Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snowbound: A Bar By Any Other Name

Though we haven't been exactly snowbound these past few days, it sure has felt like it.  This storm, on top of two snow days last week, made it feel like we are being punished for bad behavior.  The snow started early on Tuesday morning, let up for a while on Tuesday afternoon, and returned with a vengeance on Tuesday evening into Wednesday, dumping a grand total of about 2 feet of snow on our little town.  I guess we were due; we missed the brunt of the last few storms, and it was our turn to shovel.  I spent a good deal of the morning on Tuesday shoveling (or really, pushing aside the snow, which was powdery at the time) so that I could get out for my doctor's visit.  I had originally planned to visit RunningMama for lunch, who is staying not too far from my neck of the woods for her retrieval (go visit her blog and give her some support ... she's holed up in a strange town, without local friends and loved ones to offer support), but the snow was just coming too fast: by mid-day, my son's school had called an early dismissal, my midwife appointment had gotten moved up, and cars were beginning to get stranded.  Mother Nature conspired against us.

Today, we spent most of the morning getting shoveled out ... and the afternoon recovering.

There's more snow on the way for this weekend and next week, though thankfully right now the forecast says "showers"; I keep dreading going into labor when roads are impassable.  I'm headed back in to work tomorrow for a meeting, and then I think I'm done with that commute for a while; I find myself wanting to take a nap at around 2pm, and even though I haven't been doing that at home, either, my office desk is definitely not conducive to nap-taking.  (As an aside, though, I seem to be getting the same volume of email that I normally do, and find myself wondering, what happens if I just don't respond to it?  Who will these people contact to get their questions answered/problems solved?  When do I get to stop putting out fires?)

These dessert bars go by a number of different names, but the end result is the same.  I made them, really, for RunningMama, and was sorry that I couldn't bring them in person this time around ... she sounded like she could use a pick-me-up, and I've had a can of sweetened condensed milk in my pantry for a while that's been wanting to be used. You can vary the nuts, add more or less chips, use half butterscotch or peanut butter chips, or whatever your little heart craves.  You've probably made these a billion times before; it's not like they're anything special.  But they are tasty.   This bar, by any name, tastes just as sweet.  Hang in there, RunningMama ... it'll be spring soon enough, and in the meantime, I hope that your dreams are as sweet and as real as these.

Magic Cookie Bars (also known as 7 Layer Bars, or Dream Bars)

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (I used amaranth grahams, which are high in fiber, low in fat)
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 small can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1 c. chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli bittersweet)
1 1/2 c. flaked coconut (I used unsweetened ... it's better for you, and these cookies are plenty sweet without that sickly sweet sugar in the coconut)
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together graham cracker crumbs with melted butter, and spread into a 13x9" pan.  Next place the chopped nuts over the crumbs, and spread the chocolate chips over the nuts. Add the coconut over all, and pour the milk evenly over the top.  (I actually did the reverse, because I like seeing the chocolate chips, but you can do whatever you need to, as long as you get all of the ingredients on there.)

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly brown on top. Cool at least 20 minutes then cut into desired sized bars (I made 24).
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  1. They sound very sweet - but yummy and easy!

  2. They do look 'dreamy' and I bet they taste great. I think I'll have to reward myself to these after I lose a few pounds. When you write about snow it brightens my face yet from what you write, it doesn't exactly sound romantic. I've never really seen it, maybe as a kid when my parents took me to Greece and I vaguely remember something white that melted in my hand.

  3. Ooooh delish. I'm sorry you are snowbound. I will send positive not-go-into-labour until the storm has passed vibes!

    Now going to go and visit Running Mama.

  4. Ok, so why the hell do even your chocolate chips look better than mine?? :) Those look freaking amazing to me right now. I have a cup of coffee in one hand (need to cut that out) and one of those bars is definitely what's missing!

    I really hope you have clear roads for "labor day".

    BTW - you are such a rock star for shoveling at this point in your pregnancy. I'm not a lick pregnant and can't get my lazy butt motivated to do it.

  5. Yum...just the thing to keep one warm on snowy days. And I've had just about enough of them. I'm officially crying uncle:)

  6. I can't even fathom that much snow... counting down to baby bean's arrival. And wow, that recipe= wow!

  7. i cannot believe you were shoveling. you are amazing. & those cookies look so good i might start drooling....


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