A Christmas Gift For Caffiends: BuzzBarz

Every year around Christmas, I try to come up with a new cookie recipe or two to add to the already copious list of cookies I make every year.

This year, I didn’t get started baking until, oh, yesterday, so that curtailed my explorations in cookiedom. However, I did manage to adapt a recipe from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion that I think will become a new favorite in our home. The original recipe was called “Cafe au Lait Bars,” but my high-octane, Kahlua-iced version was given the less mellifluous name, “BuzzBarz” due to the fact that after eating one of them, I found myself perched on a kitchen stool, swinging one leg back and forth like Edith Anne on crystal meth.

Yes, I am giving away my age, now. Do you know who Edith Anne is? She was a character played by Lily Tomlin on the old comedy sketch show, Laugh-In, back in the late sixties and early seventies. She was a precocious five year old who used to sit in an over-sized rocking chair and tell stories about herself, her family and her dog, Buster. They always ended with her tagline, “And that’s the truth,” which was followed by a raspberry.

So, yeah–these little squares of caffeinated bliss are great–especially if you want a little, okay, a big pick-me-up. Just watch out if you are sitting in a rocking chair–you might rock so fast you whiz off into orbit. Yeah, I added more instant espresso than was strictly necessary–and then added a glaze of espresso, Kahlua and lots of sugar–but boy, it made them good.

I guess you could consider them rocket fuel for your inner child.

And that’s the truth.

The coffee bean garnish is optional, by the way. It looks really pretty–hower some folks don’t like to chew on coffee beans like I do. Those who don’t like crunching on them can remove them–or, you can just leave them out.



3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
1 teaspoon Kahlua
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (Plugra rules)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons instant espresso powder, divided
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon Kahlua–optional (if you don’t want to use it, use 1 teaspoon water or coffee instead)
handful of coffee beans for garnish. (Optional)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9″x13″ glass baking pan with foil, then grease and flour it lightly. (Or use Baker’s Joy)

Beat the eggs on medium speed until they are pale and thick. Add sugar and beat on high speed until the mixture is glossy, cream-colored and quite stiff. Add the spices, the melted butter, vanilla and Kahlua, and beat to combine. Mix together the flour, salt and three tablespoons of espresso powder. Add gradually to the sugar mixture, and beat to combine.

Heat the first measure of cream in the microwave for a few seconds, then stir in the remaining two tablespoons of the first measure of espresso powder. When the powder dissolves, then stir the flavored cream into the batter and beat until well combined.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes–20-25 if you have a convection oven. The edges of the bars will pull away from the sides of the pan, and will brown slightly on top.

Allow to cool, and then cut into 2″ square bars. Do not separate yet.

Whisk together remaining ingredients until smooth, and drizzle over the cut bars. If you wish, place a whole coffee bean in the center of each bar. Allow the glaze to dry before separating the bars from each other.

These are great with milk–but even better with–you guessed it–coffee.


RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. I’ve never seen Laugh In (you must be really old–ha) but I did see Tomlin do that bit on a kids show growing up (I don’t remember if it was Sesame Street or The Electric Company, but it was one of those or a simiar show),

    Comment by sgt pepper — December 24, 2007 #

  2. Just dropping by to tell you many old friends are thinking of you after seeing the Athens News piece, and wishing you merry this season…

    Comment by Charles Cameron (hipbone) — December 24, 2007 #

  3. Indeed! May your day and night be merry and bright! Oh, and mazeltov, too!!

    Comment by Kate Gilpin — December 24, 2007 #

  4. Happy Holidays from the wheat intolerant, too! I enjoy reading about cookies, even if I can’t eat them.

    Comment by Hadar — December 24, 2007 #

  5. Would [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tia_maria]Tia Maria[/url]

    be an OK substitute for kahlua?

    Comment by Steph in the UK — December 24, 2007 #

  6. Hadar – I made “Snazzy Snowballs” today (you can find them on my blog). All the sweetness of cookies, but there’s no wheat, no eggs, no dairy – they’re a cookie a lot of people with dietary restrictions can enjoy.

    Check out Food Bloggas Christmas cookie roundup, too. Lots of cookies, some wheat-free.

    Barbara – Yee gads! I hope you’d have a buss after using six tablespoons of instant espresso, plus chocolate and Kahlua! I’d be running around in hyperspeed (so yes, they do sound like my kind of cookie!).

    Comment by Karyn — December 24, 2007 #

  7. Hey Barbara,

    These look like rocket fuel indeed. Yum.

    I wanted to say thanks. I tried one of your other Christmas cookie recipes, the “Frost Flowers”, and they were a big hit with the family, though a few did complain that they tasted like liquorice. I suppose that was the star anise, but they are the picky members of the family anyway, so they get an Edith Anne raspberry. ^_^

    Comment by Benjamin — December 26, 2007 #

  8. Hipbone, Kate, Hadar! Hello! It is good to see you here!

    Merry Winter Holidays to you all!

    Tia Maria would work fine, Steph.

    Karyn–great roundup!

    Benjamin–you are welcome. I made a double batch of Frostflowers this year and have been enjoying them. I can eat black pepper again! I am very glad you liked them.

    Aparnaa–use 1 1/2-2 teaspoons vanilla extract instead of the vanilla paste.

    It is up to you. The vanilla flavor goes beautifully with the coffee.

    Comment by Barbara — December 30, 2007 #

  9. This is simply awesome!! I have gone through by them one by one.Thanks so much for the post.

    Comment by Wilford — October 2, 2008 #

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress. Graphics by Zak Kramer.
Design update by Daniel Trout.
Entries and comments feeds.