Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Easiest Cookie Recipe Ever

One of my frustrations with life as an administrator is that the work comes unevenly.  There are days when I'm caught up, days when I've worked ahead, days when I look at my watch and wonder how I'll fill the remainder of the hours.  I try to remember to pull out writing projects on those days.

Then there are days like yesterday.  I went to one meeting, where I found out that an assessment project that I thought was finished actually needs one more revision, and it needs to be done by Friday.  I got a spreadsheet that's exhaustingly long, and I had to hunt for my classes which need electronic textbooks and enter in information.  The spreadsheet came as a list of books, and I don't have the names of the textbooks memorized; if I'd had the spreadsheet organized by classes, it might have been easier.

Luckily, I had last quarter's version of the spreadsheet, so the hunting was easier.  But why do we have to enter in information at all, if it hasn't changed?  Grr.

For the last week, I haven't had more than one transcript to evaluate for transfer credit in any given day.  Yesterday, it was like everyone woke up at once and sent in evidence of former work.

I felt like I was racing from pillar to post (an interesting phrase, eh?).  So, it was a delight to take a break to have a potluck supper with a group of friends who work with me.

We gathered in the conference room for our simple meal:  hummus, pita chips, bread, potato salad, chicken salad.  I brought in my favorite cookies that I'd baked the night before.  One of my friends said, "That's my favorite!"

I do often bring these cookies to potluck gatherings.  This recipe is one of the easiest ones in my repertoire.  It's often easier to bake them than it is to go to the grocery store.

It has occurred to me that you, too, might need this kind of recipe.  It's easy and if you keep a kitchen stocked in the way that I do, you've got the ingredients on hand.  You melt the butter, so you don't need to think ahead.  They're delicious fresh out of the oven and just as delicious days later.

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks:  Beatrice Ojakangas' The Great Holiday Baking Book.   She's got a recipe for every conceivable holiday and great ways to celebrate the passage of the seasons.

Butterscotch Bars

1/4 C. butter, melted
1 C.  packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 C. flour (partial whole wheat works well)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. nuts (I prefer pecans, but you might like walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 375.  Butter a 9 inch square pan.

Beat the brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg together until light and fluffy.  Stir in the flour and baking powder, and when combined, the nuts.  Spread the batter into the pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is firm to the touch.  A tester may not come out completely clean--the bars will solidify as they cool.  You should cut into serving size bars after 10-20 minutes of cooling.

This recipe is easily doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan.  You could also add chocolate chips into the batter or melt 1/2 c. of chips and drizzle across the top of the bars.  

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