1 c. confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
4-5 Tbsp. heavy cream or milk
4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cream gradually, whisking until no lumps remain. Drizzle the glaze over the bars. For a two-tone effect (which is what I did) drizzle half the glaze over the bars, then add the cocoa to the remaining glaze and drizzle it on.

My Verdict: These are moist and the coffee flavor is there, but it isn't strong. My mom, who despises coffee, thought they tasted nice. But the glaze on top really adds something; that cinnamon really shines through. To me, these are a perfect treat. I cut them small, about the size of petit fours, and they just pop in your mouth. Great with a cup of coffee (really?) or tea.

Survey Results: 4.63 out of 5. All the cookies really seem to be rating well. I'm wondering if I need a different scale OR if people are being too nice. A couple comments left were, "Made me want a cup of coffee-which I rarely drink." and "Thought I tasted cinnamon...it reminded me of cinnamon toast." I'll take that, I love cinnamon toast!


  1. The pie looks wonderful and the cafe au lait bars sound delicious. I stopped by just to say hello and stayed longer than I planned. I really like your blog. I'll be back often.