Espresso-Chocolate Squares

Three Swingin' Chicks Recipes

A chocolate base and coffee filling combine the best of both worlds in this riff on a great cup of mocha java.

Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Filling
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder
2 (8 ounces) packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 eggs

Glaze
6 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder

Bars:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil; butter bottom of foil.

Whisk together 1 1/4 cups flour, confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together in medium bowl; add 3/4 cup butter. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until butter is the size of small peas. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips; press into bottom of pan. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean; cool slightly.

Meanwhile, stir 1/4 cup cream and 1 tablespoon instant espresso together until coffee is dissolved. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter together. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and allspice; beat until blended. Slowly beat in cream and coffee mixture. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Pour batter over crust.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are slightly puffed and center is set; set pan on a cooling rack.

Glaze:
Melt 6 tablespoons chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon cream, 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Drizzle over bars and refrigerate until set. Cover and store bars in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 24 bars
Copyright 2008 Janice Cole