Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookie of the Week: Prayer Bars

Isn't this a sweet little picture? Three small girls, formerly human popsicles, warming up together in the bath after a frolic in the December snow?

Sweet little picture, my ass. Because you know what happened in that bath? As we were drying off with warm towels, the cute pig-tailed child, Britt, pointed to a couple of spots on her leg and told my mom, "These bumps are getting really itchy."

"Oh, boy," Mama said, knowing full-well that a chicken-pox epidemic was blazing it's way through North Dakota schools. "Well, since the girls have already been exposed to it, I guess you can stay and play. Might as well get it over with."

My sister was wicked excited to get the chicken-pox. Getting the chicken-pox meant one thing to her: loafing on the couch, watching Josie and the Pussycats, skipping school.

My sister stuck to Britt like glue for the next couple of hours, instructing Britt to breathe on her every few minutes. I wasn't yet four years old, had no idea what the chicken-pox meant, and was deeply jealous that my sister got to attend school. Because, of course, anything I couldn't participate in yet seemed like The Shit.

We did, indeed, get the chicken-pox. However. My sister got about 7 little bumps total on her body. The girl who deliberately and gleefully contaminated herself got the mildest case of The Pox the world has ever seen. She was back to school within a week, sullenly swinging her lunch box as she left.

Moi? How interesting that you ask. I was absolutely riddled with itchy, red, oozing, miserable lesions. They were everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean everywhere. Did you know that you can get a pretty poxy bump on your eyeball? No? Well, let me assure you that you can. Inside the folds of your little lady bits? Yeppers. 'Tis true. Between your toes? Check.

I had the most ferocious case of The Pox that our doctor had ever seen. I spent the holidays slathered in Calamine Lotion, soaking endlessly in baking soda baths. Mama resorted to making me wear socks on my hands, so I couldn't pick or itch my bumps; it was harrowing. Pox in your hoo-ha? Seven kinds of wrong, people!

Not surprisingly, there aren't a lot of pictures of me that holiday season. You can thank Britt for that.

You can also thank her mother, Nikki, for this awesome cookie recipe. This cookie is so rich that it's almost like candy, so cut these into tiny squares. While Toffee Cookies may be my Waterloo, my Mama favors these. We had them every year, and she'd swear at herself later for making them. Irresistible little morsels, these guys.

And a lot more pleasant than a holiday with The Pox.

Prayer Bars

First Layer:
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Second Layer:
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons dry vanilla pudding mix
2 cups powdered sugar

Third Layer:
1 giant bar German's Sweet Chocolate (7 oz. bar; any sweet chocolate will do)

1. Melt butter and stir in cocoa. Add sugar, egg, and vanilla. Mix in nuts, graham cracker crumbs and coconut. Press into the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. Chill at least one hour.

2. Melt butter, cream, and vanilla is a saucepan. Add pudding mix and cook, stirring constantly until thickened slightly. Remove from heat and add sugar. Blend well and spread over first layer. Chill at least one hour.

3. Melt chocolate bar and spread over bars. Chill well.

Let cookies come to room temperature before cutting or else they will crumble. Once cut, store in refrigerator.


And now, drum roll, please!! The winner of the Whimsical Wednesday contest is J. Harker!! I love his nerd humor and snark and the hideous examples of student papers...but most of all, I am wondering whatcha gonna do with this, Cowboy?---Congratulations, J. Harker, you are now the proud owner of: Chubby!

And that's the reason I had to do such a fast contest--because J. Harker can sell Chubby for, like, 10 times his worth on Ebay tomorrow if I Fed-Ex the little fucker. I know, I know, try to contain your excitement! J., gimme your address and you'll be getting your Zhu-Zhu on in no time! Hi-five and a Herky!


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  2. I actually beat your sister for fewest pox... I had 4!! Can you believe it? FOUR! Don't hate me. I'm sorry you had such an awful experience... my best friend had them in her throat, way inside her ears and YUP in her lady parts. Fun. These bars sound heavenly...

  3. Surviving the chicken pox is the elementary school red badge of courage. It's crazy to think kids don't even get them these days. Nice lead-in to those tasty looking bars.

  4. I was covered in them. The worst ones were on my head, underneath my hair. But my mom tells me that I was very good and didn't scratch them too much. Apparently I had more self control at 5 than I do now...

  5. We got them at Easter. And I say WE because one of us caught them and all the parents (aunts and uncles) took us (cousins) camping over EASTER so that we would all have them at the same time. The only thing I remember about the experiences is that my mom had bought me the prettiest little yellow dress with a gingham skirt and a pinafore for churh and then I didn't get to wear it. Very dissappointed.

  6. These aren't prayer bars! They're Nanaimo Bars, named after the town on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, where they were created. The original recipe uses Bird's custard powder instead of pudding mix. Either way, they're dern good. There are variations, one with peanut butter in the filling and one with cherries. Oh. Yum.

    Fun to see this post. I won't even go into the chicken pox and the tin tub in the cabin the summer experience. Not fun.

  7. Um. Gross. I remember eating popsicles and being itchy. I also had my preschool picture taken the day I got back - scabby face and all. If I ever find a copy of that bad boy I should scan it;)
    A family friend of mine got the pox on her cornea and ended up going blind in that eye...Makes me thankful for the vaccine.

