It is so hard to leave. Those big, HUGE mournful deep chocolate eyes of Ella’s stare up at me.

“This is just a one day wonder?!?” She half-asks, half-pleads.

My heart breaks.

Again.

Avoid those eyes.

Glance at the clock.

My shift starts in 7 minutes.

“No baby. This is my weekend.

We become a ball of entangled limbs.

Her big brother helps to unwrap her death grip from around me.

“I gotta go baby. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Walk.

Fast.

Faster.

Don’t look back.

Never look back.

How do I assure her of my unending love? How do I let her little five-year-old mind comprehend that my heart remains here, at home?

I bake.

I leave them with succulent morsels of chocolate, caramel, or fruity goodness.

I scour magazines, blogs, and old recipe books for concoctions worthy of trying.

The ultimate prize: Finding a dessert even super-picky eater Rosa will eat.

Here are a couple of all-around winners:

the desserts

On the left: A peanut butter-ish cookie wrapped around a mini-snickers candy bar and drizzled with caramel and chocolate. The boys proclaimed them “way better than they look!”
But the true gauge of their make-it-again worthiness: They didn’t last the first day.

I got the recipe from Dining With Alice blog. Here it is:

Author: Alice Seuffert

Serves: 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Butter (salted, softened)
  • ¾ cup Brown Sugar
  • ¾ cup White Sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¾ cup Flour
  • ¾ tsp Baking Soda
  • 24 mini Snickers
  • Topping: 
½ cup Chocolate Chips (melted) and ½ cup Caramels (melted)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • 
In a stand mixer, combine butter, brown sugar and ¼ cup white sugar. Mix until creamy and then add vanilla and peanut butter. Once combined add egg.
  • 
In a bowl combine flour and baking soda and gradually add to peanut butter mixture.
  • Scoop dough into balls and roll around mini snickers. In a small bowl, add ½ cup sugar and roll each ball in the sugar.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.
  • 
Once cooled, drizzle with melted chocolate and caramel.

(Here’s a hint… don’t tell them there’s a candy bar inside. Watching their eyes light up as satisfied smiles of melted chocolate stained teeth appear makes it all worth it.)

No time for all that? The bars are quick and adaptable to what you have on hand. (The ones in the picture have peanut M&Ms in them.)

(From Adell Goff)

Ingredients

  • 2⅛ cups flour
  • 
½ teaspoon salt
  • 
½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 
12 tablespoons butter (1½ sticks), melted and cooled slightly
  • 
1 cup light brown sugar
  • 
½ sugar
  • 
1 large egg
  • 
1 large egg yolk
  • 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 
2 cups milk chocolate chips (or whatever else you feel like throwing in. I’ve used M&Ms, peanuts, chopped up candy bars, and combinations thereof)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil, letting the excess hang over the edges of the pan by about 1 inch. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  • 

Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl then set aside.
  • 

Whisk the melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Next, add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla mixing well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined; do not over-mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula.
  • 

Bake until the top of the bars are light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from sides of pan (About 24-28 minutes. I cooked mine for 27 minutes.)
  • 

Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Remove the bars from the pan by lifting with the foil “handles” or overhang and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut into desired size squares or rectangles.

Feel like frosting it? Melt some chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or whatever and frost away!

Rosa actually likes these bars.

In fact, so do the residents at my work. Med passes are made easy with these little babies to hide crushed pills in. (I am not going to delve into that bottomless can of worms in this post, folks. Let’s just say that some victims of Dementia need some, um, coaxing to take their often life-saving meds.)

Have a recipe you think we’d like to try? Let me know!



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