Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Coffee Pecan Crunch Bars with Coffee Icing

Again, a big thanks to Shannon for this one!

Coffee Pecan Crunch Bars W/Coffee Icing

If you like pecans, this will become your favorite recipe..you can also use crushed butterscotch candy, pounded in a plastic bag until the pieces are no larger than 1/4"..or Bits of Brickle almond crunch candy..

2 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
3/4 cup almonds OR brickle

1 2/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted after measuring
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/4 teaspoons instant coffee powder, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
2-3 drops almond extract

Preheat oven to 325*. Generously grease a 9x13" baking pan or coat with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, ground expresso beans, baking powder, and salt -- set aside. In a large bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, coffee mixture, vanilla, and almond extract until lightened and fluffy. Stir or beat in the flour mixture, then the pecans and candy, until evenly incorporated. Turn out the mixture into the pan, spreading to the edges. Place a sheet of wax paper over the layer, and press it out until flat and smooth on top. Peel off and discard the paper. Bake in the middle of the oven for 23-27 minutes or until just barely firm when pressed in the center and faintly darker at the edges; be careful not to overbake. Transfer to a wire rack and let stand until barely warm. For the icing -- In a small bowl, vigorously stir together the powdered sugar, butter, coffee mixture, vanilla and almond extract until well blended and smooth.

.Stir in enough warm water, a little at a time, to yield a slightly runny icing. Using a table knife, immediately spread the icing evenly over the bars, work quickly, at the icing firms rapidly. Let stand until completely cooled and the icing is completely set.about 1 hour. Using a large sharp knife cut into 24 bars, wipe knife clean between cuts. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month. If freezing, leave the slab whole, then cut into bars when partially thawed.

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