This past summer seemed particularly rainy. It felt like I was up most nights listening to the sound of thunderstorms.
When I was a kid I loved listening to rain, watching a burst of lightening and hearing the boom of thunder that always follows. At camp I’d learned that if you counted the seconds between the time you saw lightening and heard the thunder, you could tell whether the storm was moving closer or further away. I would lie in my tent…lightening…and count one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand…thunder. Then again, this time 4 seconds apart. One more time, 5 seconds apart. And I would fall asleep knowing the storm was slowly moving further away.
But as a grown-up, thunderstorms have become a source of anxiety. Almost every place I’ve lived has been plagued by flooding. In the first apartment I owned, my car was totaled by a flood in our downward-sloping garage only two days after we moved in. Actually, it wasn’t even my car – it belonged to my father-in-law who had kindly lent it to us for a few days to make our move go a little smoothly.
Once the rain has me awake, my mind spirals through a list of worries big and small. Did I remember to pack the kids’ lunches for tomorrow? Did I schedule their dentist appointments? Why do I feel like I just can’t get anything right at work? You get the point.
It turns out, I’ve realized, that some of those worries are valid and some are not. Some are things I can fix, and most are not. So I put aside time to pack lunches the night before, and set reminders for doctor’s visits and school events. And, I left a job where I felt stifled to start something where I can be creative without judgment and (hopefully) make my clients really happy.
And then, sometime soon, I think I’ll be able to go back to counting the seconds between the lightening and thunder and falling asleep knowing that the storm is moving further away.
S’mores Cookie Bars
1/2 cup (115g) salted butter, softened to room temperature1
3/4 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
1 cup (100g) graham cracker crumbs (9 graham crackers)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 and 1/4 cup (225g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 heaping cup marshmallow creme
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8x8 or 9x9 square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars when they have cooled. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium-high speed. Beat for about 2 minutes until smooth and combined, then add the vanilla extract and egg, beating until combined. Set aside.
Toss the flour, graham cracker crumbs, and baking powder together until combined. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
Press 2/3 of the graham cookie dough into prepared pan. Spread the marshmallow creme on top. This will be tricky since the marshmallow creme is so sticky, but do the best you can to get an even layer. Sprinkle the marshmallow creme with chocolate chips. Mold the remaining cookie dough into flat pieces and layer on top of the chocolate chips. You won't have enough dough to make one single layer, so some chocolate chips will be exposed. That's ok.
Bake the bars for 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden brown.