Some of you were confused by my last, almost-healthy recipe, so I decided to lay some multi-layered sweetness on you. Welcome to Crap I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You About, 10th Edition.
One of my students recently told me a story about passing out in sex education class. At first I pretended to be concerned, but then she told me that it happened when the nurse unwrapped a condom at the front of the room and extended it for all to see. She was sharing a chair with a boy she had a crush on (big mistake, kiddo), and then sorta slid off that chair, sweating and speaking in tongues. I guess kids were just steppin’ over her and stuff as the nurse cleared the room to assist her. Gawd, I miss high school.
Several weeks ago, 2.0 and I were joshin’ around, and I compared an incident to the time I almost pooped my pants on Spring Garden Road, and 2.0 said: which time?
I’d like to assure you that there was only the one time.
Kinfolk. Sometimes I look at their stuff, and I’m all: aw, that’s pretty. But most of the time I’m thinking: take that ridiculous flower wreath off your head, bozo. I bet their dinner parties would be zero fun what with the conversation centring around harvest retreats and The Great Gatsby. Plus, I doubt 2.0 would grow a handlebar moustache for the event.
My sister, Haddy, has me hooked on a column called “Kings County from The Cruiser.” It’s published in a newspaper local to where we grew up. Basically, it’s a weekly RCMP update to keep the villagers apprized of reported crime in the area. The column includes weekly gems like:
- A mysterious package wrapped in foil was reported to police in Wolfville. It turned out to be an abandoned donair.
- Police were asked to mediate after a pizza delivery mix-up in North Kentville.
- A snowplow driver reported seeing a suspicious light in a home near Welton’s Landing at 12:20 a.m. It turned out to be a candle.
- A man wearing a Ninja outfit was checked out by police in Greenwood. He was waiting for a drive to a party.
I’m guessing you’ve figured out that we don’t do no Kinfolk where I grew up.
On New Year’s Eve, a situation arose whilst 2.0 and I were visiting the Beaucoups. We were there for dinner, games, and festivities. After a trip to the washroom, I typed the following message on my iPhone and slid it across the table to 2.0:
I made a double flusher. Go do the second flush.
I assumed that he would excuse himself from the table and address the situation, because we both know what a double flusher is, and we’re supposed to back each other up in these circumstances. He didn’t. At first I thought he was trying to be discrete, as running to the bathroom immediately after my departure might have been a giveaway. But it became apparent that he was more focused winning Carcassonne than my request for assistance. After about 20 minutes, and a good deal of worrying that someone else would get to the washroom before 2.0, I typed:
I made a double flusher a long time ago – GO PEE AND DO THE SECOND FLUSH!
2.0 looked down at the phone and nodded reassuringly. And then he slid my phone across the table to my mother. She read the message, and then handed it on to my brother, who passed it on to my dad. I’d like to tell you that I was completely traumatized by the event, but once you’ve almost pooped your pants in public, your threshold for this sort of thing gets adjusted significantly.
So, I push on and continue to bake, and these bars are one of my most recent favourites. They have three layers – a soft, chocolate base studded with walnuts, followed by a rich layer of marshmallow, and finished with a glossy, chocolate topping. The coconut in the base gives a satisfying chewiness, and keeps it slightly soft. The marshmallow layer is gooey and sweet, and I added krispie cereal to the topping to give a little crunch, along with some corn syrup to add a little sheen. Chocolatey and decadent – comforting even in one’s darkest hour.
. . .
Chocolate Marshmallow Layer Bars
Yields one 9×9 inch pan.
For the base:
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
For the marshmallow layer:
- 18 large marshmallows, cut in half
For the topping:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Read through the entire recipe before beginning. Measure out all of your ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa.
In a separate, small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, and then stir the eggs into the sugar mixture. Add the vanilla, coconut and walnuts, stirring until combined. The batter may seem dry at first, but will come together into a moist, somewhat sticky dough. Avoid over-mixing. Spread evenly in the greased 9×9 pan.
Bake for about 25 minutes, rotating the pan after 15 minutes, until somewhat firm and pulling away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the centre should come out clean.
When the base is done baking, remove pan from the oven and immediately cover with marshmallow halves (6 rows of 6 marshmallows in each direction). Put the pan back into the oven for 1-2 minutes to soften the marshmallows. Remove pan from oven and use the point of a small pallet knife (or butter knife) to spread the marshmallows evenly. They will be very sticky and gooey, but as they melt they become easier to spread.
Make the topping: in a double boiler or a metal bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, combine the chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup. Cook until the chocolate chips and butter have completely melted, and the mixture is smooth, glossy, and hot to the touch. Stir in the Rice Krispies and then immediately spread over the marshmallow layer. This is easiest to do when the marshmallows are still warm.* The marshmallows and topping may marble slightly as you spread the topping over the surface.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack and then cut into squares.
*note: you can make the topping while the base is baking. Don’t add the Rice Krispies until just before spreading the topping over the marshmallows, and be sure the chocolate mixture is still warm and loose when you stir in the Rice Krispies – if the chocolate is too cool, it will make combining and spreading difficult.