Wednesday, March 11, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Blondies and Espresso Powder

St. Patrick's Day Blondies
Cook's notes: Adding another Irish treat to your table with Blondies. They are made with M and M's and chocolate chips. It's hard to eat just one.
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1- 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup green M and M’s
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • optional green sprinkles
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a glass 9 x 9 pan with cooking spray. 
  • Place butter and brown sugar in a medium sized saucepan and heat. 
  • Whisk constantly until sugar and butter are mixed and smooth. Cool for 5 minutes. 
  • Pour mixture into mixing bowl, adding in eggs one at a time. Stir until incorporated and add in vanilla. 
  • Add in flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder, beat until combined. 
  • Add in half of the chocolate chips and half of the M and M’s to batter,stir.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. 
  • Sprinkle rest of M and M’s and chocolate chips evenly over top of batter.
  • These green sprinkles (Michaels-baking section) added a wee bit of sparkle.
  • Bake for 22 -25 minutes. Allow to cool until slightly warm. Remove from pan and cut into bars.

If you're not familiar with espresso powder (or instant espresso), it's actually super concentrated coffee granules that quickly dissolve in liquid. So it's not just ground coffee beans: a common misconception. 

Many bakers keep espresso powder in stock as seriously as they do most spices. It amps up the rich, chocolate flavor of many desserts including cakes, brownies and cookies. You can use just a little (less than a teaspoon) to draw out the natural flavors of chocolate desserts or you can go heavier (more than a teaspoon) to achieve a coffee or mocha flavor. 
You can also whisk granules (about 1 tsp.) into vinaigrettes, meat marinades, stews and favorite brownie batters.  Stir until crystals are dissolved for a subtle boost. 

You should not substitute brewed espresso for instant espresso powder, especially in baking recipes, as you won’t know how the added liquid will affect the recipe.

I thought this looked like an interesting recipe using espresso powder; Vegetarian Black Bean Espresso Chili

1 comment:

  1. I love that quote. And those Blondies appear easy to make and delicious. Love the holiday twist.