I know a few people who cannot make it through a Monday — particularly a dark, dreary Monday such as this — without a little chocolate pick-me-up. Whether it’s a chocolate muffin for breakfast, a mid-morning mug of hot cocoa, a chocolate chip cookie after lunch or a mini-Snickers in the afternoon, it just seems to help a little bit.
The other day, I discovered a great cookie bar recipe, and it was so ridiculously easy I’m almost embarrassed to make something of it. But “ridiculously easy” is sometimes quite welcome in the kitchen, particularly if you’re making something for a school party or you’ve been tasked with bringing a treat to a weeknight gathering.
First, get thee to the grocery store and pick up a box of Pillsbury Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookie mix and a bag of dried cherries. Then, follow the recipe on the back of the box for Oatmeal-Chocolate-Craisin bars, but instead of the Craisins use chopped, dried cherries.
I did this on a whim the other day because I didn’t have dried cranberries, and I daresay the dried cherries were probably better. They earned raves. Just realize that when you are spreading the mix into the bottom of the 9×13-inch pan, it’s going to seem as if you don’t have enough dough to cover the bottom of the pan. I oiled the palms of my hands well and just used them to press all of the dough out in an even layer. These treats would be even better with a little melted chocolate drizzled over the top.
Since dried cherries are kind of expensive, you may want to get double-duty out of that bag. Use the leftovers for Herbed Cherry Chicken Salad or revisit last year’s winning PlateUp Winter Recipe Contest winner, Cherry-Chocolate Bread Pudding.
Has anybody else discovered a new product lately that is a big time saver?