These Mocha Toffee Bars made their debut in the December 1987 issue of Gourmet magazine. The recipe, adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book, is a pretty spectacular example of sweet-meets-salty, a trend that has gained popularity in recent years—it must have seemed pretty outrageous in the late 80s.
The base is a dense, sticky caramel-y coffee cookie topped with a layer of chocolate and a a sprinkling of roasted salted cashews, almost more candy than cookies. The toffee-coffee-chocolate combo brings to mind Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, but with lots of great cookie crunch and a nice hit of saltiness thanks to the cashews. While the recipe calls for semisweet chocolate I think I might sub in bittersweet to play up the salty-sweet factor.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Gourmet Cookie Book to give away this week.
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book. Copyright © 2010. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup salted roasted cashews, chopped
In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter, add the brown sugar, and beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the yolk, add the vanilla and the espresso mixture, a little at a time, beating, and beat the mixture until it is combined well. Add the salt and the flour, beating, and beat the mixture until is combined well. Spread the batter evenly in a jelly-roll pan, 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 by 1 inch, and bake it in the middle of a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it pulls away slightly from the edge of the pan.
Spread the chocolate, melted, evenly over the baked layer and sprinkle the
cashews over it. Let the mixture cool in the pan on a rack, cut it into 48 bars, and chill it for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm.