Espresso Blondies

These rich espresso flavored treats are incredibly moist! They are easiest to cut if you allow them to cool completely before cutting, but, for a decadent treat, serve them slightly warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • Vegetable oil spray or butter for greasing pan 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour    
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder    
  • 1 cup Toasted pecan pieces*   
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt    
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted butter  
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar    
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Instant espresso powder    
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot water    
  • 1 large egg    
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract    
  • 4 ounces finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate    
  • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, optional
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Line an 8-x 8-in. baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, allowing it to overhang the ends of the pan by about 2 inches.  Spray foil or parchment with vegetable oil spray or butter it lightly.
Mix flour, baking powder, pecan pieces, and salt together; set aside until needed.
Place butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Dissolve instant espresso in hot water and stir it into butter mixture. Let mixture cool slightly.
Whisk egg and vanilla into butter mixture. Stir in flour/ pecan mixture until well blended. Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan with a rubber spatula.
Bake until lightly browned and a skewer or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle finely chopped chocolate over surface of blondies. Let sit for 1 - 2 minutes, then spread chocolate evenly over surface. Cool completely and cut into 2-inch squares.

*To Toast Nuts: Place nuts in a dry sauté pan, large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until nuts are fragrant and beginning to brown. Remove from pan and let cool. Alternately, place nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a 350º F oven. Roast until nuts are fragrant and beginning to brown, approximately 8 -10 minutes. Stir nuts halfway through the cooking time.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Yields 16 (2-in.) squares