During orientations freshman year of college, we often played “Never Have I Ever.” In this game, the basic premise was to say something you’ve never done but that other people probably have done. Then, if someone says something you have done, you lose one point… The game continues until some one loses 10 total points.
The competitive side of me really liked this game, because I always knew I had an ace in the hole: “Never have I ever said a swear word.”
The first reaction was always shock, then disbelief and then awe. Basically, “What? No way? That’s crazy!”
I don’t think many people believed me, but it really is true. At a young age, I made a deliberate choice never to swear and I’ve managed to stick by it. However, because I do still have emotions, I have developed a few alternative swear words.
For example, my b-word is “brat.” My s-word is “shoot.” My d-word is “darn.” And my f-word is “fudge.”
These alternative swear words sure came in useful today…
Like, when it started down-pouring while Dan and I were on the highway, I said, “Oh, shoot!”
Or, when I came home to see my yard had turned into a mini-lake, I said, “Gosh darn!”
And, when I made a new batch of treats, I could help but exclaim, “FUDGE!”
But, in this case, that was actually a very, very good thing.
Fudge-Coated Almond Bars
— Crust —
- 1/2 C almonds
- 3 T sugar
- 1/3 C whole-wheat flour
- 1/3 C all-purpose flour
- 3 T buttery spread
- 3 T unsweetened applesauce
— Fudge Topping —
- 2 T buttery spread
- 5 T water
- 1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 C sugar
- 1/2 t almond extract
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- For the crust, grind the almonds with 3 T sugar. I used a small food processor, but you could also use a blender.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground almond mixture with the whole-wheat and all-purpose flour. Then, rub in the butter and applesauce, until everything comes together in a ball.
- Evenly press the almond dough into a greased 8×8 inch cake pan. Using a fork, poke a few holes in the crust. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned.
- 10 minutes before the crust is done baking, begin to make the topping. To do this, melt the butter and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly.
- When the butter is melted, stir in the cocoa and 1/3 C sugar. Make sure everything is combined and remove the mixture from heat. Then, stir in the almond and vanilla extract.
- Allow the chocolate mixture to cool for five minutes. Then, whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
- Pour the chocolate mixture over the almond crust and bake for an additional 18-22 minutes, until the chocolate topping is set.
- Allow the bars to cool thoroughly. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into 2×2 inch squares. Store bars in the refrigerator.
Note: I attempted to make this recipe with flax eggs, but the chocolate topping just didn’t set well.
Now, excuse me if I am a total “brat” and hoard these all to myself…
Fill in the blank: “Never have I ever ______________.”