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.