Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Magic/Seven-Layer Bars

Magic Bars

Source: The New Best Recipe from Cook's Illustrated

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
9 graham crackers (5 ounces), crushed*
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips (I didn't have any, so skipped)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

*Place the graham crackers in a large zipper-lock plastic bag and pound them with the bottom of a measuring cup, a rolling pin, or a smooth meat mallet. The result should be an assortment of crumbs, bits and chunks that measure about 1 1/2 cups. CI claims that this process will create a sturdier crust - fine crumbs tend to produce a more fragile crust. I did mine in the food processor and had no problem at all with the crust.

1. Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fold two 16-inch pieces of foil or parchment paper lengthwise so that one measures 13 inches wide and the other measures 9 inches wide. Fit one sheet in the bottom of the greased pan, pushing it into the corners and up the sides of the pan (the overhang will help in removal of the baked bars). Fit the second sheet in the pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Spray the sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake until the outer flakes just begin to brown, about 8 minutes; set aside. Meanwhile, place the stick of butter in the prepared baking pan and put it in the oven to melt, about 6 minutes.

3. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter. Toss lightly until all the butter is absorbed and the crumbs are evenly distributed. In order, sprinkle the walnuts, semisweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut over the graham crumbs. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the entire dish.

4. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil or parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into 2 by 3-inch bars.

I talked about this recipe HERE.

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