Wednesday, December 8, 2010

7 Layer Magic Bars


My friend Kate hosts a Cookie Swap every December just before Christmas.  It's become a tradition I look forward to every year!  It's such a fun excuse to get friends together, gathered around her table, decorating sugar cookies while our husbands watch football, eating our beautiful and also horribly ugly Christmas sugar cookie creations.  Our failed attempts at trying to creatively decorate our cookies like Martha Stewart are always the most fun to laugh at!

Not only do I love spending time with the girls, but I especially look forward to Kate's 7 layer magic bars!  Of course I love all of the classic Christmas cookies the girls bring , but magic bars are something I had never had before the Cookie Swap.  It's hard to believe I know!  Since I'd never really grown up with them, I never considered making my own and only had hers to look forward to once a year.

Well, I finally decided it was time to branch off into the unknown and make this magical 7 layer bar once and for all!  I'm so happy I did because they're extremely easy to prepare, I'm sorry I didn't look into it sooner!  It's merely layering a bunch of ingredients into a pan and baking it.  Easy, huh?!

You can't beat this chewy, crunchy, sweet treat layered with so many wonderful flavors you get a party in your mouth with each bite!  It's a great dessert to bring to any holiday party stacked on a pretty platter, or given as a gift to family and friends wrapped up with festive ribbon, or a classic addition to your Cookie Swap party served to each person in a Christmas tin lined with Christmas tissue paper... just a few ideas you can use this extremely versatile and delicious treat!


Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Then break apart two individually wrapped packages of graham crackers into large pieces.  Put them in the bowl of a food processor or kitchen aid mixer:


Set your mixer on low with the paddle attachment for about 10 minutes to work your crackers into crumbs:


Then chop your walnuts:


And prepare your ingredients by measuring 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips, 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional), and 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes into individual bowls:


Once your crumbs are ready, place a stick of butter in the center of a 9x13 pan and place in your oven until melted, about 3 minutes, watching carefully not to burn the butter: 


 Remove your pan from the oven, measure 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, and add to your pan:


 Stir until your crumbs are evenly coated with butter, being careful not to touch your hot pan:


 Then spread them evenly along the bottom of your pan and pat down with your spoon:


Then add your chocolate chips: 


And spread evenly:


Do the same with your butterscotch chips:


Then sprinkle with your chopped walnuts:


Finish with the shredded coconut:


Then take your sweetened condensed milk, which is kept in the coffee and tea section of your local grocery store:


And pour it evenly along the top of your pan:



Look at those layers of sweetness!


Bake 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until your coconut is golden brown:


 Remove from the oven and allow to cool:


 Cut into bars roughly 3.5" x 3.5" squares or smaller if desired.  If you want to replicate this look, cut wax or parchment paper into 4 inch squares.  Layer 3 bars placing your parchment paper squares in between each, wrap a decorative ribbon around it and you have a beautiful dessert to serve at your cookie swap or give away as a gift to friends and family!







7 Layer Magic Bars
Makes: 16+ bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18-20 minutes
(Printable Recipe)


Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  

Break apart two individually wrapped packages of graham crackers into large pieces.  Put them in the bowl of a food processor or kitchen aid mixer.  Set your mixer on low with the paddle attachment for about 10 minutes to work your crackers into crumbs.  If you're using a food processor, pulse it a few times until you reach a crumb consistency.  

Then prepare your ingredients by measuring 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips, 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional), and 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes into individual bowls.  Once your crumbs are ready, place a stick of butter in the center of a 9x13 pan and place in your oven until melted, about 3 minutes, watching carefully not to burn the butter.  

Remove your pan from the oven, measure 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, and add to your pan.  Stir until your crumbs are evenly coated with butter, being careful not to touch your hot pan.  Then spread them evenly along the bottom of your pan and pat down with your spoon.  Then add your chocolate chips and spread evenly.  Do the same with your butterscotch chips.  Then sprinkle with your chopped walnuts.  Finish with evenly sprinkling the shredded coconut over the entire surface.  Then take your sweetened condensed milk, which is kept in the coffee and tea section of your local grocery store, and pour it evenly along the top of your pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until your coconut appears golden brown.   Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Cut into bars roughly 3.5" x 3.5" squares or smaller if desired.  


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29 comments:

  1. These are a favorite of mine as well! We should make them more often than just the holidays!
    And I'm with you on not being able to decorate like Martha... =)

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  2. I love 7 Layer bars! Just blogged about them last week. They are definitely a Holiday-time favorite!

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  3. Minus the coconut I've love these, with it I know someone who would love it even more.

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  4. beautiful delicious bars coconut and condensed milk my kind of thing :)

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  5. Oh my goodness these look divine! I love the combination of nuts, chocolate and coconut.

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  6. I ADORE seven layer bars. Beautiful photos, too.

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  7. I love these! Grew up calling them magic cookies. Actually went on a cooking show to make them when I was 10. Can you tell I grew up in a small town? Thanks so much for the step by step. Like a breath of home.

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  8. Ooh, I've had these before-they are wonderful. Yours are really beautifully cut and look delicious. Nice!

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  9. I'd have to make two pans, one for me to munch on while I'm preparing the other for gifts! I've devoured food gifts that I've made for other people before. I'm not proud of it...

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  10. I love 7 Layer Bars! I could eat an entire batch on my own. :) They are always a huge hit.

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  11. I've seen these everywhere lately!! I'd make them for my fiance but he hates coconut. haha. I'll eat all of them I guess!

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  12. YUM! one of my favorites! This always takes care of my sweet tooth!

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  13. My mom used to make these a lot! They are delicious!

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  14. These are a must for my cookie baking extravaganza every Christmas but we just call them 7 layer cookies. They are delicious!

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  15. I have never had 7 layer bars, but they always sounded amazing. I would love to be a part of a cookie swap too, have fun!

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  16. This has gotta to be the ideal sweet treat. Loving Kate's magic bars. All my favorite ingredients in one sweet treat. Bookmarking...

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  17. My family would go nuts for this 7 layers of delicious sweetness. It has textures and varying degrees of decadence. Beautifully presented!

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  18. These are my grandmother's favorite, she made them all the time! Beautiful photos!

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  19. My family makes a version of this every year...I know it is Christmas when I have my first bite. Glad you enjoy them, too!

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  20. Chelsea, Martha Stewart's got nothing on these. They look absolutely brilliant!

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  21. Yup. We've been making magic cookie bars for years. I add dried cranberries for a tart surprise sometimes.

    I love your presentation of these though. Gorgeous.

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  22. Pure yum! I adore these bar cookies.

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  23. i can eat all the ingredients individually, especially the condensed milk which i'd gladly spoon up til finish. i'm sure the 7-layer bar tastes a lot better! the bars look lovely :)

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  24. Holy God! I think you just made my heart go a flutter. I've had these before but they certainly didn't look like THAT! :-p Awesome. I need a good, extra naughty recipe to add to my collection.

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  25. thanks for the reminder of how great these bars are and how easy, just made them and love them!

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