Espresso Bars – Rich as a Cup of Coffee
I used to make these Espresso Bars at my very first baking job and subsequently at a few other restaurants and bakeries and finally at Harvest Moon Bakery, which Robin and I co-owned in Amherst, MA in the early 1990s.
It has continued to be one of my most often-requested recipes. So, I figured why not FODMAP IT!™and bring you a version we can all enjoy.
We don’t consider these to be kid-friendly, as they pack a caffeine wallop and a very intense flavor, but they can stand in for your afternoon coffee break.
They also don’t look like much, but the flavor is what these are all about. There is a reason why people ask for them all the time.
I know these images aren’t as sexy as say, our Cream Cheese Brownies, but trust us. If you like coffee flavor, you will LOVE these!
Instant Espresso Powder
You could use regular instant coffee, but instant espresso powder has a more intense flavor as we like it best.
King Arthur has a version and you can look for brands alongside the regular instant coffee in your supermarket, such as Medaglia d’Oro (which I also recommend) or Café Bustelo.
Whichever you use, make sure to keep the powder dry and it will last a very long time.
These Espresso Bars are the ugly ducklings of our brownies and bars - but don't pass them up if you are a coffee lover!
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 25 bars; serving size 1 bar
- 3/4 cup (109 g) plus 1 tablespoon low FODMAP gluten-free all-purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder; use gluten-free if following a gluten-free diet
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 ounces (70 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, preferably between 60% and 70% cacao
- 3/4 cup (170 g; 1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup (149 g) sugar
- 3/4 cup (160 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (28 g) instant espresso powder
Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F/165°C. Coat an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with non-stick spray. Line with a strip of parchment paper to cover bottom and overhang on two sides. Spray the paper, too.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl to aerate and combine. Add chopped chocolate and toss to coat; set aside.
Whisk together the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in instant espresso. Stir dry ingredients into the butter/espresso mixture until just combined. Scrape into prepared pan.
Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until bars are slightly puffed and the edges have begun to come away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will show a few moist crumbs clinging. Cool on rack before cutting. Cut into 25 bars (5x5 grid). Store at room temperature in airtight container for up to 4 days.
If You Can Tolerate
- Fructans: If you have passed the wheat fructan Challenge, feel free to use regular all-purpose flour. Use the weight amounts for best equivalents.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.
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