No healthy recipe today! Not for you. It’s Friday. You dig?
The problem is, if you only eat healthy foods all the time, sooner or later you’ll face-dive right into a vat of Reese’s and just not be able to stop. It’s human nature. Deprivation is not the way. Take that, Hollywood celebrities who pay people to whip up healthy cuisine 24/7!
If you want chocolate, eat it. If you want kale, eat it. See how that works? And eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re not. Pretty basic philosophy, and it allows you to eat bars like this when the mood strikes. These are phenomenal.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about social media and the duplicity of the whole process. We all put on our happy faces and go to work every day, and we’ve extended that approach to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and what-have-you. People see the best pictures, ones we’ve staged ourselves. They see enviable beach getaways, Hallmark-worthy family scenes, and written dedications to loved ones that are cheesier than a Lifetime movie.
It’s really tempting to present a version of your life that isn’t reality. We can put whatever we want out there, and it’s rarely a reflection of what’s really happening. So I guess my question is, why?
Some of it is obvious. I’m definitely not going to post my son vomiting everywhere on New Year’s Eve with a joking #FML. Nor am I going to talk about those days when my patience and energy is worn so thin after a long day at work that all I want to do is Netflix binge rather than play endless games of Connect Four with the kids. And I definitely won’t post a video of my daughter angrily calling me a “poopy butt” when we’re not seeing eye to eye.
If we all realize how deceptive social media is, then I guess its power is somewhat lessened. But I’ve read so many studies about how social media is making us feel worse about ourselves and feeding an unhealthy obsession to project ourselves outward.
No solutions here, people. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Follow me! Insert winky face here. In all seriousness, though, I have no answers. I just felt like babbling about it for a while.
Speaking of babbling, I could go on all day about these bars. In my house, dessert falls under two categories: give it away because people need it, or give it away because I’ll eat the whole batch in ten seconds if these don’t truck the heck outta here.
Definitely option two. I ate a few and then got them out of the house. The base is a soft peanut butter cookie bar, and then you swirl melted milk chocolate into the top. It’s easy and it’s decadent. That’s my favorite combo!
And now, feel free to share these bars all over social media. Or not. Hey, none of us is immune from the pull of a seemingly perfect life. I will tell you one thing, though: these bars are perfect, and they don’t need Facebook to make them feel like hot stuff. They’ve got that all going on by themselves!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Bars
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
- Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips.
- Bake the bars for five minutes. Remove from the oven and swirl the now melted chocolate with a knife, creating a swirled pattern.
- Return the bars to the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.