Cooking therapy is gaining in popularity. It's the latest in "tangible" therapies, like art or equine. But can cooking save your relationship? Some people think it can, including Debra Borden, aka "The Sous Therapist" and Author of "Cook Your Marriage Happy," who's out there with a mission to save marriages, one recipe at a time.
Debra says she individualizes and customizes every recipe to hit target areas for each individual couple. Her recipes work as a metaphor for what couples want to change in their relationships. Today, we're looking at her recipe for a "Connected Couple Crunch," a kind of chocolate bark, and our first ingredients are crackers and cooperation.
1. Crackers and Cooperation
The first step in this recipe is to line a baking sheet with crackers, which requires cooperation. Work together to fit the crackers and form a strong base for the dessert and the marriage as a whole. Debra recommends that whatever it is you do in the recipe, to also look at what you do in life.
2. Caramel and Trust
The next two ingredients are caramel and trust. You're putting butter and brown sugar into a bowl for your filling, and you're going to stir constantly. The mixture will thicken into a caramel, and it will change constantly and evolve – and so does your marriage. You must trust that these two ingredients actually will turn into something wonderful.
From there, you'll pour the caramel over the crackers and make sure to fill each gap. Remember this step as a way of saying you're willing to do what it takes to have a marriage that holds together.
3. Chocolate and Communication
Now it's time to bake it off to strengthen the bond, which leads into our final ingredients, chocolate and communication. You want to pour chocolate all over the baking sheet. The heat is going to melt the chocolate. So, when it comes to softening in a relationship, whatever you have to say, remember it's always going to be easier to hear if it's done softly.
And know that sometimes good communication means having time to chill – like our dessert once it's out of the oven! Once cooled, our "Connected Couple Crunch" is going to be a little hard to break apart – just like a relationship should be!
Want to try out this recipe at home? Here's your full recipe, inspired by Marcy Goldman:
Approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups semi, bittersweet or white chocolate chips
Colored sprinkles (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11''x 17'' inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit. Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers, covering all parts.
In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, then quickly pour it over the crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.
Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 12-13 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble, and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.
Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle some or all.
Break into pieces then freeze until set approximately 15 minutes. Holds well in freezer for 2 months.
So, there you go, instead of using the kitchen as your next battle place over who's doing dishes next, use it use it to strengthen the bond and health of your marriage.
Are YOU trying out this recipe at home? Join the conversation now on our Facebook page @TheListShowTV.