Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Control Freak and the Kahlua Chocolate Squares

For those of you who don't know me, there are a few things we need to get out in the open before we go any further:
  1. I like to plan things. Make lists. Direct. Orchestrate. In fact, some might even go so far as to say "control" - which though ridiculously far fetched - is an opinion The Man I Married continues to cling to.
  2. I have no ability to do things in a small way. If there is a bake sale going on, mine will be the loaves, cookies, and assorted dainties that come wrapped, labelled, and beautifully bowed in an assortment of artistically put together tins and boxes. Further, you will never see my baked goods covered in something so blase as say, Saran Wrap - or worse, tin foil, and if you're watching very closely, you will notice me merchandising my own goods to make sure mine are the first sold at the highest price point.
  3. Despite my best intentions, this tendency toward going big or going home, always comes back to haunt me.
Which is what occurred two Christmases ago when, after a discussion with a group of friends, it became clear to me my husband and I weren't drinking enough over the holidays.

Where everyone else enjoyed Baileys and coffee, Mimosas, and other assorted libation - even going so far as to cook the Christmas turkey under the influence of a tequila sunrise, or two - I had been going through the festive season stone cold sober.

Determined to rectify the situation, I hit the liquor store hard and bought every liquer and spirit I could get my hands on.

Go Big or Go Home.

But when you're the kind of people who don't normally drink much (particularly during the day) this kind of forced frivolity can have dire consequences on the gravy.

Not to mention your relationship.

So we packed up all the booze and there it has sat, getting dusty, for the past two years.

Which brings me to today.

I decided, in all my list making glory, to begin crafting a plan for my Christmas baking - baking that would cleverly incorporate the Frangelico, Amaretto, Baileys, or in this case, Kahlua, I have up in the liquor cabinet.

The result:

Kahlua Chocolate Almond Squares

A loose adapatation of a recipe I had kicking around from an old church cookbook, the base came out wonderfully dense - almost like a cross between a biscotti and a cookie, still moist, but easy to cut into bars. To that, I added a cream cheese and kahlua frosting that finished it off beautifully.

Dust with a little cocoa powder and you have a lovely Christmas worthy treat.

If you have a little libation kicking around and want to try this, I'm certain you won't be unhappy with the result.

Kahlua Chocolate Almond Squares
Click here for printable recipe

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua liquer
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds, or walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua for topping
  • 3/4 brick Philly Cream Cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup Cool Whip Topping
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
Beat ingredients together until fluffy

  1. Sift flour with baking powder and salt
  2. Cream butter, sugar, and egg together
  3. Stir in Kahlua then flour mixture, blending well. Fold in chocolate chips and almonds.
  4. Spread in a greased 7x11 pan.
  5. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes
  6. When cool, brush top with 1 tablespoon Kahlua
  7. When cold, spread with frosting.


  1. OMG !!!!! I'm trying these for sure !! Me LURVS KUHLUA !!

  2. Oh Lyndsay, you are just too funny - love that expression "go big or go home" (I think I'll be adopting that). I can only imagine how your "boozy" Christmas turned out - bet it was one of your most memorable though, whatever the end result. I soooo have to try these squares though - they look divine, and I love the frosting you put on them. We don't have Cool Whip here though - what could I use instead, or could I just leave it out?
    Sue :-)

  3. Hi Sue, I think you could substitue a couple tablespoons of heavy (whipping cream) and that would work just fine.

    I just had another square and this one's a keeper.

  4. Walter is always telling me I have control problems because I fold clothes better, and because I don't like it when people touch my things. But he's a dude, what does he know? He can't even put his dirty clothes away!

  5. This dessert looks right up my alley..... yummy delish

  6. This looks delicious! I love the story behind it as well. :)

  7. Hmm, did your husband and mine compare notes? Too funny. Go big or go home is a common expression around our house too! These Kahlua squares look great but I love the Kahlua in coffee as well with a little Baileys - cream and sugar.

  8. We make Kahlua on occassion and these little treats look like something else we need to try!

    I'm woith you on list making. I live by the list :-0