Monster Cookie Bars
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp.vanilla extract
- 1½ cups quick cooking oats
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup M and M's + additional for top of bars
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 glass baking dish and line with parchment paper so that it hangs over two sides.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the oats, chocolate chips and M and M's by hand.
- Turn the dough out into the prepared baking sheet and press/spread into an even layer. (use a floured sheet of wax paper) Press additional M and M's onto the top of the dough. Bake for 22 minutes or until the edges are set and lightly browned and the top still looks slightly under cooked. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.
It's a weekend many Minnesotans look forward to all year... firearms deer hunting opener which begins November 7th.
In Minnesota this weekend begins one of the two that could be considered a national holiday by locals. The other unofficial holiday would be the walleye opener. The energy expended by hunters in preparation for this weekend never ceases to amaze me. The merchants hawk their specialized wares on the TV, over the radio waves and in the newspaper with discounted items and advertised specials. I'm baffled by the feverish pace hunters seem to expend setting up deer stands in just the perfect location and shop for the perfect gear and clothes. And I can only imagine the amount of food and drinks needed throughout the day to replenish their energy. For many there is that adrenaline rush in the early morning trek into the dark woods hoping to be victorious with a buck or doe.
But let's not forget the hunters' significant others left behind. For certain the merchants have not. There are numerous 'Deer Friends' parties, Doe Brunches scheduled around the state. Restaurants, store, malls, hotels and casinos find this weekend big business as they jump in with offers of treats, prizes and chances to bag deals.
I have mixed feelings about the firearms season as we watch deer run by frequently during the day and scamper off into the woods. Talk to the locals there even seem to be bragging rights as to how many times their cars have hit a deer.
As for me I'm just counting the days until I can reclaim the woods, walk safely and not wear orange.