When I was a little kid, I always got pretty stoked for Valentine’s Day.
There was something about picking out the perfect box of Valentine’s cards at the grocery store, filling them out individually with every kid’s name, and attaching some kind of candy to the greeting.
Similarly, I’d be equally stoked to make my “Valentine’s mailbox” which I’d decorate with a ton of brightly colored hearts and stars and things as to attract a simple-minded child’s attention and perhaps they’d drop a few extra Conversation hearts my way.
In first grade, I remember staying up super late one night, drawing everyone in my class a picture in addition to their personalized Valentine’s and candy. I wanted to do this because I wanted to attract the attention of the boy I liked: Robert.
Robert looked like the brother of Zach Morris and had a cutie comb-over in our class photo. I totaaaallly drooled over him, but my BFF Emma also had a crush on Robert, and frankly, I thought Robert liked Emma more because Emma had this shampoo that smelled OMGSOGOOD and I can still remember the distinct flowery, fruity scent which worries me that I may be a stalker. But that’s besides the point.
Emma was blonde and pretty and had yummy shampoo, all of the things a young first grade desperately wished she had to secure the love interest of Robert. But perhaps if Robert saw that I dedicated my evening to drawing everyone in class a personalized picture–and the fact that I gave Robert a big special Valentine–he’d surely choose me over Emma and her intoxicating shampoo.
Anyway, long story short, he did enjoy my special Valentine and he gave me a special, big Valentine, too(!!) with extra candy (!!) which pretty much meant we were soulmates. However, he also gave Emma a special Valentine with extra candy, which may suggest that, like most boys, Robert has no idea what he wants and wanted to play both of us because boys can be cruel like that and you should never pit friends against one another, especially if one friend is already insecure about her normal-smelling hair.
And in the end, Emma kind of got Robert, until he moved away after first grade. Emma is now married to a guy that isn’t Robert, and when I was feeling particularly stalkerish one night, I found Robert on Facebook and he kind of looks like a tool. I’m guessing he probably played a bunch of girls with extra special Valentine’s. Emma and I just had the privilege of being his firsts while he was still cute and didn’t look like a rhino. Sigh.
Anyway, for Valentine’s Day, I decided to make some super simple-yet extra special Neapolitan bars that will woo your Valentine and make them feel extra-special. I promise you don’t need fancy shampoo, either!!
1 pkg strawberry cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup Valentine Sixlets candy, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs + oil until well blended. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. Quickly spread the mallows evenly over the bars. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until the marshmallows are puffy and are juuuust beginning to brown a bit on the tops (you don’t want them to start toasting). Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle both chips and the Sixlets candies evenly on top of the gooey marshmallows.
4. Allow the bars to cool in the pan completely before cutting into bars. I used a dampened knife to help me cut through the ultra-gooey marshmallow. These bars keep when covered at room temperature, for a couple of days.
I am a HUGE Neapolitan fan! The ice cream takes me back to my childhood and eating it at my grandpa and grandma’s house in those brick cartons. I have always loved the strawberry flavor the most, so I enjoyed that the strawberry was the base flavor of these bars. It doesn’t overpower the vanilla and chocolate; in fact, the addition of the sprinkles on top are just the perfect bite of semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate to merry harmoniously with the strawberry brownie base. Plus, the marshmallows are SO gooey. I die for gooey marshmallows, y’all.
Have a great day!!