Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All American Lunch Ladies


You remember your high school lunch lady don't you? I'm sure you had a relationship with her just like Corey and Topanga had with Brenda on "Boy Meets World", right? Well, I was likely a tad abnormal, but I share the same sentiment as Chris Farley and Adam Sandler, and I did have a relationship with my lunch lady.

Although I typically brought a sack lunch to school during those bitter years, nearly every day I indulged myself with a chocolate milk and a peanut butter bar.

Oh man, just saying that name brings back the good ol' days... Hmmmm, I can imagine them now; that undecipherable thick peanut buttery cake/cookie bottom with chocolate ganache frosting layered on top. Every day my lunch lady knew I would be coming, and every day she smiled and laughed when I made my order and we joked and talked a bit. I do wish now I remembered her a little better.

Well, a few weeks ago my sister Pamela made a ridiculously scrumptious family favorite: Candy Pizza. This treat starts with a chocolate chip cookie crust and is then layered with a chocolate peanut butter sauce and coated with a variety of the classic candy bars.

Having just celebrated Easter I've had my fill of candy bars for the moment so it wasn't so much the candy bars that I was craving as it was the cookie crust. And what I really wanted was more of a cross between the cookie crust and toffee bars; I wanted a peanut butter bar. Now I've searched across this great continent for this recipe, but after 10 years I've ultimately resigned myself to the fact that it's the ultimate in protected secrets of the lunch ladies union.

Instead I interpreted my craving for toffee bars and cookie crust by translating, very literally, each recipe into one.

Bars: Lunch Lady

Toffee Bar Crust:
1 small egg
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
Mix together until thoroughly incorporated

Cookie Crust:
1 small egg
5 tablespoons butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
¾ cup flour
¼ cup mini chocolate chips
Mix together until thoroughly incorporated

Drop spoonfuls of both batters haphazardly into rectangular pan intermingling the two
Spread batters together until level
Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes; watch closely - crust is done when edges begin to brown

Sauce:
(Equal parts chocolate and peanut butter)
½ peanut butter
½ cup chocolate chips
Melt on low, stirring until smooth

Topping:
Toast 2 cups shredded coconut over stove top until brown and crunchy
Stir in 1/8 cup sweet and condensed milk
Coconut will form small clumps

Finalè:
Spread sauce over crust immediately after removing from oven
Sprinkle coconut over sauce evenly
Let set

These cookies are smooth, buttery, and chewy. They melt in your mouth with a hint of peanut butter to accentuate the rich flavor, and with a crispy coconutty coating these cookies will hit the spot regardless of whatever your craving may be!

Improvise by substitutting Toasted Coconut Sweet Sauce for the toasted coconut to create a second top layer.

6 Sweet Talkers:

Gabriel Olson said...

I remember my lunch ladies in Elementary school. Not entirely unlike the visuals of Chris Farley. Only white hair instead of red. I would occasionally volunteer to help serve lunch. (We would get out of our second class 45 minutes early by doing so. The head lunch lady called all of us kids Sunshine. Everybody's name was Sunshine to her. We would joke about it, but I now realize it was her endearing way of not having to learn anyone's names.

Thanks for bringing up my fond lunch lady memories.

And the cookies were awesome!

Pamela said...

FYI - I have a scrumptious peanut butter bar recipe that people swear tastes just like in elementary school. I will have to give it to you. These look delicous. I will have to try this recipe!!

Heather said...

thanks love! you are soo darn cute!! i love it! these look amazing!

sweetie said...

hiya, i'd love to make these. what size pan did you use?

also, it also looks like you used only 1 type of crust (cookie?) in the picture but i'll follow your directions to mix the toffee & cookie crust. : )

any additional tips would be great!

Fahrenheit 350° said...

I used a traditional jelly roll pan. Once you drop the cookie dough into the pan and spread it out it becomes one mixture! You'll love these, they are so tasty!

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