Um, hello again. I really did not mean to be gone for that long. Funny how a few weeks can turn into a few months. So many factors contributed to my absence.... a new computer with a new version of iphoto that I needed to get used to... a sense of dissatisfaction with my photography skills.... the impending loss of my current job.... I guess I just lost my motivation somehow but the truth is, I've missed writing about food and taking pictures of it, even though I wish they were better. But I'm going to forge on and share with you the perfect bar cookie to make for your end-of-summer picnics. Meet my new friend, the monster cookie bar.
I had this treat when I went to Boston to visit my brother, John and his family. We spent the last day together with some fellows my brother has spent the last year working with and everyone met on Cape Cod for the afternoon. We had grilled sausages and falafel, dips and chips, but the best offerings were these bars that my sister-in-law, Lori brought. They are from Tasty Kitchen, a recipe blog compendium by Pioneer Woman. And believe me when I tell you that they are all you are ever going to need to bring to any gathering to satisfy anyone's dessert cravings.
This is the easiest dessert I've ever had the pleasure to make (and I have made them at least four times this summer). Simply dump all the ingredients into a bowl, mix and dump the dough into a pan. Bake and then consume. Perfect for a picnic, they are sturdy, sweet-salty and chewy like a brownie; they'll make you feel like a kid on summer vacation again.
Monster Cookie Bars
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter (one container)
1 t. vanilla
2 t. baking soda
4 1/2 c. quick cooking oats
1 c. M&M's
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine butter, sugars, peanut butter, eggs, vanilla and baking soda until combined. Add oats, M&M's and chocolate chips. Spread in greased 11x7" jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Cool completely before serving.