Complete List of 5 Days of Christmas Cookies:
Day 1: Mini Almond Joy Brownies
Day 2: Whole Grain Cut-Out Cookies
Day 3: Espresso Truffle Bars (today)
Day 4: Chocolate Drizzled Nut Squares
Day 5: Homemade “Moose Munch” Honey Caramel Corn
Let me say right off the bat- these are NOT brownies. Uhn-uhn. No way. They are rich, gooey, chocolaty, and smooth. In other words, a truffle. Just easier in a bar form- no need to shape and dip.
You’re gonna love these.
I’m going to start this recipe with a little secret tip I use often that could be considered chocolate heresy. You know how many recipes will call for unsweetened chocolate for melting?
Um, yeah…I hardly ever have that on hand. It’s a lot more expensive than cocoa powder so it’s simply not a staple of mine.
But you know that equivalent label they put on the back of cocoa powder boxes? The one that tells you that 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon of oil is equal to 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate? That’s what I use for everything. And I do mean everything.
Cakes, brownies, and even frosting. And I can’t tell a difference – nor can anyone who’s eaten my confections. At least if I go only by their reactions. And so I used it in this recipe, as well.
My little tablespoon measuring “shot glass” pictured above really helps with this substitution, since it would be tedious to have to measure out 7 individual tablespoons of oil. This is a relatively new kitchen item for me and I have to say, it really comes in handy.
And once everything’s all melted together, no one will be the wiser. Unless they have some sort of mad cocoa powder detection skills.
Espresso* Truffle Bars
For the bar:
- 1 c. butter
- 7 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped (or 1-1/3 c. cocoa powder + 7 Tb. oil – I used light olive oil)
- 2 c. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. flour (I used whole wheat pastry)
- 2 Tb. instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla
For the topping:
- 3/4 c. whipping cream
- 1 Tb. honey
- 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. espresso powder
- 1 Tb. butter
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- Chocolate covered coffee beans (optional)
- Make truffle base: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch pan (or line with parchment, leaving extra on the sides for easy removal of the bars).
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the unsweetened chocolate (or cocoa powder equivalent), stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each. Stir in the vanilla, espresso powder and flour. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes only- the tops should still be shiny. Do not overbake or they may turn out dry and crumbly. Cool on a rack completely before topping.
- To make topping: While the base is cooling, place the cream and honey in a medium saucepan and heat to barely boiling (just a few bubbles starting to form).
- Remove the cream from heat and add the chocolate pieces and espresso powder, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk the butter into the chocolate mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature until it thickens to a custard-like consistency.
- When the base and topping have both cooled, whisk the topping for a bit until it lightens in color slightly. Spread it evenly over the base. Dust with cocoa powder and allow to sit at room temperature for a bit to firm up before cutting into 1-inch bars (these are rich, so small is good).
- Store in an airtight container (can freeze for up to two months). Serve at room temperature.
*Note: Leave out the espresso powder if you’d like just regular Truffle Bars.
Makes about 48 bars.
Don’t forget to visit these wonderful blogs who are also participating in this “Five Days Of Christmas” series of holiday ideas and inspiration:
A Slob Comes Clean – Getting Your Home Company Ready
Feels Like Home – Christmas Traditions
Somewhat Crunchy – Christmas with Dairy Allergies
Spell Outloud – Children’s Books
Mama’s Learning Corner – Children’s Crafts
Many Little Blessings – Edible Gifts
Sunflower Schoolhouse – Decorations
Catholic Icing – Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday
The Traveling Praters – Traveling
The Homeschool Classroom – Gifts Kids Can Make
Mama’s Laundry Talk – Laundry Gifts
This is linked to Tasty Tuesday.