Another weekend has passed and another wonderful weekend filled with enjoyment of my daughters and time with friends. Life has a way of presenting challenges and unexpected situations and this last week and weekend was no exception. A close friend and I have been holding a continued discussion on personality and character over several conversations recently. Sounds philosophical, huh? Not really, just sharing opinions and experiences. We each come away with ideas to think about and a perspective on things that our own myopic viewpoint does not allow.
This time the big question was, ‘Can we ever truly know another person?’ We would like to think so, and the romantic in us wants to believe we can. But there can be many layers to a person’s character, and it’s difficult to truly get to know them, if they only let you see what they want to you see. D.L. Moody said, “Character is what you are in the dark.” As we move through life and deal with events and situations that happen to us, we develop character. We add layers. We remove layers.
My opinion is that when you get to know a person over time and they begin to change, they are just removing another layer. So really, what you are seeing isn’t something new, it’s been there all along and they are just now letting you see their true self. How you deal with what is revealed is up to you.
We may question whether or not we are strong enough to cope with what is presented to us. This is where we discover the layers of our own self and what we are made of. We reach down into the depths of our soul, the core of our very being, where we find the strength and the ability to handle what is going on.
I am lucky to have many people in my life who serve as examples of this strength of character and I am astounded at their ability to overcome obstacles in their lives. These are some awe-inspiring people!
This week’s dessert is in honor of these amazing people. It was chosen by one of my biggest fans (though quite small in size and age). This little muse has taste tested many of my creations, even before The Chocolate Muse came to be. The first recipe is the classic Seven Layer Bar, which I’m told is at the top of her favorite list.
The second recipe is something I created just for her. I call them “Emma’s Candy Layer Bars”. I’m hoping they’ll make the list too!
Note to my trainer: Given the goddess’ interest in health and fitness, anticipate a future recipe for a more healthy layer bar. The testing kitchen is open!
Baker’s Notes: Most recipes for Seven Layer Bars call for you to pour the milk over the chips, then spread the coconut on top. I pour the milk on after the coconut. Sweetened condensed milk is what binds all the dry ingredients together in these bars. It is made from a mixture of whole milk and sugar that has had about 60 percent of its water removed. Its consistency is thick and sticky (like honey) and it is very sweet tasting. It is most often used in baked goods and it takes on a lovely caramel flavor and color when baked. Then on top for decorative purposes I throw on a handful of mini chocolate chips. The classic recipe calls for butterscotch chips, but you can substitute peanut butter or white chocolate chips.
For Emma’s Candy Layer Bars, I used lightly salted pretzels, then added a bit of sea salt, to give it just the right amount of salty vs. sweet taste, again pouring the milk on after all other ingredients have been layered and throwing a handful of mini-chips on the top for a nice presentation. For this recipe I used lightly salted pretzels and cocoa, but next time, I might just try crushing up chocolate covered pretzels to get an even more rich, chocolaty bar. Also, crack the candy shells of the m & m’s and Reese’s Pieces candies before layering.