Are you my Mommy?

Are you my Mommy?
Are you my Mommy?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Velentine's Day My Way

First, I have to start by acknowledging that this is a created, consumer driven holiday.  Yes, I get that, but I have to say anything that gives me a reminder to show my love for wonderful people in my life is a fabulous thing.  There is of course a compromise (yep, that's my thing, compromising).  Husband, D, is working all day and he will come home for a 5 minute baton pass in our relay race, where I give him the 411 of the day and then run out the door to work an evening job.  The hope is that I get home by 9 pm for our weekly date.  I decided this was no excuse to not do something special for him.  So, I decided to do what I do best....bake.  I wanted to share the results, which I hope you agree are beautiful and guess what...not hard.

Here goes...

With the motto of eating dessert first in life. First is the finished picture ...

...It's been a tempting day.

Here go the recipes

First Oatmeal Bars, inspired by a very bedraggled and old version of Betty Crocker, but no an exact duplicate.

1 1/2 cups of butter softened (if you use salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe)
2 cups of packed brown sugar (real stuff here please like C & H...yum)
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups of quick-cooking oats (or do what I did and put your old-fashioned oats in a food chopper)
1/4 cup of milk (I used whole milk because I had it on hand)

Cream butter and brown sugar until light, fluffy and the color lightens using an electric mixer (I used my grandma's Kitchen Aid today...seemed appropriate for Valentines).  Mix in remaining ingredients.
Press into a butter four sided cookie sheet (I used a half sheet, which is the normal home size).

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until light brown on edges only. Better to slightly under bake, but do bake until firm.

Leave in pan to cool until you can handle but still quite warm.  Cut bars right in the pan using a heart shaped cookie cutter.  My cutter was 2 inches across or maybe 3.  When cool use a small metal spatula or off-set spreader to lift out of pan onto cooling rack.

Second, fudgy, gooey brownies, which I guarantee are not a health food...healthy ones are not as good, I don't care what people tell you.  Go for the gusto here, but just don't do it often.

In a double boiler (I used the mixer bowl of my Kitchen Aid with oatmeal bar batter still clinging to it...great trick and less clean up since I was using it already), melt the following
1 cup of butter
4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate...I didn't have any so I substituted 3/4 cup of cocoa and 1/4 cup of oil.

When melted stir in 4 room temperature eggs, 2 cups of suggar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, one teaspoon of almond extract.  Use a wooden spoon to beat in 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups of dark chocolate chips

Spread with an off set spatula in half sheet four sided cookie sheet. bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  cool on wire rack and cut with the heart shaped cookie cutter when cool.

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