Brown Butter, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, and more Chocolate. These bars have your name written all over them!
I hope you’re in the mood for some epic bars today.
Recently, I found myself digging through my baking pantry and discovered a container of chocolate covered espresso beans. Pretty sure I purchased those on a whim one day in Trader Joe’s and decided to hide them from myself. Burying the container amidst large bags of flour, sugar, and everything else you could possibly need to satisfy your baking addiction. Because I cannot be trusted around them.
You know that awesome feeling when you find something unexpectedly like a $10 bill in a pair of jeans you’ve forgotten about? That’s what I felt like after discovering my hidden chocolate espresso beans. After waiting a couple of weeks due to my forgetfulness, I was all about making a pan of bars featuring those espresso beans that I would remember for years to come.
And will I ever. These are the bars of my dreams. Stuffed to the max with ingredients I couldn’t possibly love more. Gooey caramel, chocolate chunks, espresso beans covered in chocolate and flaky sea salt to put the perfect finishing touch on each square.
When they came out of the oven, I almost had no words… almost.
Because if I ran out of words, I couldn’t tell you all about it. Which would be the biggest shame ;).
Oh, and did I mention that there’s coffee infused into the dough as well? I just couldn’t help but really let the coffee flavor shine. Coffee doesn’t just balance out all the sweetness we’ve got going on here, but it also lets it shine. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s so true. The flavors I managed to stuff into the bars couldn’t compliment each other more.
Yum, yum, yum!
Enjoy and have a lovely day today!
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup caramels, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup chocolate chunks
- 3/4 chocolate covered espresso beans
- coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-x-8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- 1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and starts to foam, whisk constantly. Once the butter turns brown, begins to smell nutty, and little brown bits form on the bottom of the pan, immediately remove from the stove and pour browned butter into the bowl of your stand mixer. Let cool for a couple of minutes.
- 2. Once cooled, add brown sugar as well as granulated sugar to the bowl and mix until combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla.
- 3. Next, mix in coffee granules, baking soda, and salt and mix until incorporated. Add flour and mix until combined. Fold in caramels, chocolate chunks, and chocolate covered espresso beans. Press dough into the prepared baking pan. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with sea salt and let cool completely. Cut into squares and enjoy!