  8. LOLZZZ the fuckin hamster!!! I thought the prize was gonna be some awesome homecooked witchy dessert.

    Harker, too bad Zhu can't eat the stu essays as you fling them off your desk with bloodstained F's.

  9. Woo! There was much rejoicing!

    *tilts head to the side*

    But what in the hell is that thing?

    (Email sent, by the bye.)

  10. jc,

    I know, right? He gets a fucking hamster as a consolation prize for his misery...ah, the places we could go with this....

    Maybe a Richard Gere/Dr. Seuss ditty is in the offering?

    Would you, could you up the butt?
    ....waiting for the next line...

  11. You poor little girl! Ouch! I had the measles, mumps, and chicken pox. I didn't have them all at the same time though. Thank God! Can you imagine!

    I love all the butter in these prayer bars!!

  12. My sisters and I had the pox at the same time. Shortly after recovering, we developed whooping cough. Our summer was spent inside. It pretty much sucked.

  13. next line...

    what the hell is this fury mutt?

    (get it?.... fury instead of furry! I think he can use the Zhu to explain the difference to the stus)

  14. Methinks the beast is quite a slut! (Hey, I rhymed with mutt! Woot!)

    And CONGRATS, JH! :)

  15. Hope it's clear that I was playing the line game.

    Because I was.

    Trying to, anyway.

  16. You make me laugh...sorry about the pox. We all got ours during march break.

  17. Up at 3am (hubs is snoring again) and cackling at jc and Ink! hahahahahahaha

  18. ha ha! Wicked prize! :)

    As for chicken pox...yeah I got mine of the 4th of dad was filming the parade of our town and then suddenly a lone figure can be seen standing on a hill far away looking glum...that's me! Not allowed near anyone! could be worse...someone in my family died from chicken pox back in the late 70s...I think it had complications to do with her mother giving her asprin - back then I don't think they knew you should not give your child this...especially not with chicken pox...very sad story... :( xxx

  19. Damn I needed one of those freaking hamster too. Grrr...

  20. I still have a stupid chicken pox scar above my lip.

  21. Don't hate me after I say this but I have absoultely no memory of the chicken pox. I've got a scar on my cheek to prove I had them but, like most of my childhood, the memory has escaped me. I wish you had been so lucky...chicken pox in your lady bits? Hell woman, how have we not seen you on Jerry Springer?

  22. Does anyone recall the Southpark episode that followed the very similar adventures of a certain hamster? I'm cracking up here =).

    Chicken Pox - ugh. Got them twice. First time was so mild they came around again with a vengance. Not only can you get them in all the places you mentioned, but also apparently in your stomach. So I ended up with pox that caused stomach flu symptoms. All I have is a blurry memory of two weeks of utter hell.

  23. Oh - you poor, poor thing! I got my Chicken pox when I was 5 years old right at Halloween. My parents let dress in my costume and then I could watch all the tricker treaters come to the door. It was pathetic. And congratulations to J. Harker - what a coveted prize!

  24. My pox experience was like yours. I giggled at the bath picture thinking we must be of the same "vintage" as I think I have identical pictures of me and my sister at the same ages in a similarly olive-tiled bath.
    And these cookies look delicious. Mmmm.

  25. Phoo-D--you can get pox IN your tummy? Ewwwww! Who knew?

    Lindsey: Yes, I am of the vintage of "Avocado Green Everything." Dear God, what hideous crap!

  26. I barely remember my chicken pox. I know they sucked and I have the scars to prove it, but oddly enough...I just can't remember it. I must've blocked it. These prayer bars look killer!

  27. I had a similar case to yours. Except that mine was contracted on a summer trip to my grandparents in Arizona. Temperatures above 100 degrees and hot oozy bumps everywhere. Oh, the nightmare! Cool ass prize TKW. I wouldn't expect any less from you...

  28. I was too young to remember getting chicken pox, but I think I have a few scars from them! Awful awful stuff. I'm sorry you remember it... and where you got the, good grief lady!

  29. Formerly human popsicles? Chubby? You are too much. (In the best possible way!)

  30. Now wait a sec-- aren't these Nanaimo Bars? I made 8 dozen of these suckers for a friend last week. I haven't blogged my version but let's just say-- it added to my week from hell.
    These are awesome cookies/bars. But not 8 dozen at a time!

  31. I gave up on getting one of those elusive hamsters. The prayer bars look delicious.

  32. WTF, Witch!? "Here are some awesome desserts that are all chocolately and yummy but I hope that every time you eat one you think of Pox on My Vulva? Dude. So not cool to unleash that story and then the recipe. sorry you had oozy itchy pus and all, but did you have to get it all over my holiday cookie permenent memory file?
    Let me try this and see if it sticks: I guess if I have to have an itchy, loathsome contagious disease folded into my chocolate, I'm glad it's yours?
    Nope. Doesn't work.

  33. These look delish. And I had the same case of pox as you...terrible. On my 5th birthday. Damn.

  34. Those look awesome! I really want to try those.
    I can't believe you remember chicken pox. I was five. I had them in my lady parts too. Yet the only thing I remember is my grandpa coming in after work to bring me a coloring book and crayons. Oh and the night I spread it to my 4 yr old brother and 1 yr old brother. Fun times.