To easily line pans with foil, turn pan upside down and place foil on the outside. Smooth sides to made neat corners. Gently remove foil, turn over pan, and guide foil into pan, ensuring corners "fit".
Spray bottom and sides of pan with a non-stick coating.
An easy way to toast a small amount of nuts is to toast them in a frying pan over medium-high heat on the stove. Watch carefully and stir often. When the nuts are finished toasting, place nuts into a dish so that they don't continue cooking in the pan.
After creaming the butter and brown sugar, add the coffee, molasses, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Mix well with an electric beater.
Add the salt and flour to the wet ingredients and mix well by hand. Spread the dough as evenly as possible into prepared pan. Using a couple of wet fingers can help spread the dough. The surface doesn't need to be smooth as it will even out during baking.
See how smooth the surface is after baking? Smooth the chocolate chips over the surface using an offset spatula.
Sprinkle almonds over the melted chocolate and give the nuts a gentle nudge into the chocolate.
Cool completely on a wire rack and cut with a sharp knife.
3 Tbls. instant espresso powder or 3 1/2 Tbls. dark instant coffee, dissolved in 2 Tbls. hot
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulphered molasses
1 egg yolk, large
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cup unbleached flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Dissolve instant espresso or coffee in hot water; set aside to cool. Toast sliced almonds; set aside to cool. Line a 13"x9" baking pan with foil; spray with non-stick coating. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl and mix with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and dissolved espresso; mix well. With a wooden spoon, stir in salt and flour. Spread dough evenly in prepared pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the sides pull away from sides of pan and center springs back when gently depressed. Remove pan from oven and turn off oven heat. Evenly sprinkle chocolate chips over top of bars and return pan to oven for 2-3 minutes to melt chips (chips will look shiny).
Remove pan from oven and with an offset spatula, swirl chocolate chips, covering tops of bars. Sprinkle with toasted almonds, gently pressing nuts into chocolate. Cool completely on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove bars from pan by lifting the opposite ends of the foil onto a large cutting board. Smooth the foil and cut with a sharp knife using a downward cut.
Store in a tightly covered container between sheets of wax paper for up to one week. Makes about 24-36 bars.