7 Layer Bars
It's easy as pie ~ and that's no lie!
Sometimes I like nothing better than to make complicated confectionery creations in my kitchen (of course afterward, I fantasize about someone ELSE cleaning up the mess). In reality though, I don't usually have too much time for those extravagant baking benders anymore. Because of that, I try to keep a handful of super simple (or as I call them, "idiot friendly" :o) recipes in the front of my recipe box for whipping up something that tastes wonderful but doesn't take a whole lot of time or effort. Because this is such a simple dessert, I've tried to lay out this lens in an easy to follow format so any pint-sized bakers out there can do it too (but be sure to ask Mom first!)
One thing that makes this recipe one of my favorites is that most of the ingredients have a nice long shelf life. This means you can buy them twice (and I often do) when you decide to make it and keep the second set of ingredients handy for those moments you are volunteered unexpectedly. You know, like when your child remembers to tell you you're making treats for her class at school the next day (just as she is dozing off to sleep at 9p.m.). Even better? Unlike most recipes, you will only get two things dirty; which is almost as delightful a thought as the dessert :o)
Yup, I'm a TWIT (er-er)
and I periodically tweet :o)
Here's what we need
INGREDIENTS: 1 Stick of Butter, Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 2-1/4 cups), Coconut Flakes, Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch Chips, Chopped Walnuts, 1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
I always put my baking dish in the oven to melt the butter while I gather the other ingredients. It's usually melted most of the way by the time I'm ready). Pull it out just before it completely melts (It will finish on the counter though, so don't worry :o)
TIP: Pop your dish in the oven while it's preheating to melt your butter
This recipe does NOT do well in a convection oven (I tried it already and it was awful).
- Bonnie Baker
(that's me ;o)
Sprinkle your graham cracker crumbs until the butter is completely covered and the very top is dry. Smooth it out slightly to get rid of any major hills and valleys (don't worry, it doesn't have to be perfect!) I have seen the recipe written to mix the graham cracker crumbs and butter together and press in the bottom of the pan, but this works just as well (besides you dirty more dishes the other way, and we definitely don't want to do that! :o)
Add the coconut, making sure to break up any large clumps, until it completely covers all of the graham cracker crumbs.
Layer the chocolate chips (you can use large or small chips but I don't recommend using the chunks; they don't melt at the same rate as everything else). I had some leftover minis, so I threw them in there with the regular sized chips.
Add butterscotch chips; I don't usually use quite as many of the butterscotch because they are very, very rich. Ha - This from a woman that adores those Cadbury Eggs (you know, the great big ones with the cholesterol filled, sugar coma inducing cream centers?)
Sprinkle on the diced (or chopped) walnuts. You can leave the nuts off altogether if you'd rather (just remember then you'll have to call them "six" layer bars :o) Store any leftover ingredients.
TIP: These clothespins are my favorite bag clips
The best kind of "chip clips" (are in the laundry room :o)
Less expensive than traditional bag clips, these handy clothespins have rubber grips to keep them from sliding off your bags (and mine have held up a LOT longer than the regular clips too!)
This is the most important step! (Yes I forgot to add it one time - and it definitely didn't turn out well :o) Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk* evenly (as best you can anyway, it's thick) over the top of your other layers. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
*Note that I used the "fat free" version - like it matters at this point...
When it's all done...
I usually let mine cool somewhere between 45 minutes to 2 hours before cutting (depending on how long I get sidetracked). The longer it cools the easier it usually is to slice. If you are going to wait past two hours, I recommend covering it with some foil until you're ready to cut it. If you're in a tearing hurry (my frequent claim to fame), try baking it in a "to go" dish like the one pictured below and let it cool off on the way. I do this all the time, and just cut them up when I get to where I'm going.
Oh NO! - time to go?? Let it cool off on the way to your destination!
I love my simple wooden cassarole dish stand... - ...but these come with covers!
Whether it's a family get together or a pot luck at church, these are definitely one of the handiest things to have (especially when you are ALWAYS in a tearing hurry - like me.
Cut them into bars or squares
I have a small spatula from Pampered Chef that's called a "turner". Not only is its smaller size perfect for serving bars and brownies, I can use it instead of a knife to cut them!
TIP: For cutting that's slick & quick, hit your turner with a shot of cooking spray or cake release first
Tiny turners are terrific!
I love my small spatula ~ it's the perfect size for brownies and bars (I can use mine to cut them, too!)
Are there mice at your house?
We've got some mighty big ones around here...
Here's how to make everybody happy
Trim the edges of your bars and brownies (fudge too :o) and pile them on a plate for those little (or large) mice in your house. Not only does it keep those little (and large) hands out of your confections before it's time to eat, it will make your desserts look even better!
A microscopic mess - that's it!
For A Dish That's REALLY Delish...
If you want a dessert that's over the top, try heating the bars and serving them with a scoop of ice cream. Whaddaya think - too much?
Pedestal plates are fabulous fun - I really love mine!
I love to put bars and brownies on these pedestal plates ~ it dresses them up beautifully for the holidays and adds a dash of pizzaz to your table :o)
Are you partial to potholders?
I am! I know it's silly, but I just love them. I change them out sometimes just for a little splash of something different around the kitchen (hey, it's a lot cheaper than painting, right? :o)