I had originally intended to post this Sunday morning, but unfortunately I slept in and decided to be lazy for most of the day. It may have had something to do with the bar-hopping ladies’ night I had on Saturday that resulted in my head not hitting the pillow until the wee hours. Needless to say, I relied on coffee to make me even slightly functional on Sunday. Coffee is a necessity to me most days. I have one cup with breakfast in the morning to get me started, followed by at least one more later in the morning. In our office, coffee time is a social outing that’s as much about the companionship and the walk as it is about the coffee. It gives us a chance to catch up, chat, and get some fresh air. Unsurprisingly, we are well known by the baristas at every coffee shop within a 10 minute walk of our office. I love baking with coffee, although I don’t often feature it as the primary flavour. For instance, I almost always add a spoonful of espresso powder or a shot of brewed coffee to my brownies and chocolate cakes. The taste of the coffee is rarely discernible, but rather serves to intensify the chocolate flavour. In these blondies, however, coffee takes a front seat. The other ingredients, namely white chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon, merely underscore the coffee flavour. My inspiration for this combination of flavours was the Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks, which I occasionally order (double shot, half-sweet, no whip) when I wish to deviate from my normal Americano. These blondies hit the mark, although they are slightly less sweet than their counterpart. The last time I posted a blondie recipe, my Maple Butter Bourbon Blondies, the texture of the finished product was fluffy and cake-like. As delicious as those were, I went a different direction with the texture in this version. These are dense, rich and chewy, more cookie-like than cake-like. I also made sure to take them out of the oven a minute or two earlier, as I wanted the insides to stay moist and gooey. Make these the next time you need a coffee fix. If you’re a serious addict like me and the kick of these bars alone isn’t enough, they (naturally) pair wonderfully with your favourite coffee beverage. Enjoy!
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons icing (confectioner's) sugar
- ½ vanilla bean pod, split and seeds scraped out
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon white (granulated) sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease/butter an 8x8-inch square pan or a 9-inch round pan.
- Mix melted butter together with brown sugar. Whisk in egg, vanilla and espresso powder and mix until smooth. Stir in salt and flour just to incorporate. Fold in white chocolate chips.
- Spread into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 18-23 minutes (I prefer a soft, slightly under baked centre, so my cook time was in the lower range!). Cool in pan on a wire rack; sprinkle still-warm bars with cinnamon sugar (recipe follows).
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla bean seeds and cinnamon. Rub together with your fingertips until the seeds and the cinnamon are evenly distributed throughout. Add the granulated sugar and mix again.
- Sprinkle or sift the cinnamon sugar overtop the still-warm blondies (I let mine cool for about 10 minutes). Cut blondies into bite-sized pieces.
- Blondies will keep covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Source: Blondie recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen. That recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition).