A Little Kindness Give Away & Inspired, Spirited Bars

Southern Belle Bars

Southern Belle Bars

This week I was treated to an overwhelming amount of kindness. My nephews Michael and Felipe pulled out all the stops to make me feel welcome in their gorgeous home in sunny Orlando.

Family time in Orlando

Family time in Orlando

It started with a spa treatment and then snorkeling and floating down the lazy river at Discovery Cove. There were thoughtful gifts left on my pillow. One surprise after another including a special candle that smells like gingerbread because they know I love to bake. These two young men made me feel so loved and special and I am ever so grateful for their kindness. They inspire me to be a better more thoughtful person.

Did you notice the heart on my gingerbread candle?

Did you notice the heart on my gingerbread candle? It brought me to tears.

This is my 1 year “blogiversary” and I owe you. Looking back at my About page I wrote, “I am happy you are here and always grateful for any kindness shown me.” You, my friends and followers have out-done yourselves. Your comments and support have comforted me and others in so many ways. Never underestimate the power of a little kindness. It changes the world for the good. So to show my appreciation you can win this delicious box of spices from Penzey’s. You know what to do…leave a kind comment. On November 1st I will randomly choose a winner and send you a little kindness for your palate.

Penzy's Kind Box of Spices

Penzy’s Kind Box of Spices

In the meantime, here is a little thank you recipe. It’s spirited and inspired by one of the kindest boys I know. He spent a little time down south at Camp LeJeune. 100_1942

Southern Belle Bars

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) peanut butter
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons bourbon, divided
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups (12 oz.) chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts, optional

Heat oven 350F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with no-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper leaving a small overhang. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, followed by 2 tablespoons of bourbon. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined. Gently press about 2/3 of the dough into an even layer over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. In a microwave safe dish, heat the condensed milk, bittersweet chocolate, 2 tablespoons of butter and ¼ teaspoon of salt, stirring every 30 seconds until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of bourbon. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over dough in pan. Crumble or dollop the remaining dough on top. Sprinkle the top with semisweet chocolate and peanuts; gently press down. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden on top. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars.

chocolate, peanut butter, bourbon

chocolate, peanut butter, bourbon

30 thoughts on “A Little Kindness Give Away & Inspired, Spirited Bars

  1. Oh my goodness Lisa. Cannot believe you’ve been blogging for a whole year! Thanks for sharing the best of you with us!

  2. Mike and Felipe are a lot of fun. I enjoyed meeting Felipe at the wedding. I’m glad you had a good time.

  3. Live on, Will, live on! Thanks to your Mom and hundreds of others who knew and valued you, you will.

  4. Happy Blogiversary, Lisa! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. I look forward to your posts, not only for your recipes but for the eloquent words you always write and for sharing your very personal journey with all of us. Your strength is an inspiration and you have helped me deal with my own grief. Blessings to you.

  5. Lisa, you are not just kind, but so generous in the sharing of your strength, love, grief, your entire journey and all of the wonderful recipes! I have passed your blog onto so many people in my life who are struggling with grief and loss. We can all learn so much from your words or kindness and wisdom. XO

    • Thank you so much Marcie and especially for sharing my blog with others. It has been my hope from the start that others could benefit from all of this.

  6. I just know that my mom and your William have tag teamed you and me with Peace and Hope.You and I believe and that is something no one can take away from us….

    • Wonderful Mary….and I don’t know what I would have done without your kindness when we first moved to the new neighborhood!

  7. my mom always said I was not much of a cook , your recipes do come in handy, keep up the good work…love you cuz

  8. our moms loved us more than we know even though they could be critical at times. My guess is you learned as much as I did being in Grandma Calderone’s kitchen–it is in our blood

  9. No act of kindness is ever too small. A kind word, a small gesture — they all have an important impact. I’m glad you have received so much kindness through your blog. Happy blogiversary. Oh, and kick butt at WFC!

    • yes, a small act of kindness can change everything–such comfort and can be as simple as a smile—looking forward to the World Food Championships-thanks for the support there!

  10. In the four months since their younger brother died my two teenage children have shown me immeasurable kindness everyday. I made these bars today as a surprise when they get home. I look forward to your posts. Thank you for sharing.

    • Dear Krista–so very sorry you have lost your son and thankful you are surrounded by those two very special teens. Teenagers are my favorite people in the whole world and obviously you have raised two fantastic ones. I hope you all enjoy the Southern Belle Bars with a cold glass of milk.

  11. Lisa, Happy Blogiversary!
    You are truly an inspiration.

    Life is mostly froth and bubble,
    Two things stand like stone,
    Kindness in another’s trouble,
    Courage in your own.
    -Adam Lindsay Gordon

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