A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a dinner party at my house for some of my girlfriends. I had the menu down — crudités with romesco sauce and bagna càuda, pasta tossed with Tuscan kale — but no dessert. I panicked about finding the perfect fast, do-ahead, crowd-pleasing close to the meal, until I came across Molly Wizenberg's recipe for these coffee crunch bars in this month's Bon Appétit. When she described them as "the best cookies I had ever tasted," I knew I'd be making them.
Indeed, they were a hit at dinner, with their burnt caramel flavors, almond undertones, and biscotti-like crunch. It goes without saying that they pair perfectly with coffee. To see more pictures and make the exceedingly easy recipe,
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (firmly packed) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder*
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk first 3 ingredients in medium bowl to blend.
- Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in another medium bowl until blended, about 2 minutes. Add espresso powder and almond extract; beat 1 minute. Stir in flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing until just absorbed after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips and almonds (dough will be thick).
- Turn dough out onto ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Using hands, press dough into 12-inch square. Pierce all over with fork at 1-inch intervals.
- Bake until edges are lightly browned and beginning to crisp, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on sheet 1 minute. Cut into 48 bars. Immediately transfer to rack; cool (bars will crisp as they cool).
Make Ahead: Can be made 5 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
*I substituted the darkest roast of instant coffee available and doubled the amount to 4 tablespoons.
- Desserts, Brownies