I’m sharing this recipe in support of Austin Bakes for Japan, happening Saturday, April 2nd!! Please join us at one of the five bake sale locations in Austin on Saturday starting at 10 AM. If you’re not in Austin, you can follow our progress that day via Twitter or our online giving page.
So remember when my mom and I threw a book-themed baby shower for my sister Beth? One of the things we had to make for Beth were butter bars with coffee frosting. This cookie recipe is her very favorite. It is a pretty straightforward icebox cookie, named for the butter in the dough, and the shape of the bar of the dough before the raw cookies are sliced.
This recipe is one of my favorite family heirlooms, and I love it more than any china or jewelry I’ve inherited. My Grandma Hakes (mom’s mom) gets credit for the recipe, and for three generations, women in my family have been making butter bars. Make that four generations! Beth had her baby in January, and Ella was in tow in the Snugli when we were making these cookies on Saturday.
My mom’s Butter Bar recipe card is a little tattered at the edges, and it lists ingredients in her usual way. She always writes in impeccable print the measurements and ingredients, in the order that they should be used. Mom’s instructions for recipes are always spare; here she writes “shape into bar, wrap in foil, chill. Cut into 1/4 inch slices.”
The notes on the bottom right of the recipe are in my Grandmother Hakes’ hand. She was on hand for the cookie making at Christmas 1996. I don’t remember the specifics of that visit very well, but I always smile when I see Grandma’s notes on my mother’s recipe cards.
I’ve given Mom’s frosting an Austin twist by using Austin-brewed Chameleon Cold-Brew coffee in place of the instant that she uses. I think the cold brewed coffee has a stronger, sweeter flavor than regular coffee that pairs perfectly with the toasty crunch of the cookie. In fact, the first time I tasted Chameleon Coffee at TECHMunch, I knew I had to use it in this recipe. Disclosure: the bottle of coffee that I used for this batch of cookies was a gift from Chameleon Coffee to all TECHmunch participants, so I didn’t buy it with my own money. Thanks, Chameleon Coffee!
Here’s a step by step of the rolling, wrapping and cutting process:
Thanks to my mom and dad who bought the ingredients for these cookies, my mom and sister who made all the cookies and packaged them for the bake sale. Mom and Dad also gave $50 to AmeriCares through the bake sale’s online giving page. My sister Beth is going to be helping with the sale on Saturday. Rah, rah, rah Hutchisons, Decks, El-Farrahs!