Friday, May 28, 2010

Magical Bars

First off: WOW! I have more followers. Thank you so much for your interest in my blog. I hope to continue to post more frequently now that it's summer.

Secondly, my apologies for my hiatus from my beloved blog.  Long story short: I'm back to baking now that I have some free time. Ahhh, free time.  Isn't it great?  Schools out, summer's starting, and life is good. 

Today I chose to bake a special delight for my honey bear.  I'm traveling up to his work today and will surprise him and his co-workers with a treat: Magical Bars.  Now, this is something I know he loves his mom to make him so I'm kind of treading on sacred ground here.  But in true rebel fashion, I've strayed slightly from the traditional 7-layer Magic Bar to the 8 layer Magical Bar.
8 Layers:

1. Graham Cracker
2. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
3. Finely-Chopped Walnuts
4. White Chocolate Chips
5. Butterscotch Chips
6. Dried Cranberries
7. Shredded Coconut
8. Sweetened Condensed Milk

Ingredients
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
10 graham crackers, crushed
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
½ cup butterscotch chips
½ cup dried cranberries (aka Craisins)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Directions
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Line the pan with two overlapping pieces of foil, leaving overhang to act as handles for lifting the bars out of the pan. Spray with non-stick spray.

2. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake until the outer flakes just begin to brown, about 4 minutes. (Keep a close eye on it – coconut can go from slightly browned to burnt in a matter of seconds.) Set aside.

3. Melt the butter and combine with graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Toss with your fingers until the butter is evenly distributed. Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.

4. In order, sprinkle the walnuts, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, dried cranberries and coconut over the graham crumbs. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the entire dish.

5. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.

6. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil as handles and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife or bench cutter, cut into 2 by 3-inch bars.
Yields approximately 18 bars

(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)