Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Latte Bars

I must confess....I have no idea what a latte tastes like. I don’t drink coffee. I am a tea drinker. I love my tea, hot or cold. Sometimes I feel like an alien right here on earth because I never partake in a cuppa joe. You should see the looks I get when someone offers me one and I say, “No thanks, I don’t drink coffee”. “You don’t drink coffee??” Like it’s some kind of a sin or something. Geesh. I work in an office full of coffee drinkers. They drink it all day long. I live with one of the biggest coffee drinkers I know, my husband, the java fiend. He cannot function without a pot of in the morning. That’s right I didn't say cup, or cups, I said pot.

Now while I don’t like the taste of coffee, I love the smell, especially those flavored ones. Hazelnut, vanilla, raspberry, they all smell good to me. I also love coffee flavored things….ice cream, syrup (yup that’s big here in RI), and desserts. When I came across this recipe for Latte Bars I knew it would be something that my hubby would go nuts for and that I would probably like too. I was right.

You can really taste the deep espresso flavor in each bite. Like what I would imagine a great cup of coffee would taste like, but with a mocha twist. The frosting also has a coffee kick and the creamy, rich topping covered in crushed chocolate covered coffee beans is totally decedent. I even like the chocolate covered espresso beans, but then again, there’s not much that you can dip in chocolate that I won’t eat. So if you are a coffee lover, you will love these, and even if you’re not a coffee lover, you might like them too!

Latte Bars
Printable recipe
2 to 3 teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons hot water
1-cup sugar
¾ cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1-teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons, butter, softened

1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped chocolate covered espresso coffee beans

Heat oven to 350. Combine 2 to 3 teaspoons espresso powder in hot water in a small bowl; stir until dissolved. Set aside.

Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt in medium bowl. Stir in ½ cup melted butter, eggs, vanilla and dissolved espresso mixture. Mix well.

Spread into greased 8 inch square baking pan. Bake for 23 – 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Combine ½ teaspoons espresso powder and 1 tablespoon milk in a small bowl. Stir until dissolved. Add powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons butter. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, adding enough additional milk for desired consistency. Frost cool bars, sprinkle with chopped espresso beans.
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