Recently, my company had a charity Bake Sale. Sadly I didn't make anything for it - a different department hosted and pulled off the event, so I just felt like I was intruding if I brought over half a dozen baked goods. Instead, I decided to go down to the break room with my hard-earned dollars and contribute in a monetary fashion. I grabbed some Rice Krispie Treats, and also some yummy-looking, cocoa-hued cookies. They looked very soft and cakey, and like they had peanut-butter chips inside. Yum!
Um, no. These puppies were NOT good. Sorry if the baker is reading this (although I doubt it, because work folks don't really know about my blog), but: they were pretty much infused with about every baking ingredient known to man. The cookie base was chocolate, with both a strong vanilla as well as almond flavoring taste. Rather than cakey, they were very hard and crunchy. And no wonder: they were chock full of butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, nuts, raisins, and dried cherries, cinnamon and nutmeg... Frankly, there could have been more things in there but there was only so much assault that my taste buds could handle. Pretty much a cookie flavor free-for-all.
Now, why would I bring up those terrible cookies as a lead-in to this recipe? Well, you see, I decided to make this recipe soon after that Yucky Cookie fiasco. A friend made them, and they sounded so so so good. Only: after starting in, I realized that these bars might have much the same problem. They contained so many different flavors: cinnamon, orange, white chocolate, coffee, chocolate-covered toffee bits... Uh oh. Not a good sign.
Thankfully, these bars were nothing like those awful cookies: soft interior with a crispy crust, the flavors went soo well together. The toffee and the orange dominate the most, with a warm, cinnamon-white-chocolate aftertaste. Mmm. So fear not, dear readers! These bars most definitely will not make you run for the nearest garbage can :)
Cappuccino Crunch Bars
(from Stacey at Simply Tasty)
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened
1 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 Tbsp. hot water, cooled to room temp
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. chocolate covered toffee bits
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 10X15 jelly roll pan
Combine flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon in large bowl; set aside. Beat butter and sugars with mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add coffee mixture, vanilla, and orange peel; beat well. Stir in chocolate chips and toffee.
Pour batter into pan. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.