“How do you say… De-groovy? How do you say… De-gorgeous? Oh la la, la la la la la la……..” Yes, this magic cookie bar recipe evokes, for me, the psychedelic, over-the-top music video for Dee-Lite’s Groove is in the Heart. (Which is also coincidentally the first album I ever purchased back when cassettes were still a thing.)
If you still jam to this song like I do, or want to relive the music video for yourself, scroll down to the very end.
Anywho, this dessert reminds me of this video because there is nothing quiet about it. Nothing subdued. It is pure, in-your-face, sugary sugar. So if colours and processed sugars offend you, I’ll look for you in the boring aisle.
I made this for our annual Christmas Eve party. I usually like to try something new and this is one of three things I will be taking, alongside Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle, and a Candy Cane-shaped Cream Cheese Cherry Coffee Cake.
As I suggested above, this dessert is not for the faint of heart. You know that elderly relative who always spits out sweet foods in distaste, claiming they are much too much? Well, this is not for them. But for people like me who like to indulge over the holidays, bring on the M and Ms, sprinkles, condensed milk and chocolate chips. And some more pecans please. Recipe can be found here.
Substitutions: I didn’t have holiday coloured chips but no matter… I used the red-and-green M and Ms and sprinkles that added the colour I wanted. I used pecans instead of the suggested walnuts as they are really go-to nuts for any dessert. Also since I doubled this recipe.,I used three different kinds of pans: One square dark metal baking pan, one square glass pan and one rectangle-shaped glass pan. I made sure to keep an eye on them and take them out when they turned the edges starting to turn into their necessary golden brown colour, but next time I would just use the dark metal baking pan. It baked beautifully and kept its shape, whereas the square glass-shaped one was pretty much a waste.
When I tried to cut the squares in the square glass-shaped pan, but they fell apart and stuck gummed together in a none-too-attractive fashion. Still, I must admit those bits and bobs made their way into my fridge as I couldn’t bear to throw out all that deliciousness (And yes, when I am craving some sugar, I will take a teeny bite out of those ugly but yummy leftover pieces).
How about the rectangle, glass shaped pan? Most of it turned out just fine but the ones in the very middle were still on the too-soft side. I will say however, that after throwing the squares in the fridge they firmed up quite nicely and had I known that I wouldn’t have been as quick to make my cast-off pile of ugly squares as they could have been salvaged after an hour or two in the fridge.
Would I make this again? By all means – this one is a crowd-pleaser to be sure and it’s easy to make in advance. You can keep it quite easily in the fridge and take out an hour or two before serving so that it adjusts to room temperature.
Grade: Four stars out of five. Why’d I dock a point? Well, while it is fun to look at, and shocks your taste buds, it’s not exactly challenging my culinary skills. But at this point of my life, working a full-time job and trying to meet the demands of a household with two small kids, easy suits me just fine!
So, which no further ado, here is Groove is in the Heart for your listening pleasure: