I know what you’re thinking, these look like brownies.
Okay, yes they look like brownie, they smell like brownies, and they may even have a lot of similarities to a brownie, but they are not brownies. These are chess squares people. No, they are not your typical chess squares. For one thing they’re chocolate, with the added flavors of almond and mocha, and they’re also thicker than any chess squares you’ve ever had, but they are in fact chess squares even though, fine, they look exactly like fudgy brownies.
For those of you unfamiliar with what a chess square is, let me fill you in. They are basically a base layer of something that is between brownie and cake, topped with a layer of extra sweet cheesecake. Kind of like cookie bars with baked on cream cheese frosting that candies on the top when you bake them. Can you spell YUM! They are usually plain vanilla and always super delicious but, come on, that’s a little boring. I wanted to try to make them a bit more interesting. I hope you guys are okay with that. As if!
So now that that’s settled, and speaking of mocha, I’ve got a confession to make. I am becoming a coffee addict……..
When I was younger I used to think that would never happen to me, that I would become a coffee drinker like my parents (heaven forbid!), because I couldn’t stand the bitter taste and I didn’t understand why they liked it. We always think that we won’t end up like our parents when we’re growing up and yet we always do. One of life’s annoying little inevetabilities. It’s like I woke up one morning and suddenly all I wanted to do was chug a mug of jo. Go figure.
I just really love coffee! Now my only thing against drinking way more coffee than I need, is that I hate the idea of becoming too dependent on it. I know it might seem dumb, but there will always be times in life when you can’t have your morning cup of coffee and I want to know that I can function without it, does that make sense? I don’t want to be one of those people that flip out when they don’t get their caffeine fix.
Anyway, yes I love coffee. I think you can expect to keep seeing it in things on the blog because I just can’t help myself, I always want to put it in everything!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspon salt
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided
- Grease a 9x13 glass pan and set aside. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and coffee in a medium bowl. In the bowl of stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, vanilla, and milk; beat until well combined. Beat in the dry mixture a little at a time until evenly mixed. Srape mixture out of the mixing bowl (save bowl for next layer), and spread evenly in pan. Place pan in freezer while you make top layer.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Beat the cream cheese until lump-less then add eggs. Next add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time, beating after each addition. Once the powdered sugar has been fully incorporated add 2 tablespoons of cocoa and almond extract. Pull your pan out of the freezer and pour half of mixture onto the cookie base. Add remaing 2 tablespoons of cocoa to the other half and beat smooth. Pour the darker batter over the lighter as evenly as possible and scrape the bowl. Use a knife to swirl the two tones together to make a pretty design.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until set. Cool the bars completely on a cooling rack then place in fridge to chill for at least an hour. Cut into squares and serve.