Nutty Coffee Bars
These dessert bars have a buttery shortbread crust topped with nutty filling, somewhat reminiscent of pecan pie.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon instant espresso or coffee powder
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
- To prepare shortbread crust: Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil; lightly butter the foil.
- Mix the flour and sugar in medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven to a wire rack. Cool slightly.
- To prepare the nutty topping: Stir the egg and instant coffee in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the nuts. Spread the mixture evenly over the warm crust.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping is firm around the edges and slightly soft in the center. Cool the bars completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars to serve. Store in a tightly covered container.
Makes 16 bars.
Tip: You can double this recipe and press the crust mixture firmly onto the bottom of a buttered foil-lined 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until very lightly browned. Spread the topping over the warm crust. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the topping is firm around the edges and slightly soft in the center. Makes 36 bars.