The other day I needed to supplement black and white spiral butter cookies that I was bringing somewhere, and I needed it to be something fast because I had
1. Already spent around five hours the night before making black and white spiral cookies and
2. Needed to leave with the food soon
I hopped online and, after searching around, found myself at Bakergirl’s blog. Her recipe for chocolate chip espresso bars intrigued me. They had cinnamon but no eggs? What kind of bars would they be? Even though I had a few doubts about the no egg thing, Bakergirl’s blog post was just too convincing! I decided I had to make these! I’m so glad that I did, too.
Bakergirl likened the smell of these bars to baking a small Starbucks coffee shop in your oven, and it is completely true. Oddly enough, I would kind of describe the taste like that, too. With the espresso, cinnamon, and chocolate in the bars, they taste not only like some amazing coffee drink but also like that first wonderful whiff of coffee-and-spice goodness that you experience when you step through the door of a coffee shop.
Now, I hate cutting bars…like hate it! I (confession) will actually avoid making bars of any sort just because cutting them is almost always a nightmare. (I used to avoid brownies, too, until my sister gave me the most amazing brownie pan ever from Home Goods.) Bars break. They stick to the pan. They crumble. They cut unevenly. I end up with a big plate of mismatched, jagged-edged chunks of whatever bar was originally in my pan. Looking at the pitiful plate of bars that was once a beautiful, delicious-looking pan of dessert usually makes me want to cry. You understand my reservations about making these since they are definitely bars, too. These also didn’t have eggs. How would they even hold together at all!?!?! My fears proved to be groundless.
I have never come across a cookie bar that cut so beautifully. I was able to slide a steak knife right through the bars. They didn’t pull or tear or stick, not even to the sides of the pan (which I had greased with Crisco). I ended up with a plate of fantastic, beautiful bars that I proudly took with me. Another great thing is that the recipe makes a 10×15 sheet. How awesome is that? I love recipes that make sharing-size batches of food.
If you love coffee, make these. If you hate coffee, make these! I gave these to someone who certifiably hates coffee, and even she said that these were really good. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner, folks! Plus, these are eggless. If you know anyone who has an egg allergy, which I do, these bars would be perfect to make for them!
Note: I didn’t glaze these because I needed them to stack and transport neatly, and I didn’t know how sticky the glaze would dry. Next time I make these, though, I definitely want to try them with the glaze.