I am home! Although we are only away for 4 days, I feel like we have left for a long time. And the feeling of returning home is comforting. No more map navigating and eating out daily for awhile.
And here we are. Finally coming to the end of a series of interview processes. All the possibilities have been unfolded, and it's up to OCT to decide where we are going to call home next.Of course that has to be a place which best matches his career interest. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that we will not be going to Seattle, although both of us have left our hearts there. Too bad one can not make his career move based on where the best croissants (or coffee)are served.
Oh well, we won't be moving until next year, so I shouldn't be thinking too much about that now. When we touched down at St Louis last Saturday, we were greeted with a pleasantly cooler weather before we left. That made me miss my oven, and I couldn't wait to heat it up and bake a batch of something. But what should I bake? While we were in Atlanta, OCT teased me that I better bake/cook something or I would have nothing to update my blog. "You better do some experiments, or you won't have materials to publish!" He assimilated my blog to his research work.
I decided to bake a batch of M&M cookie bars as home welcoming treats for us. Besides, I am looking for an opportunity to use up some of the pink M&Ms I bought. They are available this time of the year in support of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Being a woman and having an aunt suffered from breast cancer, the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month holds a special place in my heart.
Seeing my aunt braved herself for the chemotherapy sessions and suffered the side effects from it, lossing her weights, hair and appetite; it saddened all our family members. How I wish she had armed herself with more information about breast cancer earlier and know to seek treatment sooner. She was diagnosed more than 2 years ago and started chemotherapy right away. Because of that, she couldn't attend my wedding. And I couldn't tell you how sad and disappointed I was, not having my favorite aunt there with me, on my big day.
So here's my contribution for the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and my wish that there will be better cure for the disease, and awareness of the disease among women around the world.
M&M Cookie Bars
As seen in Joe's blog- Culinary in the Country
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, melted (I let it go on the stove until it started to turn a little brown and nutty)
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups M&M's
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly spray a 10 X 15" jelly roll pan with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar, stirring until evenly distributed. Allow to cool slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each one. Mix in vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture and when combined add in the M&M's. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 24-26 minutes, until they are shiny and golden brown on top. Try not to overbake these or they will be dry. A cake tester will most likely not come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.
*****Note: I cut the recipe in half and bake it in a 9x9 square baking pan. It takes 20 minutes to bake. Because I used 2 eggs, the texture of the cookie bars turned out on the cakey side.