2017 total: $12105.73


Caramel Chocolate Monster Cookie Bars

I basically bribe my kids to clean up after themselves, which turns out great for all of us. Seriously. For example, a few days ago I offered to make cookies if they cleaned up all of the toys in the family room and THEY DID IT. I gained a clean room AND had an excuse to make cookies.

There are no losers in that game.

Even better, when I asked Mila if we should make Monster Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Caramel Chocolate Cookie Bars, she said, "Yes."

April18 019

Well then. All of the above it is.

Caramel Chocolate Monster Cookie Bars

1/4 cup softened butter
3/4 brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips
1 bag Caramel M&Ms

Caramel sauce
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" square baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. Combine butter, brown sugar, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add in the eggs, vanilla, salt, and peanut butter, mixing well. Stir in the oatmeal and baking powder. Add the chocolate chips and stir again.

3. Let's make some caramel sauce. Melt the second portion of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir well. Add the cream, continuing to stir, and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes or until it turns into a good caramel sauce. Add the vanilla, stir again, and remove from heat.

4. Magic time. Spread half of the cookie dough in the bottom of your pan. Drizzle the caramel over top. Stir all but a handful of the M&Ms into the remaining cookie dough and then spread that across the caramel (I placed it one spoonful at a time so I wouldn't have to try to smooth it over the caramel). Top with the remaining M&Ms.

April18 007

5. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving, unless you want to just eat them with a spoon (they're gooey while warm). I won't judge you if you do. Just don't judge me because of course I ate them with a spoon.

April18 011


Chasing the Sun

April18 065


C'mon Spring. We Want More of This.

April18 076

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