I sometimes shout that when I or Mom or Dad have something to share. It’s a fun exclamation to express my interest in sharing or hearing, which is almost always high.
I love talking and listening, connecting with people I love by sharing about our days and ourselves. Plus, life is sometimes isolating and boring sitting at a computer and typing away all day, so storytime is something special. Something to be savored.
But I can’t take credit for the exclamation.
In my freshman year of high school, we were all required to take health. The teacher was a down to earth woman who tried to relate to us as equals more than treat us as inferiors. She was a pretty decent teacher, but the school didn’t appreciate her and let her go after that year, as opposed to some of the other teachers, like the old lady who never moved from her desk and formed coherent sentences only some of the time. But I digress.
Health wasn’t a super difficult, heavy class like many of the others. It was a fun, interactive way for us to learn about ourselves and how to make life the best it could be. So she wanted to make it fun as much of the time as possible.
She would tell the class stories, to which the girls, most of whom were very popular and didn’t much care for me, would exclaim “storytime!”
In the moment, I probably found it annoying and rolled my eyes, just waiting for the day to be over. But all these years later, more than I care to think about, I like it. It brings me joy, as it did them then.
Storytime is always a good thing. So are any desserts with melty marshmallows. Like these Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars. These take smores to a whole new level with an oatmeal cookie base that is soft and chewy. In the middle are tons of peppermint marshmallows that add a fun, subtle flavor, though vanilla will work just fine, and carob in my case, or dark chocolate, in your case, chips.
Serve these warm out of the oven or heat them in the microwave for a few seconds to enhance the smores experience. Gather the family, have smores bars, and storytime.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal later.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla.
- Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Press about half the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the marshmallows and chips. Spread clumps of the remaining dough on top, covering as much of the filling as possible.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling. Cool in pan at least 30 minutes before serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Reheat or thaw in the microwave 30 – 60 seconds.
Recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon