Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mocha Toffee Cashew Bars (Page 694)

  • Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2008 -- 9pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Teri, Terry, Chuck, and Lynn
  • Recipe Rating: B

Matty is a huge fan of both cashews and coffee, so I figured I would make these bars in honor of his arrival later this evening. I try to stay away from caffeinated food, as I am still on the no-caffeine wagon (two years, nine months, and counting!), but these bars are actually more tempting than I expected them to be. I am a sucker for sweet-salty combinations (pretzels dipped in nutella... Mmmm...). The cashews atop these bars are of the roasted and salted variety, so there is definitely some sweet and salty mix going on here. The coffee flavor in the base is extremely strong -- a bit too strong even for me, and I love the flavor of coffee! I have no idea why the word toffee appears in the title. The recipe indicates that these bars have an "espresso-flavored toffee base." There is nothing toffee-esque about it though. In texture it is more like an espresso-flavored shortbread than anything else. The bars are very thin, and not terribly visually appealing, but they are satisfying, especially for coffee-lovers. I don't think it would be hard to come up with a significantly better bar based on the coffee and cashews idea, but there is nothing particularly bad about this recipe. I doubt I will ever make them again, but they certainly won't go to waste either!

Here is the recipe.

It's warm here this week. In fact, it is the first warm week of the season. I am so excited about spring. I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to wear dresses and flip-flops, but it is all coming back to me now! The other thing I had forgotten during the long winter is the drunken undergrads wandering around outside my window in the middle of the night. They seemed to stay in and drink at home during the long cold winter, but now they are back! This is one consequence of living right downtown in a college town. Last night at 4am there were definitely people staggering and screaming down the street. Yes, indeed, on a Wednesday night. This week is worst than most because it is Little 500 week. If you don't know what that means, then clearly you haven't spent much time in Bloomington, or seen the movie Breaking Away. For those who aren't in the know: it's a bike race. They go around and around a track (like the Indy 500, except without the cars...). It's a big deal around here and the race is on Saturday. But the festivities, it turns out, happen all week. There are lots and lots of fraternity and sorority parties going on apparently. So many in fact that one of my students objected to me giving an exam on Tuesday, four days before the race, because it is Little 500 week.

So I didn't sleep so well last night, but I didn't mind. The drunken college students reminded me that spring is coming, and the semester is almost over, and everyone is in good spirits!


Anonymous said...

Hi Teena!
Question I have been posing to those in our profession:
Given what it takes to become one, can there be such a thing as a mediocre mathematician?
Just wondering

Teena said...

Wow, that is hard. I guess I would say that in any profession, no matter how difficult it is to get into, there are people who are better, and people who are worse. There aren't any tenured math professors I know who I would describe as "mediocre" but there are obviously some people who are superstars and others who are a bit less super. But even the least super professional mathematicians are still amazing intellectuals and academics. To use the word "mediocre" to describe them seems horribly unfair...

In summary: I don't know!