Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Coffee. Ahhhh....The delightful, aromatic, caffeine rich drink that I desperately call out for on a morning. I never used to be a big coffee drinker and I'm still not a big coffee/ caffeine drinker, mostly because the stuff sends my heart rate through the roof and I end up thinking I'm about to die... Actually I never used to drink coffee at all. 

Lattes turned to cappucinos, cappucinos turned to black Americanos. Who knows- I may be onto espresso next... Whereas I used to drink coffee out of sheer desperation to wake up my sleep deprived self, I actually appreciate the taste of it a lot more now. I actually enjoy it.

Only the fresh ground stuff though.

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with instant coffee. I hate the cardboard tasting stuff- why would anyone put themselves through that? The better quality instant coffee is not so bad.. I'd drink it if I have to but I'd much prefer a cup of fresh ground filter any day.

But imagine my disappointment discovering that fresh coffee just doesn't taste the same in baked goods. It doesn't taste strong enough, the taste lacks somewhat and overall it just doesn't taste coffee-y enough. Anyone else find the same problem? So baking wise... I like to use instant coffee- Nescafe Azera, Kenco Millicano and so on. It just gives that distinctive coffee taste and it worked perfectly for these espresso cookie bars.

These cookie bars are a delightful cross between a cookie and pastry. Basically you're eating a coffee chocolate chip pie crust with a layer of mocha chocolate spread sandwiched in between. Doesn't that sound amazing? Yes? Thought so.

As I'm typing this, sat in the kitchen on a glorious sunny morning with a cup of tea I do wish I had one of these espresso cookie bars to go with the tea. Best of both worlds, ey.

Recipe adapted from Baker Girl via Butter Baking


220g salted butter, softened
150g dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp instant coffee granules, finely ground (I used Necafe Azera, which is already a fine ground powder)
185g plain flour
65g bread flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
80g chocolate chips (I used Callebaut 52% dark chocolate chips)
200g mocha chocolate spread

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a 9 x 13" baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the coffee granules, butter, sugar and vanilla until light and creamy.
  3. Add flours, cinnamon (if using), baking powder and mix on low speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.
  4. Take half of the dough mixture (dough will be quite crumbly) and press into the prepared baking pan. Spread the chocolate spread on top.
  5. Take tablespoon fulls of the remaining dough and scatter on top of the mocha spread. I flattened each spoonful with my fingers so more of the mocha spread was covered by dough. 
  6. Bake for around 25 minutes (rotating pan halfway through), or until light golden brown.
  7. Cool in baking tray before cutting into squares.
  8. Store in an airtight container.

  • I found mocha spread at my local Lidl supermarket. If you can't find mocha spread, any other chocolate spread would do. I'm pretty sure Nutella would taste amazing.
  • Next time I would probably experiment with adding some oats or chopped nuts for extra texture.


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Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.