First off, I apologize for my sad lack of blogging! I’m going to have to backtrack a few weeks for this post, but it should be worth it!
Do I have your attention now?? I spent nearly a week in beautiful Hawaii for my dad’s 50th birthday and it was warm and sunny and lovely and sandy and salty and basically everything October in Seattle is not. It’s too bad my dad doesn’t turn 50 every year; I’d like to make this an annual thing. Or maybe I’d just like to move to Hawaii temporarily. Or permanently. Whatever works.
It was a nice change to spend my day by the beach, running and snorkeling and paddle boarding and attempting to get a tan. I did have to do a bit of math homework, so it wasn’t all rest and relaxation, but it was a nice break from school.
Anyways, the whole purpose of the trip was to celebrate my fantastic father’s 50th birthday! And my dad LOVES cookies. He’s not a big dessert person (no ice cream or cake or that kind of stuff) but if I’m home and make a batch of cookies, they’ll be gone in a few days. He likes pretty much any kind too–chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, but ESPECIALLY snickerdoodles. I’ve been making him snickerdoodles on or around his birthday for a while now, but (a) I had to transport these cookies via airplane to Hawaii and (b) had only about an hour to make them the night before my 6:00am flight. Snickerdoodles aren’t super quick to make either; the dough is speedy to throw together but then you have to roll each dough ball in cinnamon sugar which takes me a lot longer than I care to admit. Maybe other people are pro cookie rollers but I apparently lack the coordination and dexterity to make that possible.
So, enter snickerdoodle bars: all the deliciousness of a good cookie in bar form! Meaning quick to make and easy to transport, so perfect for taking on my trip to Hawaii.
These bars are also customizable. I dug around in my cupboards for something delicious to put in them and settled on Heath Toffee Bits, as I had a partially used bag waiting to be used. But, I think they would taste really lovely with cinnamon chips, if you have them!
makes 30-40 bars (a 9×13 pan)
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour (I used whole wheat because that’s all I had, but regular would make them even better!)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1 cup toffee bits or cinnamon chips
extra cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper (let the paper hang over the edge and you’ll end up with handles to make the bars easy to remove from the pan). Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined. Stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cream of tartar, and salt) and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Add the toffee bits or cinnamon chips and give the mixture a final stir. Spread it in the prepared pan (it will be thick), sprinkling the dough with cinnamon sugar before baking. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the bars spring back when lightly touched. Cool completely and cut into squares.
Even though the cookies were delicious (and you should make them), you might find yourself wondering, “What about Junior?” I really doubt Junior would enjoy an airplane ride, so he didn’t come to Hawaii with us. Instead, he went and spent the week at Woods Creek Kennels, a fantastic place for boarding dogs just north of Seattle. The owner, Jodi, keeps a TV in the kennels that’s constantly showing Animal Planet, and refers to the place lovingly as “doggy camp”. Junior had the best time, enjoying his unrestricted access to a big puppy playground. But, when I came back, he lost his mind–he was soooooo excited to see me that he would not sit still or be quiet. At least I know he loves me!! I wanted to get him some souvenir from Hawaii and found a great Hawaiian shirt made for dogs, but my family completely vetoed that. So, I settled on a corny bandana:
I don’t know if Junior really appreciated the souvenir, but he wore it with a smile!