My God, but this is the bossiest winter we've had in a long time. Just when you think you can't find any more ways to complain, describe, cry about the cold weather, winter's like, "Oh, yeah, well what about this?" And shazam: Polar Vortex on our asses. (Sorry, I know this is a family show, but desperate times, etc.) I don't think my kids have been outside other than for the quick walk to the school bus/daycare in about a week. And even that brief exposure has all of us red-faced and sore from the cold. It actually hurts. Okay winter, we get it, you're the man.
If you're stuck inside with the kids this weekend you're going to need some activities. There's only so many times I can play Catopoly (mmm hmmm, litter boxes instead of houses, not kidding). So I'm going to get my kids in the kitchen for some baking. This is a super easy recipe that comes together quite quickly but still has enough steps that if you've got more than one child to amuse everyone gets a few turns dumping in ingredients. I really love the way chocolate and coconut taste together, plus the coconut adds an extra chewy-ness. These pack really well, so you'll be one step ahead in the lunch game for next week. Next week when it won't be so cold. Right? Sorry, forget I asked, winter, you're the boss. But until it warms up, we'll always have cookies…
photo by Maya Visnyei
Chocolate Chip Bars
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1 x 12 oz package of chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter, either in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat. In a medium-sized bowl, whip together the melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until the mixture is creamy and light. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer — either works just fine.
In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry to the wet until everything is just combined. Now add the chocolate chips and give everything another good mix. But don't over do it or you'll have tough bars!
Lightly grease a 9 x 13 " pan (or line it with parchment and leave a bit of overhang) and spread your batter out evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. They're done when a toothpick inserted in the bars comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before cutting into 24 rectangular bars. If your family doesn't inhale them immediately, they'll keep for several days in an airtight container and much longer in the freezer!