Spring in my step & recipes in the file

Oops! Forgot to post this blog after I wrote it — more than a week ago. But perhaps that was good, because there was an omission in one of the recipes. It is now fixed…

Do I dare say it? Or will such a comment draw Mother Nature’s interest and put a jinx on the nicer weather we’ve been having?
I’m going to be bold and chance it:
Spring has finally sprung!
The birds are singing, the grass is taking on greenish tinge, and there are smiles on the faces of people on the street. I’ve noticed that my own spirits have been brighter, and there’s definitely “spring” in my step.
That swing in my temperament can also be attributed to a recent influx of new recipes ­— making the writing of this blog a much easier task. First up is a bar recipe sent in by Sandy Dixon of Worthington.
“I brought these bars to the Lenten services at St. Matthews, and several requested the recipe and said to put it in the Globe so they could all have the recipe,” writes Sandy.

Peanut Butter Fingers

Cream together 1 cup butter, 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar. Add 2 eggs and 2/3 cup peanut butter. Beat until smooth.
Add 1 teaspoon soda, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups flour and 2 cups oatmeal. Mix until evenly blended.
Grease a 9- by 13-inch pan and press mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle 12 ounces chocolate chips over top. Allow chips to melt, then spread evenly.
For topping, combine ½ cup powdered sugar, ¼ cup peanut butter and 2 to 4 tablespoons milk, beating until smooth and of spreading consistency. Spread over top of chocolate. Cool, cut and serve.

When Maxine Gaul of Iona dropped me an email regarding the upcoming dinner on Sunday at St. Columba Church in Iona, she graciously included a couple of recipes.
“The following recipe was floating around the Internet recently, and I couldn’t resist the chocolate factor,” she explained. “It is very fudgy and delicious. I plan to make one for the St. Columba Spring Dinner. There are always such great pies and desserts at the dinner.”

Cocoa Cream Pie

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine ½ cup cocoa, ¼ cup cornstarch, 3 beaten egg yolks, 1½ cups sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt. While stirring over medium-high heat, gradually add 2 cups milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool until thick, beating it smooth. (Cream pies take some time to thicken, so stir and stir for 10 to 15 minutes. Just keep it up until it thickens, advises Maxine.)
Once thickened, pour mixture into a pre-baked pie shell. Put in the refrigerator to chill. Add whipped topping if desired or use the leftover egg whites to make a meringue.

Maxine also included one of her favorite cookie recipes.
“I have tried many recipes for peanut butter cookies over the years, but this recipe is the best,” she endorsed.
Best Peanut Butter Cookies
Combine ½ cup softened butter, ½ cup packed brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar. ½ teaspoon vanilla and 1 large egg, beating until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky), ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon soda; mix well. Add 1¼ cups flour and slowly beat until all combined.
Form dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet and use a fork to press hash marks into the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-18 minutes.

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