Coffee Bars

This recipe came from my great-grandmother on my mother’s side – my mother made them often and they remind me of my childhood.  My mother says that she’s never been able to get the recipe quite right and that her grandmother’s were better. I had the same problem, mine were never quite as good as the ones that my mom made.  Here is the reason why:

Conversation between my sister and I on BBM:
(Rose is our mother.  We call her that, she likes it.)

Emily: Did you use browned butter icing on your coffee bars?
Kathleen: Yup.
Emily: Maybe mine suck because Rose never told me to use that icing. I had another one copied down.
Kathleen: I used the one that came with the recipe. That’s all I know.
Emily: The one I made was icing sugar and coffee only. Browned butter has butter and you make it on the stove.
Kathleen: Yeah. What were you thinking!?
Emily: That’s what the recipe said.  It’s Rose’s fault.
Kathleen: She shouldn’t need to tell you.
Emily: How the f would I know?
Kathleen: BECAUSE ITS A TRADITION.  It should be ingrained in you.
Emily: Whatever. I’m blogging this conversation.
Kathleen: Do it. I dare you

She dared me.
I’ll give you the GOOD icing recipe.  Use it, and yours will be better than mine.
If you’re a sissy and you don’t like raisins, you can omit them.

Lastly –  I have a WHOLE POST coming up on how horrible my photography is.

Coffee Bars


1 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup strong coffee
2/3 cup shortening (I used butter)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation Instructions

Combine raisins, coffee and cinnamon.  Let stand.  Meanwhile, cream shortening, add sugar, add eggs – one at a time.  Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.  Alternating between the flour and the raisin mixture, combine with the shortening – do not over-mix.  Spread batter in a greased shallow pan (cookie sheet).  Bake at 350 degrees and ice while warm.

Browned Butter Icing


6 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 teaspoons hot water

Preparation Instructions

Melt butter over medium heat and brown it slightly (watch carefully, do not burn it).  Remove from heat, stir in sugar and vanilla.  Add water and beat with a wooden spoon until spreading consistency.  Pour over the cake and spread it quickly before the icing sets.


4 responses

  1. It’s pottery and I made it. It’s the only piece from my 10 week pottery class that didn’t get trashed afterwards. It wasn’t the best thing to photograph these on – but that’s only the first of many problems with this photography attempt.

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