In the spirit of helpfulness and I'm-so-grown-up-compared-to-this-wee-little-sister, both children have been cooking up a storm.
They made Saturday morning pancakes all by themselves after I talked through the recipe with them the night before. They frequently fry eggs for themselves for breakfast.
And Genevieve lobbied to make candy, most particularly pulled taffy, by herself. I had enough spirit to say no and enough spirit to say yes when she found the "Candy Bars" recipe in Mennonite Country-Style. Then I promptly lost my temper when she asked a question about butter. Once the peace was restored and I went out to the sofa where I belonged, she quite handily turned out these delicious bars.
The recipe note says that they taste like "the O'Henry bars" which I have never eaten or even seen for sale, so I'm assuming that's a rather vintage candy bar and I like the recipe all the more for it.
The bars themselves are buttery and crunchy on the bottom with that delicious peanut-butter chocolate layer on top. They are pretty difficult to cut nicely, especially if you are sleep-deprived and desperately in need of calories (hangry) from feeding a chubby baby. Great food to have around the house!
Candy Bars - tweaked a bit from Mennonite Country-Style
Stir together until thoroughly mixed:
2/3 cup melted, salted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
4 cups quick oats
Press mixture in bottom of 9x13 baking pan to form even layer. Bake at 360 F for 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
When cool, melt over low heat on stove or in microwave:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Add 1/2 cup coarse or chunky peanut butter. Stir well. Pour and spread gently and evenly over bottom oat layer in pan. Allow to harden in refrigerator. Cut into small bars - they're rich! Makes 2-3 dozen small bars.
1. Genevieve used homemade peanut butter, which is coarsely ground. I suggested that she could add some chopped peanuts if she wanted to approximate chunky peanut butter.
2. I think some or all of the corn syrup could be replaced with honey, although the flavor will change and I'm not sure honey would keep the flexible-yet-firm texture that corn syrup seems to give. Corn syrup is the standard ingredient of all old candy recipes. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions here (although I'm not opposed to a bit of corn syrup in homemade recipes because we're not eating much commercially processed food in this house, the problematic source of corn syrup in the American diet).
3. The obligatory baby Phoebe photo. One week old here, and getting ready for her first bath (she was insulted). Phoebe is very alert and communicative, so much fun. Photo by Genevieve.