We’re getting into the good stuff tonight. Not that I don’t enjoy the drinks we’ve talked about previously. Each drink has its time and place but tonight we’re discussing some of the lesser known yet incredibly delicious drinks. Let’s just say there will be cream, lemon zest and brandy involved. It’s a good night indeed.

So to celebrate I baked us some Brown Butter blondies. Coffee and blondies – seriously.


I really wish you were all in my kitchen with me right now. We would have just finished dinner, slowing sipping on the last few drags of red wine. We would be laughing at my son licking the bowl clean, seeking any remaining globs of butter and sugar. And we would be intoxicated by the smell of butterscotch and brown butter wafting from the pan of blondies that had just emerged from the oven.

Alright, while we anxiously wait for the blondies to cool – which is proving to be a very difficult task – let’s talk about coffee. Ms. Slivia is fired up and ready to pour us some beautiful shots with a cap of crema to thick and satisfying we might even forget about the bondies. hahahaha – not going to happen.


Espresso Con Panna – espresso capped with whipped cream. I’m not kidding you right now. Doesn’t that just sound rich, intense and incredibly decadent? Well, I’ll tell you from experience – it is just that. The complexity of a well extracted shot with a beautiful balance of acid, sweetness and bitterness topped with cold whipped cream. Simple, clean, smooth cream.


Cafe Creme – A single shot of espresso finished with cream – one ounce to be exact. I’ve been known on occasion to dump some heavy cream into my espresso and now I have a fancy name for it. Oh and just to clarify  – we are not talking about half and half right now – we’re talking HEAVY cream. Cream so thick it hesitates to pour. Cream so full of fat you question whether it’s a liquid or a solid. That, my friends, is cream.

Cafe Romano
– espresso finished with a piece of lemon peel.


Cafe Correto – espresso that has been “corrected” with liquor – brandy or cognac will do rather nicely.

Our drinks are made and the blondies are cool. I may have snuck a bite while you weren’t looking – just to make sure they were okay to serve. Good news! They’re serveable.

Rich butterscotch flavor with a deep nuttiness that comes from one of my favorite ingredients – brown butter. They’re chewy and sweet and the perfect partner with all this coffee we have.


Brown Butter Blondies
adapted from Honey & Jam – a beautiful blog with stunning photography

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter and flour parchment paper.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown. The butter will bubble up to stay with it and watch closely. Turn off the heat when you see a nice golden color. It will continue to cook a bit as it cools. Stir it around a bit to see the color underneath the foam. Remove from heat, and let cool. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In the bowl, combine browned butter and both sugars; stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.
4. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days – but seriously, I bet you a latte you won’t have any remnants in the house after day one.

I’ve saved the sweetest for last. Tomorrow we will talk about Mochas and how to make homemade syrups and sauces to flavor your coffee. Which I know I will get flack from the anti-flavored coffee purists but just wait until you see what I have to add.


25 Responses to “Coffee and bars”

  1. D. @ Outside Oslo

    Ashley, I don’t know how you do it, drinking coffee in the evening. I have a hard enough time falling asleep without it!

    That said, your instructional series on coffee is excellent. Might I add that the lemon in Cafe Romano actually takes a bit of bitterness out of coffee? It sounds counter-intuitive, but a friend told me–and proved it to me–recently.

  2. Caitlin

    I am absolutely in love with this series – coffee is my absolutely favorite drink (well besides water, but water’s boring). And it’s so fun to see all the different types – I’ve always been a french press or latte sort of girl, but now I’m considering trying other variations, just for the fun of it. I’m with Alice as well; will you save me a bar? Please?

  3. Monika

    Looking forward to your next post…I used to indulge in cafe creme quite often – soooo good. Since I don’t drink dairy anymore, I’ve found a new indulgence, I think it’s called affogato. Thankfully, there are a couple of vegan ice creams that are decadent enough to pull this off.
    Also, I was wondering if you know of any good coffee/coffee & tea journals out there that are not geared towards proprietors? About 15 years ago I used to get one called Coffee Journal, I think it was a quarterly publication. Then I moved to a much larger city with incredible coffee at every turn and sort of forgot all about it. Now that I’ve really gotten into making coffee at home again, I can’t find any publications that are just for coffee lovers, not buyers or proprietors. For the time being, your posts will more than suffice. Thanks!

  4. Connie

    I was never a huge fan of blondies, but brown butter!?!! That would definitely change my mind. And the texture looks so good. I think I’d eat a bar (or a few) with the espresso con panna. 🙂

  5. Jennifer

    I snuck over to Starbucks yesterday after reading your post and grabbed a latte AND two Bodum glasses. They were on sale. Thanks for the coffee and shopping inspiration. The espresso con panna with a side of these blondies sounds amazing.

  6. Jill

    You make me want to make me a cup of coffee and some brownies right now. If I did, I would be up all night. I guess I will have to do it tomorrow. Have a good time drinking your coffee and eating your brownies.

  7. nina

    these blondies smell amazing in my oven right now! the batter ended up quite thick but it spread nicely once it was in the oven so i hope they turn out!

  8. Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes

    WOW. Your photos are gorgeous. Funny I just made blondies, then saw this, then went…noooo. Brown butter is the best invention in the world and I forgot to brown my butter this time around.

    Next time 🙂

  9. Liv

    Can I come join you in the kitchen? =) That sounds so lovely! I am reading through your coffee posts and getting quite the education. I think I need an expresso machine now. Any recommendations?

  10. Si

    Looking for a treat to make at 9 pm.
    This looks perfect!
    Getting out the ingredients. Right now.

  11. Kate

    With this recipe lingering on a pinboard for FAR too long, I finally made these last night! I couldn’t resist adding some chocolate chips, a splash of whiskey, and some sea salt on top. Fantastic! I love that you can make this with items on hand, as long as you’re well-stocked with butter — no lost time softening it up beforehand!


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