I have to admit, I had a hard time getting into the spirit of Christmas this week. Besides the obvious fact that we are currently surrounded by Halloween, it just wasn’t coming to me.
After the car and computer troubles of this past weekend, I kind of lost my mojo for a few days. Sure, I was baking and cooking every day this week. But not for fun. No, it was out of necessity–and that tends to sap the spirit right out of it.
While I found myself broadening my horizons a bit, making the most of what’s left in the pantry and refrigerator after car repairs
robbed required this week’s grocery money, I just didn’t feel like sharing it with anyone. This is survival folks. Alright, that’s a bit dramatic. But it certainly didn’t carry the fun and fancy-free feeling of throwing something in the oven just for the heck of it. It lacked the usual decadence–extravagance–which is probably a good thing. There’s been a bit much of that around here lately. But it just didn’t feel right for public perusal either
Why? Mainly because I didn’t want anyone to know at first that it was, in fact, one of those tough weeks. Like there’s some sort of scarlet P that will be pinned to my breast if I reveal that we are slipping lower and lower from the so-called “middle class” with each catastrophe that strikes.
But that’s silly. Because this is real life. And many other people are struggling just as much as we are–and many more are facing worse.
Yes, it was a less than ideal week. But at the end of it, we will still have so many blessings, including food in the cabinets. Staples that provide opportunities not available to all. I was embarrassed, but there is no need to be. There is much for which I am grateful.
In hopes that the next week will be better, I am thus offering you Week 3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies & Sweets: Chocolate Cinnamon Bars. These are an old family favorite, on the platter every year at my father’s family’s Christmas celebration. Usually, my mom bakes them. This time, it’s my turn.
Good ole family traditions and the holidays. We’ll get through this together. Because that’s what the spirit of Christmas is all about, after all.
- ½ cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter
- ½ cup Spectrum organic shortening
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk (reserving the white for the topping)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 large egg white (reserved from earlier in the recipe), lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped roughly
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease and line a 9"x13" baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter and shortening.
- Add the egg and egg yolk, beating until well incorporated.
- Beat in the sugar and cinnamon.
- Add the flour, salt, and baking powder, mixing until just incorporated.
- With a silicone spatula, spread the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. It will be sticky. Just be patient.
- Brush all of the egg white over the top of the mixture.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and semi-sweet chocolate chips for the topping. Sprinkle evenly over the bars.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Be careful not to overbake!
- Cool completely before removing from pan and cutting. This is very important! They will fall apart if you are not patient.
What has everyone else made this week? Check out what they’re offering in Christmas spirit!