Kids are hard, and I don’t mean literally.
Truth be told, they’re rather squishy and malleable. It’s a good thing too or else my baby would never be clothed. Have you ever tried to manipulate a chubby little hand and the attached appendage through a long sleeve onesie, while said human is moving and sometimes even howling? It requires flexibility and dexterity on the child’s side and patience on the parent’s part. Thankfully my kid is extra bendable because patience is not my forte.
Suffice to say, raising a tiny human has tested my limits and challenged me in ways not even a Tough Mudder or this year’s presidential election could. I can’t even speak of the latter without seeing red, or should I say orange, and yet it’s nothing compared to parenting twenty-four seven.
And my baby is only six months old.
Send help or better yet, send chocolate; copious amounts of chocolate.
Preferably in bar form, specifically these.
Treasure Bars. Magic Bars. Hello Dolly Bars. Seven Layer Bars (minus a layer or three). Better than Sex Bars (from what I can remember, that is).
Call them what you will, these bars are amazing; like come to Jesus amazing.
They’re sweet, they’re sticky and these days, they are my sanity.
They’re based on a classic dessert from my youth with some healthy twists and tweaks, and not the kind that sacrifices flavor. Case in point, the base layer is made with butter (organic, happy cow butter, to be sure), dates and my favorite rolled oats from Farmer Direct Co-op because balance.
The top layer is a combination of ingredients, with the real stars being crushed walnuts, picture perfect chocolate chips, and shredded coconut. Did I mention the chocolate? All of these lovely components combine to form an ooey gooey, rich, and rewarding magical mouth moment.
Also, these babies are key to my survival. The Boss agrees.
- 1 cup Rolled Oats (gluten free if needed)
- 1/4 cup Dates, packed
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 1 Egg
- 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1/8 tsp. Salt
- 1 Tbsp. Flour OR 1 Tbsp. Tapioca Starch (if you need these to be gluten free)
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pulse oats and dates in a food processor until mixture is crumbly. Cut butter into oats and dates with a pastry cutter or a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Press mixture into a square eight by eight baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven.
- While the crust is baking, use a hand mixer to blend the egg, the syrup and the vanilla. Blend until fully incorporated and mixture is slightly frothy. Add in the salt, the flour and the baking powder and mix for another minute. Using a spoon or a flat spatula, stir in the walnuts, the coconut and the chocolate chips. Spread this mixture over the cooked crust.
- Bake the entire thing for another 16 to 18 minutes at 350 until the top starts to become golden brown.
- Let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator, which will help them firm up even more.
This post is sponsored by my beloved peeps over at Farmer Direct Co-op, who made my day by teaming up with Equal Exchange, another organic and fair trade cooperative. Be still my hippie loving heart. Ingredients matter, and I like to put my money where my mouth is, followed shortly thereafter by these bars.
Do yourself a favor and pick up some Farmer Direct and Equal Exchange products at Whole Foods today. Then make yourself a double batch of these Magic Layer Bars. On second thought, you’re going to want to make it a triple, especially if you have kids.
What would you call these bars? Have you tried the Farmer Direct products yet? They’re the cats pajamas, and they’re having a giveaway on Instagram this month. Check it out.