Pineapple Chocolate Bars

This week our students are all returning to campus and on Monday we will start classes.  You read that right.  We start classes on Labor Day.  Not the day after.  In fact, this is the second campus on which I’ve worked where classes have been regularly held on this particular holiday.  I admit, though, that I have been anticipating the return of students since the start of August.  Actually, since the last week of July.  I had a friend over that week who mentioned casually that it seemed as though I was awake later than normal, and when I talked through why that might be, the only logical conclusion was that the start of the academic year was upon us and my mind has started to be thinking, thinking, thinking.

The other reality of this is that I have not slept well since the end of the academic year when a series of events transpired that led me to visit campus in the middle of the night on more than one occasion.  I found myself driving through campus between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. each day.  I am hopeful we can enter into this year with a refreshed point of view, and am doing what I can to help create some community on-campus.

In early August, our campus participated in Iowa Private College Week, a week when students can travel to various private colleges in Iowa, where each campus holds open houses each morning AND afternoon.  This means that staff, faculty, and alums of campus, have put in long hours of presentations and helping students to know why they should choose our campus.  Which they should.  But, that’s for another time.  I love seeing our folks share great messages with students during this time to highlight how the campus might be a good fit for them.  Ultimately, while I want us to make our class and do all the things that from the business side are important, I also really want us to admit and bring in students who can be successful and thrive.

To thank our staff for their hard work during this week, I decided to bring in some treats to our Admissions staff, reminding them how much we appreciate their work.  I took a look through some cookbooks and came across this intriguing recipe for Pineapple Chocolate Bars in the Catholic Daughters Cookbook.  I’ve been not having dessert, as I recently mentioned, but the folks who ate these indicated they tasted yummy!

Chocolate Pineapple Bars

Pineapple Chocolate Bars

3/4 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 c crushed pineapple
2 squares chocolate
1/2 c chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs one at a time.  Add sifted dry ingredients and vanilla.  Remove 1 c batter, mix with pineapple.  Add chocolate and nuts to remaining batter.  Put half of chocolate mixture in bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.  Cover with light batter, top with remaining dark batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

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