Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Muddy River Mocha Bars

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Efforts like this are worth repeating...

Story and recipe courtesy of Lorie

A few years ago, the good people at Thermador Ovens sponsored a contest whereby entrants sent in their best recipes themed to fit their state. I created these bars for that contest and they are a spin-off of the classic Mississippi Mud Cake. I won for Mississippi and had my recipe printed in their cookbook, Taste of America, which is a beautiful cookbook, by the way.

I hadn't made these bars in a while and I was dying to use my new 9-inch square spring form pan that I won in a contest recently. It worked perfectly. Once the metal rim was removed, I could cut the bars with ease.

Let me give you a warning. These are seriously rich bars. I can only eat four at a time.


Bottom Layer

Non stick cooking spray

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

3 large eggs

1 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup all-purpose flour


Middle Layer

2 (7-ounce) jars marshmallow cream

1-1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies


Top Layer

1/4 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

1/2 cup butter

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

Cocoa powder for dusting top


Bottom Layer

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate chips and butter over low heat until melted, stirring often; set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the warm water in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon coffee granules and stir until dissolved. Add eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt to the coffee mixture and whisk until smooth. Blend in the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour, mixing well. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until puffed at edges and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Middle Layer
  1. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, stir together the marshmallow cream and crushed cookies. Drop by spoonfuls over warm bottom layer.
Top Layer
  1. Place the milk in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon coffee granules and stir to dissolve. Stir in butter and cocoa. Increase heat and bring to a boil, stirring often. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla. Stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour warm frosting over marshmallow layer, spreading evenly. Refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting into bars.

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Spray a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. I was out, so I buttered it instead. This is my new pan. I'm about to break it in.




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Melt 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 stick of butter in a small saucepan, stirring often. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.




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Dissolve 1 tablespoon of instant coffee granules in a 1/4 cup of warm water.





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Whisk in 3 eggs, 1 cup of light brown sugar, the vanilla, and the salt.





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Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture.





Dsc04011Whisk in the flour...





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...and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until puffed around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.




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In a mixing bowl, stir together the marshmallow cream and crushed cookies. Yes, it is a little hard to do because it is so sticky, but it is worth it.




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While the base is warm, drop the marshmallow mixture on top by spoonfuls, then lightly spread. The recipe doesn't call for it, but I would refrigerate it at this point to set the marshmallow cream before adding the chocolate frosting. I didn't do it this time, though.



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Place the whole milk and 1 tablespoon of coffee granules in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until dissolved.





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Add the butter and cocoa powder and bring to a boil, stirring often.





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Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the vanilla and the powdered sugar.





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Waste no time stirring in the pecans. This frosting sets up quick. If it gets too thick, stir over low heat for a few seconds longer.




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Mine did get too thick because I was taking extra time to take pictures. When I poured it on the marshmallow base, I got more of a swirl effect. No problem though...





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...because the next step is to dust it with cocoa powder.





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Chill for at lease 2 hours. Cut into bars. They are sticky. You might want to spray your knife with nonstick cooking spray first.






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I store these in the refrigerator because the marshmallow cream can get oozy at room temperature.

For die-hard chocolate-coffee lovers only.





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