The Shared Dessert Bars / by Cynthia Raub

Have you ever laid in bed, unable to sleep, because you were thinking about rhubarb? It has only happened to me once, and while my husband blissfully dozed into dreamland, I tossed and turned wondering when I was going to be able to eat it. Like many of my mom-stress-fueled restless nights, I reached out to Amy to see if she was awake and thinking about rhubarb, too. Turns out she wasn't thinking about rhubarb, but when I mentioned it, she (like the recipe encyclopedia that she is) recommended I make Smitten Kitchen's Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp bars. The recipe was simple, straight forward and not heinously gluttonous. Perfect! Once we started chatting about dessert bar cravings, Amy came strong with multiple recipes she has been meaning to try including her Coconut Bars and Lime Bars with Pistachio Crust.

I am always weary about making whole servings of desserts because I always seem to eat everything in the pan in a matter of 24 hours. I avoid baking unless I am giving the goods away because of the magical disappearing act baked goods do in my presence. Now you see them on a platter! Now you don't. (Because they're ALL in my gut, and in the back of my mind, and on my conscience as another loss of self control.) But like the good friend that she is, Amy suggested that we swap bars! It was a great idea in theory (sharing, variety, smaller portions), until I did the math: three scrumptious pans of bars for two households. Isn't that more than the one pan in my house that I was fearful of? No time to overthink the math. We were committed. No regrets.

Follow us to the recipes:

Lime Bars with Pistachio Crust

Coconut Bars (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars