Wednesday, February 9, 2011

If The Pants Fit...

A great party conversation starter is the question "If you could be in a movie, what movie would it be?"

Contrary to what some might think, my automatic answer would not be Pride and Prejudice. First of all, it's a television series, not a movie (at least the correct version is). Secondly, Mr. Darcy only has eyes for Elizabeth Bennet, so what would be the point?

No, my pick would be for Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Surprised? You don't think I have much in common with a clique of whiny, self-centered, teenagers, out looking for fun? Well, I might, but that's not the reason I picked that movie. You see, I'd be in the opening scene where they're shopping in the thrift store and they find the amazing pants that magically fit any body. You would spot me in the background as the girls are walking in the door; I'd be the one at the cash register BUYING THOSE JEANS BEFORE THEM!

I hate jeans shopping more than I hate going to the dentist. I get weary of taking pants on and off and on and off and looking at myself in the mirror with all of my bumps, lumps and bulges prominently displayed. And my panty line, too, if they're particularly tight jeans. I get so tired of the process that I end up grabbing a pair and saying, "Fine, these are the least loathsome. I'll buy them."

Then I take them home and the minute I put them on I realized I've made a huge mistake. Again. That's why there are 12 pairs of jeans in my bedroom, but when it was time to run a jeans load in the washer, I took off my jeans and walked around the house in my socks and a jacket. It's a longish jacket, but my son still covered his eyes with his hands. (Too much information?)

Anyway, the point is that I want magic jeans. Awesome jeans that fit right no matter what time of the month it is. Jeans that don't sag in back, making me look like a plumber's helper. Jeans that don't bunch at the top of the legs. Jeans that don't allow strangers to know what brand of underwear I buy. Is that too much to ask for?

You see, if I had magic jeans, I'd be able to eat as much of these wonderful bars as I like and still be able to have pants to wear. That's saying a lot because these bars are addictively good. Trust me, just one will not suffice. One is like the prelude. You'll come back again and again for that hit of shortbread, nuts, and chocolate. And then you'll be fighting me at the thrift shop for that pair of magic jeans!

Toffee Squares

Adapted from Very Merry Cookie Party
Yield: 48 squares

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

7 to 8 ounces milk chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup chopped almonds, toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment.

2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour just until mixed. The dough will be stiff. Pat the dough evenly over the bottom of the baking pan. The dough might be a bit sticky. Use the butter wrapper to press the dough down into the pan.

3. Bake in the center of the oven until pale gold on top, about 20 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the oven and scatter the chocolate pieces evenly over the crust. Return the pan to the oven for 1 minute. Remove the pan again and, using a knife, spread the chocolate evenly over the crust. Sprinkle evenly with the almonds.

5. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Using a sharp knife, cut into small squares, then carefully remove from the pan with a small offset spatula or an icing spatula.


Zoe said...

I need a magic pants too...especially with these toffee squares.

MommaMindy said...

I'll take one pair of those magic "you-look-awesome-after-having-six-kids" jeans and one batch of toffee bars. Thank you very much.

Elizabeth said...

At least you end up buy a pair of jeans. I get so disheartened that I come home empty handed and still needing new jeans.

I haven't seen that movie but I want magic jeans!! And some of those toffee squares too, of course.

Caroline said...

Magic jeans... if only *sigh* Life would be wonderful! I thought the title was going to be "If the jeans fit..."

...then you aren't eating enough of these! But seriously, these bars look amazing. I love toffee and chocolate!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I'd be in P&P only if I could be Elizabeth. ;) As for the traveling pants movie, I've never seen it, but it sounds like a dream come true for all women!

grace said...

one of the saddest days in my life was when my favorite pair of jeans emerged from the dryer with a hole at the butt cheek. it was hard.
on a brighter note, toffee is one of the loves of my life--great bars!

Abby said...

Such a cute post! I've never thought of it that way, but I hear ya. (However for me it would be the traveling bathing suit. Egads.)

And I have to say that I ADORE the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. Once when I had the flu I watched it five times in a row - and cried every single time. I also have the soundtrack. (But to be clear I don't turn away ANY Jane Austen by any director!)

hobby baker said...

Lol, that's why I usually only have one or two pairs at most and wear them until they fall apart. You walk around in a house coat; I don't even wash mine until they can stand up on their own! :) Of course evey one else's laundry comes before mine anyway... But those yummy bars won't help me fit into mine any better. :D

Sheryl said...

Um,......I'd fight you for them! And then I'd race you to those bars, lol. I. Love. Toffee.

Lisa said...

Haha, I love your post. I'd love to find magic jeans that fit too. But, even without magic jeans, I'd eat your bars anyway. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by this weekend and link your bars up.

Baking Soda said...

I hate to spend lots of money on clothes (especially since I know I can sew,no pants tho) but a fitting flattering pair of pants? Can't hand over my money quick enough!

Now just pass that plate of bars until then

Brilynn said...

I think we could all use a pair of magic jeans and at least two of those squares...

Libbie said...

As I sit her in my monster sized maternity jeans I think...I might have to fight you for those jeans :) & then have a bar after :)

breadchick said...

I LOVE those toffee bars. They are one of my favorites. I miss baking with you as a Babe but I am so happy you are finding a bit of balance in your life.

Anonymous said...

Oh stop -- these are SO DELICIOUS LOOKING -- I can't stop myself from making them. I'm gonna need you to post some celery recipes or something to make up for this.