Blogging about blogging. I know, what could be more boring? Especially when the promise of S’Mores Cookie Bars lies ahead.
However, I write about my life and blogging is something that I do in said life, so it makes sense that once in awhile, I’d have some thought to share about this crazy place we call the internet.
A few weeks ago at a party I ran into my friend Vanessa and we found ourselves talking about our blogs (shocking, right?).
One of the topics we touched upon was whether it’s okay to use photography or recipes from another – clearly monetized – blog without asking permission.
Vanessa is on Team Ask Permission Before Using Someone Else’s Work, which I totally agree with, but if someone is monetizing their blog with advertisements and sponsored blog posts, I can’t help but wonder what it is that makes that blog any different than, say, the Food Network or Martha Stewart?
Let’s be honest. People rip off recipes and/or photography from mainstream commercial sites all the time, even some of the “biggest” and “most popular” blogs on the internet.
Does that make it right? No. But it happens all the time.
I’ve seen recipes that I’ve cooked straight from the pages of Food and Wine on other blogs being touted as original creations.
In my own personal opinion, the difference is that the people who are generating content for national culinary websites are not doing it out love or passion. Sure, they might enjoy their jobs, but chances are if you’re in the Martha test kitchen testing fifteen recipes each week, you won’t take it as close to heart as a blogger who posts, say, grandma’s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and then sees it being plastered across the internet without attribution.
Currently, there is no universal definition of what makes a blog a “personal blog” vs. a “mainstream media outlet responsible for upholding journalistic ethics.”
While some bloggers have clearly stated policies about content reproduction, but others simply have their own arbitrary rules about what is acceptable and again, because there is no universal rule, they get understandably upset when people don’t play by those rules.
Aside from the occasional spammer, I haven’t had many issues with people swiping work directly from this little corner of the ‘net, but I feel like I have been reading about more and more Grand Theft Recipe lately.
In some instances, yes, it is an obvious disregard maybe it isn’t because people are trying to plagiarize, but they see something they like and they want to share it.
They do so without considering things like copyright violations and intellectual property laws. Sure, there are always some bad apples, but maybe at the end of the day there’s just a whole hell of a lot of confusion.
I think at the end of the day, my rule of thumb is: when in doubt, link back. Which brings me to the recipe I’m sharing with you today.
I found an irresistible-looking recipe from the gals at We Are Not Martha, which they found via Ice Cream Before Dinner, who adapted the recipe from Always with Butter…who admits that she saw the recipe elsewhere but doesn’t cite the exact source.
A Google search for “S’Mores Cookie Bars” yields over 46,500 results.
So….whose recipe is that really?
I actually don’t think it matters.
In following the links from We Are Not Martha, I found two beautiful new blogs to read and in turn, get to share this recipe and all of their blogs with my friends and readers…which I think is a win-win for everyone, wouldn’t you say?
It’s the reason I started blogging to begin with and it’s probably one of the main reasons I continue.
Bloggers, journalists, writers, bystanders…please chime in in the comments. What are your thoughts on adapting content that you find on the internet? Yay? Nay? How do you handle attribution?
Now let’s get back to these cookies. I am not going to wax poetic about how deliciously amazing they are, because I think the ingredients speak for themselves.
Perfect in the winter when you’re craving a summer treat and don’t need to worry about being caught dead in a bathing suit for at least six more months.
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ C sugar
- 1 C brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares
- 3 regular sized Hershey's bars (1.55 oz. each)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Start by whisking together the flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter, white sugar, brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until blended.
- Slowly add the flour mixture, with the mixer on low speed, until it's just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and laying graham cracker squares side-by-side. Put a scoop (a little more than 1 tablespoon) of dough in the middle of each graham cracker and press down lightly with your finger. Put the baking sheets in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and place Hershey's chocolate pieces on top of each cookie. Put the cookies back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes, until edges are golden.
- Cool a bit in the pan and then move to wire rack to cool completely. Cut cookie bars with a sharp knife and keep in airtight container for up to five days (if they last that long).