Saturday, December 10, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking: Seven Layer Bars

The first Christmas cookie recipe that I managed to whip up this year is a classic straight from my Mommy's kitchen. Seven Layer Bars are probably one of the easiest and most delicious cookies ever. Every year, Mom would make these around Christmas time and they were probably my absolutely favorite cookie while growing up. Since they were such an easy cookie to make, I bravely decided to recruit these peanuts to help me make them:

Matthew had a couple of his friends over that evening. All three of them were definitely more interested in eating all the ingredients than helping me layer them into the pan. When they did venture out to help me sprinkle, they would just pile handfuls of the same ingredient in a single corner of the baking pan. At least they seemed to have fun! When all three of them returned to the living room to dance to The Animal Alphabet, I had the pleasure of rearranging their handiwork.

These cookies are dangerously rich. Cut them small and enjoy!

Seven Layer Bars
adapted from The New Best Recipe

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
9 whole graham crackers, crushed into crumbs with a mallet
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

Grease a 13x9 baking pan with cooking spray. Line with two perpendicular sheets of foil, allowing the excess to hang over the sides. This makes a sling that facilitates removal of the bars from the pan once they are cool.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Toss the coconut on a baking sheet and stick it in the oven for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted.

Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and the graham cracker crumbs with a fork. Press the mixture into the bottom of your prepared baking pan. Sprinkle crust evenly with walnuts. Sprinkle with (in order) chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the top.

Bake until the top is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely in the pan set over a wire rack for approximately 2 hours. Use the sling to lift the cookies out of the pan and cut into even squares. Enjoy!

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