I think I am more into smelling espresso than actually drinking it. Also cooking with it. All of these bring out the fragrance of espresso in a very intense yet delicate way that makes me totally addictive.
And I have a jar of very good quality espresso powder just for baking. And for smelling. Sometimes.
Another awesome ingredient that you should have for baking is sea salt. Flaked one. Just for the rustic yet pretty look on your goodies. Sprinkle a bit on your cookies or brownies right after they come out from the oven. Let cool then take your first bite. No regret.
These bars taste cakey, which is the way I like. If you prefer it more fudgy, like brownie, bake 5 minutes less.
Ingredients (16 squares/bars):
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and line an 8-inch square baking tin.
Melt the butter, sugar, espresso powder and salt together in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. When it is smooth, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. Fold the flour mixture in the espresso mixture with a spatula.
Mix the ground cinnamon, all spice, ground ginger and granulated sugar together in a bowl.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top, pushing the batter into the corners of the pan.
Sprinkle the mixed spice all over the top of the batter.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes up with some moist crumbs, but no wet batter.
Sprinkle sea salt on it and let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.