I'm delighted to be joining the writer-cooks of Mystery Lovers Kitchen, because I love to talk about food (and eat it too).
I hied me to the office supply store and contemplated my options. The binders should be washable (greasy fingers, you know), easy to use, and large enough to accommodate current and future recipes. There were plenty of choices. But I wanted to be able to distinguish between Desserts and Everything Else at a glance, so I needed two colors of binder. I went with blue for the Everything Else (I happen to like blue, and the old binder was blue). But what color is sweet?
For some reason the obvious answer (to me) was pink, and I'm still trying to figure out why. If I were going to divide everything, I'd probably have green for vegetable dishes, red for meat dishes, and I have no clue what color soups would be. Maybe I was brainwashed by all that pink bubble gum from my misspent youth. But I hate pink, and I have a yellow kitchen, so pink clashes. In the end Desserts ended up in an aqua binder. Not perfect, but at least it doesn't offend my eye. What color says "dessert" to you?
Anyway...since I'd delved into my stacks of recipes, and thus into my entire adult cooking history, I could review the ones I've been using the longest and most often, and one of those is Coffee Toffee Bars. This one actually originated in my college days. I went to a women's college, and in the last millennium we used to have weekly sit-down teas, with homemade (or housemade) cookies. The housemother (yes, we had those too) would pour from a tea urn, and we (starving students) would grab as many cookies as we could. It was a nice weekly occasion for socializing with dormmates; it's also where I learned to play bridge. (No, I'm not ninety, and the tradition was waning even before I graduated, alas.)
So here's the recipe (warning: this is not a healthy recipe, but it sure tastes good!):
COFFEE TOFFEE BARS
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1-2 Tblsp. instant coffee (regular or espresso)
1/2 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 to 2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) chocolate morsels
1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped
Cream the butter. Gradually add brown sugar, creaming well. Blend in almond extract and coffee.