Cook the Book – Chocolate Mint Bars

Chocolate Mint Bars

This is one that my family would make every Christmas.  My brothers and I could eat a pan of these in no time flat.

2/3 cup shortening
4 squares chocolate
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
2 tablespoons milk or cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Melt the shortening and chocolate in a double boiler.  Cool. Beat in the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a fork inserted in the bars comes out clean.  Cool in the pan. Beat the frosting ingredients together until light and creamy then frost the bars. Melt the glaze ingredients in a double boiler, cool slightly then pour the glaze over the frosting.  Tilt the pan to spread the glaze. Cut into bars.

Makes 24

Maine Lobster Bake part 2 – S’Mores

The next important step for your backyard lobster bake is dessert. Once everyone has had their fill of lobster, the watermelon is sliced and the makings for S'mores are laid out. There's always a lively discussion over how to make the best S'more, and the proper way to roast a marshmallow.

We've tried these on the propane burner before and wouldn't you know, it's just not the same. Give it a miss unless you've got a campfire.

1/2 Hershey bar
1 full graham cracker, broken in half
2 marshmallows
Place the Hershey bar on top of one of the halves of graham cracker and move it close to the fire so the chocolate can get warm.

Place two marshmallows on a metal roasting stick (not driftwood) and slowly turn it over the hot coals until it becomes golden brown. It's important to take your time here as the impatient folks end up with a burnt marshmallow. Some poor souls actually like them this way – go figure.

Makes 1

Anne Mahle
Slowly roasting marshmallows