Andrea's Awesome Choco-Chip + Pecan + PB Freezer Cookie Bars!
-I have a high school acquaintance named Andrea who is having a little boy (her first born!) in October of this year with her long-time boyfriend CJ. I know they will make wonderful parents, and deserve all the happiness in the world. Well, despite barely knowing Andrea in high school, she sent me a message through Facebook (a social networking site), and we started talking more. finally, she ended up asking me if I would like to come to her baby shower. I said "sure," expecting her to totally forget my address and never send a physical invitation in the mail. Sure enough, though, I got an invitation a few weeks later.
-So today I went to the shower, and even though I knew no one, it was nice to give her a little baby gift (2-3 receiving blankets + 3-4 zip-up sleepers, and a little plastic basket that is PERFECT for keeping bottle nipples + accessories together and "safe" while going through the dishwasher) to welcome her precious boy Nolan (yes, he has a name already! :D) into this world. Also, I decided to make her some freezer cookie bars just for her, as she's been saying that "the Food Network is like porn for pregnant ladies!" Haha.
-I put all of the typical "cravings" foods together into my own recipe (I tried being as exact as I could remember about the amounts I used):
+2 cups flour (sifted)
+1 teaspoon baking powder
+1 1/3 cups (or so) light brown sugar
+1/2 cup shortening & 1/2 cup margarine OR 1 cup margarine
+1 teaspoon vanilla
+1/2 cup chopped, crushed, powdered (you get the point!) pecans
+1 cup chocolate chips (or a little more if you're feeling wild!)
+1-2 cups of peanut butter (crunchy or smooth- I only had/like the latter)
Cream sugar, vanilla, and margarine (or shortening+margarine) until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add 1/2 of the flour and the baking powder, stir slowly until combined with wet ingredients. Add the rest of the flour- mix thoroughly, but don't over-do it.
Begin to pre-heat oven at 350-degrees F (175-degrees C).
Use a firm spatula or wooden spoon to pat the dough (it should be a little gooey, and definitely not "bread-like") into a 12-inch x 16-inch pan. Once dough is flattened and spread out evenly, take several scoops of peanut butter and spread it evenly over the cookie dough. Finish by sprinkling all of the chocolate chips and pecans over the dough.
Pop into the oven, which should have reached peak temperature by now(!), and bake for 25 minutes. When you pull it out of the oven, the chocolate chips should be melt-y, but not completely liquefied, and the edges of the cookies should be browned. Allow to cool before cutting into squares, then put the cookie bars onto a plate, cover with wrap, and place in the freezer until you're ready to chow down! :D ENJOY!