Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Muddy River Mocha Bars

This was the scene from my window yesterday.  Tropical Storm Faye had blown to Mississippi producing a slow, steady rain.  All I wanted to do was bake.

Can I help it that God sent the rain and I was forced to get in the kitchen and bake up sweet goodies that I really don't need?  Did I ask Him to make it rain?

Wait...I think I did ask Him.  Oh, yes.  Back in July.  We were having a dry spell, so I did pray for rain.  Buckatunna Creek was so low that the only water in the rapids at Frost Bridge was flowing down the main channel, which is no more than three or four feet wide.  It was so low that our last canoe trip was a living nightmare.  We wound up pulling our canoe over what seemed like fifty logs that we normally would have floated over had there been ample water.  So, yes, I think my prayers could be somewhat responsible for the rain.  Thank you, Lord.  And hopefully you made it rain upstream so that the creek will have enough water in it to float again before bass season is over.  But if you didn't, that's okay.  Just thought I'd throw that in.

A few years ago, the good people at Thermador Ovens sponsored a contest whereby entrants sent in their best recipes themed to fit their state.  I created these bars for that contest and they are a spin-off of the classic Mississippi Mud Cake.  I won for Mississippi and had my recipe printed in their cookbook, Taste of America, which is a beautiful cookbook, by the way.  Here is a link to my recipe and many other wonderful dishes created by home cooks across the nation, several of whom are my fellow contesting buddies.  Check out this reciperecipe.  Both of the talented creators of these recipes have blogs that are listed in my sidebar. and this

I hadn't made these bars in a while and I was dying to use my new 9-inch square spring form pan that I won in a contest recently.  It worked perfectly.  Once the metal rim was removed, I could cut the bars with ease.

Let me give you a warning.  These are seriously rich bars.  I can only eat four at a time.

Muddy River Mocha Bars

Non stick cooking spray

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

3 large eggs

1 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 (7-ounce) jars marshmallow cream

1-1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies

1/4 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

1/2 cup butter

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

Cocoa powder for dusting top

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.  In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate chips and butter over low heat until melted, stirring often; set aside to cool for 10 minutes. 
  2. Place the warm water in a large bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon coffee granules and stir until dissolved.  Add eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt to the coffee mixture and whisk until smooth.  Blend in the cooled chocolate mixture.  Stir in the flour, mixing well.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake until puffed at edges and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, stir together the marshmallow cream and crushed cookies.  Drop by spoonfuls over warm bottom layer. 
  4. Place the milk in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon coffee granules and stir to dissolve.  Stir in butter and cocoa.  Increase heat and bring to a boil, stirring often.  Remove from heat and mix in vanilla.  Stir in powdered sugar until smooth.  Stir in pecans.  Pour warm frosting over marshmallow layer, spreading evenly.  Refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting into bars. 
Pin It!


  1. Four at a time...hee hee...girl after my own heart. I can think of scores of friends who will LOVE THESE! I know I will. YUM!

  2. Oh, how I wish that we had some rain here in Las Vegas--you know how it is, since you used to live here. When it rains, it's exciting. Lorie, these are genius. You are so talented in the baking department (I still have those Tres Leches cupcakes on my "to do" list). When is your cookbook coming out????? (hint, hint!)

  3. Those bars look really good! I like that square spring form pan.

  4. Mmmmm, you're killing me over here! Can you send some FedEx? And I agree, when is your cookbook coming out?

  5. Julie,
    I've got more rain on the way with Hurricane Gustav coming. Forget about the bottled water and batteries; I'm stocking up on baking supplies!
    Thank you so much for stopping by. I love your blog and all you rbeautiful pictures!
    Heidi (Stonefox),
    You are too sweet!

  6. we had these at your moms house.wow the best think we have ever eaten.
    tootie and philip