The first year the Sweetie Pie and I were married, we couldn’t afford to pay someone to do our taxes, so I decided I’d do them. There is a geeky part of me that enjoys filling in blanks, adding up figures, and having things all nice and tidy. The feeling reminded me of when I’d finish with a long geometric proof in highschool, turn to the back of the book to check my answer, and find out I’d done it correctly.

For several nights, I pulled out all those forms, studied them, got frustrated, cried, and put them away in disgust. He was self-employed and I was a student, so our taxes weren’t all that straightforward. After a week of this, I had an epiphany. To all disciplines there is a science, an art, and a mystery. I had the tools to employ the science of tax preparation, but obviously I did not have the art. And as for the mystery…I’ve yet to meet someone who comprehends the mysteries of the tax code. The Sweetie Pie and I scrounged together $50 to take our taxes to a CPA. We never looked back.

Now, we have a CPA who miraculously and consistently, fills in all the blanks for us on our tax forms, tells us where to sign, and keeps us out of trouble with the IRS. She is a gem. I never regret the money we pay her to work her art on our forms. If anyone deserves a plate of cookies this time of year, it has to be the CPAs who save us hours of tears and curses and frustration, and keep us all on the right side of the law. So when the Sweetie Pie went to pick up our taxes this year, I sent him with a check and a plate of cookies.

These bar cookies are just the thing to ease the pain of a few hours spent crunching numbers. They mix up so quickly, and instead of standing at the counter plopping mounds of dough onto a baking sheet, you dump the whole bowl of batter into a skillet easy peasy. Once it’s cooled you can remove it from the skillet and cut it into bars.

Crispy on the outside, chewy and gooey in the center, they are the perfect cookie. Whip up a batch to take to your CPA who is bound to appreciate a kind gesture this time of year. Or, if you’re doing your own taxes (bless you!), you have permission to sit down with the pan and eat the whole thing yourself. 

Print Recipe

Pecan Bar Cookies

Source: Cooking Light 2004 (adapted)

Course: Desserts (Bars and Cookies)

Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
  3. Place sugar, maple syrup, and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes or until well combined. Add egg; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; stir until well combined. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Spread mixture evenly in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack.

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