Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Café au Lait Bars

These are those wonderfully delicious coffee bars that everyone raves about once they’ve tasted a bite of them.  First dubbed, “Nathanael’s coffee bars” because of my brother’s love and fascination for them, they were later simply referred to as “those scrumptious coffee bars” that everyone asked the recipe for.  So if you haven’t tried the café au lait bars, now is the time!!

3 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup butter, melted
2 cups flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup instant coffee crystals, or 3 tablespoons espresso powder
¼ cup heavy cream
Mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch pan.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until light-colored and thick. Add the sugar, beating until glossy and stiff. Add the vanilla and melted butter, beating to combine. Stir in the flour and salt.
Set aside 1 ½ cups of the batter. Stir together the coffee crystals and cream and add to the remaining batter. Spread the coffee batter in the prepared pan.
Now, I’ll try to explain how I did the next step. Fill a Zip-lock bag with the reserved batter. Snip off one corner, and pipe three lines of batter the length of the pan. Use a knife to pull the batter from side to side through the coffee batter. Optional: Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Bake the bars for 30 minutes, or until the sides just barely pull away from the edge of the pan and the center is set. Remove them from the oven and immediately with sprinkle mini chocolate chips. Cool before cutting.
Makes 24 bars


  1. These look really yummy, Lydia! I am going to have to make them sometime.

  2. Dear Miss Lydia,
    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I'm going to give them a whirl this weekend. Have you ever tried them with half whole wheat flour? I might on my second batch. You did a great job explaining about how to "pipe" the remaining batter. I decorate cakes, and therefore have decorator bags, so I'm going to use these for this part.

    Hope all is well with all the Penas! Please give our love to everyone.
    Mrs. Laura

  3. Oh good!! I'm really glad that you're going to be making these. You'll have to let me know the rating it gets!! =) I'm sure you can do these half whole wheat. I've also made a practice of doing two batches of these bars. And somehow, they never last very long!! =)

  4. I made these Monday and they were a big hit. I didn't have heavy cream so I used half and half and my instant coffee was a instant mocca latte mix but it still turned out pretty good. I'll have to make it again sometime without sustitutions. Thankyou for the recipe. I will be making these again.

  5. Wonderful!! I'm so glad you tried these out, Elisa. And that they received a high rating on them. I'm sure they tasted terrific with the substitutions and all!! Once when I made it, I didn't have heavy cream so I used regular milk instead. It didn't turn out as well. I suppose it made the batter too liquid-y and the marbled effect just blended all together. All that to say - I wouldn't recommend using milk but half and half is probably ok. Trial and error. That's the way I cook!! Anywho, I'm glad that y'all liked them and I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving.

  6. We had a pretty good Thanksgiving though it was a small group. We went to Grammies and only had a total of 11 people there including us. Grammie fell a few weeks ago and dislocated her shoulder so I got to stuff and prepare the turkey this year. Now I know Grammie's secret to her extra yummy stuffing. :) I am sure you had had an extra special Thanksgiving with your family especially considering the supprise visit from SD.
    Back to the recipe, I think probably the reason that the half and half worked is that my instant coffee had cream in it so combining the two made it almost like using cream. btw, After adding the sugar how stiff is it supposed to get?

  7. Small groups are always great. I'm not sure if we should say we had a small group or a large one. We just had family with us at various times during the week, but somehow it seemed like we had a lot of people. However, we have had years with many more people staying at our home. I think it's safe to say that this Thanksgiving has been the best. Last year we had a blast too. But somehow, this year hit the top!! It was great just being with family, playing games, laughing, talking, and doing fantastically fun activities together. I wouldn't trade the time spent with my family for anything in the world.

    Yeah, so about that recipe again - I wouldn't say that after the sugar is added the batter that it gets really stiff. Not like stiff egg whites or anything. I'm speculating that perhaps the reason they want you to beat it "until stiff" is so that the sugar gets dissolved more. Not completely, obviously. You've probably noticed in some recipes that they want you to beat the batter at a certain point for a little while to get more air into the batter. Thus, making the end results less dense, and even more fluffy. I'm not positive, but I'm thinking this is the same kind of idea here. I hope I answered your question - however, I'm no expert!