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Beware of Molly Wizenberg recipes

Hi, all. I just found this thread today and wish I weren't late in joining the discussion!

First, I am so sorry to hear that you've had trouble with a few of the recipes in my book. I have not had the problems you're describing with the pound cake or the Dutch babies, and my recipe testers (a mix of professional and home cooks) did not report problems, either. There's nothing I dislike more than a recipe that doesn't work, so it's especially upsetting to see that you've run into trouble with some of mine. I take your comments seriously.

As for the coffee crunch bars from Bon Appetit, that is an interesting case. That recipe was altered without my permission by the magazine's test kitchen, and it was published in its altered form. I have made the recipe in the magazine, and like you, I was not happy with the results. Here is the recipe as it was intended:

Coffee Crunch Bars
Adapted from Leah Reich and her grandmother, Mamie Chaiffetz

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup tightly packed dark muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbsp. instant espresso or instant coffee
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer, beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the almond extract and instant espresso, and beat 1 minute more. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture in three doses, mixing until just absorbed. Stir in the almonds and chocolate chips. The dough will be thick. Turn the dough out onto an ungreased (approximately 12-inch x 17-inch) rimmed baking sheet. Using your hands, press the dough evenly into a 12-inch by 12-inch square. [Note that it will not fill the entire pan.] Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the top looks set. Cool in the pan for 1 minute; then, while still hot, cut into 24 (2-inch by 3-inch) bars. Transfer immediately to wire rack to cool completely. Bars will crisp as they cool.

Note: Bars will keep, sealed in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 5 days. Their flavor improves with time.

Yield: 24 bars