Whenever I’m feeling kind of meh, I have a few options. A nap isn’t usually possible (there are small children about), so I can either try to sneak episodes of whatever TLC show is new on Netflix without the li’l ones noticing, or I can make a pie. It’s hard to hide what my iPad is doing, so I think the pie wins this one.
My entire childhood was devoid of butter.
I mean, there was good reason for it. When my father had a triple bypass relatively early in my life, my mother overhauled the kitchen. If there had been butter before, it was gone forever. So I never knew what it tasted like, much less how it could elevate a baked good.
Believe me, I’m making up for lost time here. This is my favorite cookie bar base, which has very few ingredients, so it’s easy to throw together as well as delicious. I’ve filled it with milk chocolate chips and spread melted milk chocolate on top. Really, life doesn’t get much better than this.
With Passover approaching in five days, I have to enjoy the good desserts while I can. It is possible to have delicious baked goods on Passover (which I’ll be sharing via my Passover Edition in coming posts), but working without standard flour is a real challenge.
Enough of that. I’ve done my complaining about Passover, so I’ll now transition to complaining about germs. In a family my size, they hop from one person to another and then back, sickening everyone. And they’re typically viral germs, which means there’s no quick solution or cure.
Over the past month, we’ve been in the land of strep, followed by flu, followed by an unidentifiable sickness that looks and acts a lot like flu. Just as soon as someone recovers, someone else goes down. It’s making me wish I’d sprung for the hospital-grade thermometer instead of the reasonably priced one at CVS that kinda sorta works.
Luckily, outside temps are finally in the upper 70s to low 80s, which means I’ve flung open the windows to let the germs out and the fresh air in. I can see a change coming, everyone. The good days will be upon us any day now, and there will be sunshine and health and cheer. I’m so excited.
In no time at all, the school year will be ending and I’ll be getting ready for yet another summer of fun. While my favorite part of teaching is actually being in the classroom, a nice perk is looking forward to the long, lazy days of summer. It’ll be nice to have a change of pace away from all the germs.
To celebrate prematurely, I’ve got these bars. They’re keeping me company this week as our fridge empties for Passover and switches from standard food to what-in-the-heck-is-that. I’m bringing these to work with me, but I’m not sharing. They’re too good for that.
As is my habit, I’ve used milk chocolate chips. As much as I love all chocolate, I have a special place in my heart for the creaminess of milk. It makes so many desserts just a little bit better.
I hope that your life is free of disease right now and that you’re barreling toward summer with as much joy as I am. Here’s to a good week, everyone!
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides. Coat with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the margarine and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in half of the milk chocolate chips.
- Pat the cookie dough onto the prepared pan evenly. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pain from the oven and sprinkle on the remaining cup of chocolate chips evenly over the top. Turn the oven off and return the pan to the oven for five minutes.
- Take the pan out once more and spread the melted chocolate over the bars.
- Let the chocolate set overnight. If you're in a hurry, 30 minutes in the fridge will also work, but your top might crack as you cut it.
- Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.