Paula's Pie Project Blog

52 different pies in 52 weeks

Pie #51- Coffee Toffee December 22, 2010

December is a big birthday month for our family- both nuclear and extended.  I have three nephews with December birthdays.  Last week we celebrated my son Oliver’s 9th birthday and this week is my dear husband’s.

So selection for this one was easy.  It was Travis’ call.  The newly donned 42-year-old got to pick out what pie he wanted for his big day.  Coffee and toffee was his second choice after he quickly blurted out “peach”. 

(I already made a peach pie for the project and because of my no repeat rule, couldn’t do it again.  Plus it is pretty impossible to find fresh peaches in Boise this time of year.  His beloved peach pie (Pie #32) was made back in late July when I was in Ohio for our summer trip.  The poor guy never even got a slice of his proclaimed favorite since by that time he returned to back to Boise.)

So coffee and toffee it is.  The recipe is actually a combination of two together- one for the actual pie and the other for the toffee sauce topping.   I started with the coffee toffee pie recipe from and while in the midst of my baking, I realized my expectations for the toffee portion of the pie were not going to be met. (There was no toffee sauce or toffee topping included in this pie.)  The name gave theirs is false advertising.  They should drop the “toffee” portion and rename the recipe “Coffee Pie” or “Coffee Mousse Pie”.  Either would be a better description. 

So now fully immersed into the baking of the “coffee pie”‘, I had to come up with the toffee portion to satisfy my husband’s request.  A quick google search brought me to where I found this simple toffee sauce recipe.  I combined the two recipes and now I had the perfect birthday gift!




  • 1 -1/2 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 sq. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 c. butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-3 Tbps. cold water

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a 10 inch springform pan. Cut waxed paper to fit bottom. Brush or rub with butter; then place buttered side up. Using fork, stir flour, nuts, sugar, chopped chocolate in bowl. Stir in butter and vanilla. Add 2 T water and mix until crumbly. If too dry, add 1 more Tblsp. of water. Turn into springform pan. Press into bottom and up sides. Bake 18-20 minutes. Cool on rack. Do not remove sides.


  • 2 sq. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp. instant coffee powder
  • 3/4 c.unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs

Cut chocolate into coarse pieces. Place chocolate and instant coffee in saucepan over very low heat. Melt, stirring frequently, and remove from heat when small pieces of chocolate are still visible, about 5 min. Then, stir until smooth.In mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer until very creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and lemon colored. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Then beat in eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition. Pour into cooled crust and refrigerate until cold at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.


  • 2 Tblsp. instant coffee powder
  • 500 ml container of whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tblsp. coffee liqueur (Kahlua or Tia Maria)
  • 1/4 c. sifted powdered sugar

Add whipped cream topping no more than 2 hours before serving. Stir instant coffee with cream, vanilla and liqueur in medium bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in icing sugar. Spoon on top of pie and swirl in mounds covering entire surface. (DRIZZLE TOFFEE SAUCE ON SIDES AND TOP OF PIE).  Top with chocolate curls or grated chocolate. Serve right away or up to 2 hours. Gently remove sides from pan.



  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbps. water
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, water and condensed milk. Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

*(The recipe shown has been cut in half from the original amounts.  There will still be plenty of sauce left over!) 


Personal Notes:

  • As far as the crust, it was different from the usual due to the addition of the finely grated chocolate, chopped pecans and brown sugar, but yet it baked similarly to a typical basic flaky crust.  No rolling was needed.  Instead the soft, pliable dough was pressed  into the buttered pan.  A springform pan was required so be prepared for that and a food processor made the crust preparation VERY easy.  (I won’t be making this at Mark and Dalia’s house ever since they have neither a springform, nor a food processor.  But Mike and Molly, I will be happy to make this for you as long as you let me eat soup, drink libations and watch Ohio State football games in your basement.)
  • The filling tastes just like chocolate mousse, but with a hint of coffee.  Who buys instant coffee these days, anyway?  I think I called four or five neighbors to “borrow” a few teaspoons of the stuff and I was mocked for even asking!  Finally, I broke down, went to the store and bought the small jar of Folgers.  It will now sit on my shelf for ten or so years or until I make another coffee related dessert.
  • The topping was a whipped cream, but just tastier than your average since it has the addition of Kahlua, coffee and a bit of powdered sugar.  Note to self, the recipe does say to add this topping on and serve immediately or within two hours.  I did serve immediately, but then after consumption I stuck the remaining pie in the freezer.  The pie remained in perfect condition (until we went for our second helping hours later) and the whipping cream did not “melt” like it tends to do after time.
  • The toffee sauce was a great addition to the pie.  I drizzled it over the sides and top after it had cooled.  And for the grand finale, I added  grated chocolate rather than the chocolate curls on top. 
  • I know I have given some pretty high marks to some of my previous pies, but this one is seriously worth a 10 plus, plus!  As a coffee, chocolate and toffee lover- tt is TRULY FANTASTIC and goes down in history books as being one of my personal favorites this year.  I would definitely make this again…Folgers instant coffee…here I come!!!!
  • Happy Birthday, Travis!  Hope this year is even better than the last, although without the pie project, I am not sure how I can top it!?!? XOXOXOXO