Throughout my life summer has always represented a break. In elementary school through college that symbolic last day has always been an adventure where you feel free of the rules and structure that has defined you the past nine months. For the first time in my life I didn’t have that last day this summer. I entered the “real world” as you might say, and summer no longer carries the same sense of departure. This is not to say I’m not thankful for the job I have, and the wonderful opportunities and events it has led to this summer, but for the first time summer has just blended in to the rest of life.
This summer was a new experience for me in many ways. It represented the start of a new job, a move to the city and a few business trips along the way. As a person who adjusts to change more gradually than others, I was startled by this “new” summer” that entered with less flexibility and less time. As I sit here with more than half of summer gone by, I began to realize that the idea of summer is never defined by one year. It’s defined by the simple moments that take you right to the heart of the season. Whether it’s late-night Dairy Queen, a run along the beach, or an outdoor farmer’s market, the essence of summer can be captured in a single night. I’m sure this summer is one of many that will be filled with new experiences and I will continue to adapt. Yet, even during the busiest of summers, when time seems to be going a mile a minute, it only takes a night of catching lightning bugs to remind you of what summer is all about.
When all else fails I turn to the one thing that seems to always connects me to something bigger than what lies in front of me, and that is food. Whenever I drink an ice cold glass of lemonade or an ice cream cone at night I’m not only reconnected with the current season, but I’m reminded of the comfort of my childhood summers, when life was care free and a worry did not exist beyond the day in front of you.
If there is one food that is an epitome of summer, the classic s’more always tops the list. I would even go as far as saying it’s impossible to eat a s’more angry. Whether you’re 5 or 75 the first bite of a s’more is pure happiness.
If you’re facing my dilemma of a rushed summer with less time for bon fires and camping trips, you have to try this recipe for s’more cookie bars. It combines the reminder of a s’more with the addition of a chocolate chip cookie for good measure.
Summers are always going to change, but sometimes it’s as simple a s’more to remind you that summer is truly here.
S’more Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything
11 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular chocolate bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages of graham crackers, broken into square pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking pan or line with parchment paper. Any size-baking sheet will work.
Lay out graham crackers on the pan as close as possible (they should be touching.) Set the pan aside.
Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon and set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in dry ingredients just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour or over night.
Place 1 Tbsp. – 1 1/2 Tbsp. of dough per graham cracker. Press down very slightly with fingertips. Bake for 5 minutes and then remove from oven to place part of the chocolate bar on top. Bake for an additional 5- 7 minutes or until dough turns golden brown.
Let cool slightly and remove from pan.
Enjoy your new version of a s’more J