Thursday, July 28, 2016

Chocolate Chip Pizookies

J returned from girls camp recently. We've spent time catching up and I've heard much about how great the experience had. She deepened friendships, felt the blessings of service, enjoyed good food and grew in appreciation for her ward family.
For many years I carried a bit of shame about my own girls camp experiences.
I hated it. Straight up hated it. I knew I was supposed to love it. My sisters loved it. It seemed like everyone loved it...except me.
I didn't mind hot weather...but I did mind it in super thick oversized hand me down jeans.
I never felt creative or the need to sit around a picnic table and make a craft. I would have preferred to run around- play a game- go canoeing. But those weren't always options. songs...tents...biffys (portable pottys)....A strong "no thank you" to them all.
When I was 13 our church group travelled over 250 miles to girls camp. I was assigned to a small "4 man" tent with three other girls I didn't know. I'm not sure wether they knew each other beforehand or made quick friends with each other, but they were everything I wasn't:
Crafty, content to wear jeans, friendly, out going, and above all- happy at camp. The first day we were told a long list of rules... Probably for safety...haha😉. We were also given a stern warning that non-compliance to these rules would result in us being sent home immediately.
I saw the light. I hated camp. I wanted to go home. All I had to do was break the rules and I would be set free. And so I did...
Unfortunately camp was over 250 miles from home and my leader wasn't going to make the long drive. So I was assigned to spend my long hot days in a tent by myself- I guess I was in what can be called "girls camp time-out". It was miserable. At the end of the week, my leader drove me home in much silence. Upon dropping me off at the meeting place with my parents, she turned to me and asked me never to return. I felt completely relieved- I had been officially and forever kicked out of girls camp.
My own daughter's story is everything mine isn't!

God brought balance to the universe when He blessed me with a girls camp loving daughter!!

Speaking of balance- a light dinner calls for an indulgent dessert. This one is a family favorite!
It's simply a chocolate chip cookie in a personal sized baking dish then turned into a hot fudge sundae of sorts.  Many restaurants call the Pizookies because it's a pizza type cookie?...Served hot with toppings...haha or something like it. It's fun to say, so why not name it a Pizookie!

Chocolate Chip Pizookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3-3/4 (2 7/8 for high elevation) cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 3/4- 3 cups chocolate chips.
Cream butter, Crisco, and sugars. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.  Do not over mix. Stir in chocolate chips. To increase flavor and a smoother texture, meld cookie dough in refrigerator or freezer. I like to form cookie balls immediately and then place them in freezer strength ziploc bags in the freezer until I'm ready to bake them.

For the Pizookie, bake cookie dough in individual size or larger size for a sundae for two- or more!!
Bake at 375 degrees for 12-16 minutes. While hot, serve up a generous helping of ice cream, hot fudge sauce, other sundae toppings and whipped cream if desired.

This is the perfect treat to enjoy as you hear about faith walks, new friends, and testimonies shared!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

S'mores Brookies

A little over a week ago I was blessed to have some time with Mom all to myself. We had a great chat and as she left my home, I had a flood of gratitude for the feeling that she's always there for me and can understand my concerns and my joys better than most. 
When I was a young girl, Mom arranged all of the music for our church congregation's Sunday worship service. My sisters all loved to sing, some even took voice lessons and had notable musical talent. After one particular Sunday's number included my two youngest sisters who were quite young, I asked Mom when it would be my turn to sing in church. She was surprised by my question and my desire. She asked me what song I wanted to sing. 
"Teach Me To Walk in the Light" was my favorite primary song and I told Mom it's what I wanted to sing. 
As I reflected on this experience in my adulthood- I understand I must not have stood in the long line in heaven to acquire musical talents. 😉  Simply stated- I can't carry a tune. The concepts and importance of harmony, pitch, key, and pretty much all other choir like skills eluded me.   Although Mom must've been a tiny bit relieved that the song is a duet between parent and child, the first verse is a solo by the child. Mom suggested that it's often beautiful when the piano plays the music and the soloist speaks the words of the hymn in poetic form. (She was clearly trying to save the congregation from hearing me sing...)  I didn't understand her suggestion was to preserve the quality of music and thus I insisted on singing my favorite song with all the energy and zest that I felt the words in my heart to mean. 
My angel mother encouraged me to do just that...
Bless her perfect mother heart...

If you're feeling s'more gratitude for your angel mother or someone else in your life-
Make these amazing S'mores Brookies.  And don't be afraid to sing out with all the energy and zest of your heart!!

S'mores Brookies
Make a brownie mix or two - depending on your size of pan- as directed. 
I used two mixes in a 15.5 x 10.5 Airbake baking pan. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 34-38 minutes or until done. 
Spread 14 oz. of marshmallow fluff onto hot brownie. Place enough Hershey milk chocolate candy bars on top of marshmallow to cover it (I used 10 1.55 oz. bars). 
Pat together pieces of Graham Cookie Dough to cover chocolate bars. 
Return to oven and bake an additional 14-18 minutes. 

Graham Cookie Dough
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Cream sugars and butter. Stir in egg and vanilla. Add flour, graham crumbs, salt and baking soda. Stir together until well mixed. 

These will take several hours to "set up" as marshmallow and chocolate layers will be very soft. When set, cut and share with anyone you want to express s'more love or gratitude for. My mom didn't just allow me to sing out that day in church, she sang the second and third verses with the same love in which she taught us kids the very message of the lyrics. 

Teach Me To Walk In The Light


  • 1. (Child) Teach me to walk in the light of his love;
    Teach me to pray to my Father above;
    Teach me to know of the things that are right;
    Teach me, teach me to walk in the light.
  • 2. (Parent) Come, little child, and together we'll learn
    Of his commandments, that we may return
    Home to his presence, to live in his sight
    Always, always to walk in the light.
  • 3. (Both) Father in Heaven, we thank thee this day
    For loving guidance to show us the way.
    Grateful, we praise thee with songs of delight!
    Gladly, gladly we'll walk in the light.
  • Words and music: Clara W. McMaster, 1904-1997. (c) 1958 IRI.
    Obbligato by Darwin Wolford, b. 1936. (c) 1989 IRI