We’re at that stage in the fall where we’re starting to get sick of pumpkin things, but the chocolate and peppermint of winter is still too far away. At this point I like to rely on coffee and spice to bolster me through. This quick plate of squares is adapted from The 250 Best Brownies, Bars & Squares, because Esther Brody has not disappointed me yet (well, except for that one time).
Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Make yourself a cup of coffee.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 1/4 cup room temperature butter with 1 cup packed brown sugar until it’s all turned into one big bowl.
Add in 1 egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla and beat until combined.
Pour in 1/2 cup hot coffee and mix (drink the rest of it — I know *I* need the caffeine).
Blend in your flour mixture, a bit at a time.
Then tip in 3/4 cup raisins and 3/4 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans) and give that a stir.
Spread that into your prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until you can stick a wooden skewer in it and it comes out clean.
Set that on a wire rack to cool.
While that’s on the go, make yourself up some frosting.
With an electric mixer, beat up 1 cup icing sugar with 1/2 cup softened butter until it’s all fluffy and frosty.
In a measuring cup, mix together 3 tablespoons coffee liqueur, like Kahlua, with 2 tablespoons whipping cream (or milk) and 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder.
Pour that into the frosting mixture, alternating with a further 1 cup icing sugar, and beat until fully combined.
Spread the frosting on your cooled squares and cut them up. Yum!