Friday, November 11, 2011

Magic Bars

I've been a grump lately, for various reasons which shall remain undisclosed. You did not, after all, trot over here to our blog to listen to me complain about the silly unimportant little things that irk me on a daily basis. Let's just leave it at this: I've really had to resist the impulse to drown my woes in buttery chocolatey treats and spend the evenings watching movies, reading tragedies, and definitely not exercising. To my credit (and surprise), I haven't been giving in, which is a good thing because if I glut myself on treats, it just makes me feel worse: not only will I be a grump, I'll be a rolly grump.

Anyway. I've had a thing for what are known as magic bars for a long time. I think I had them first at my friend Kim's house. I have vague recollections of eating several rows all by myself...I couldn't help it. They were so dang good. Fast forward 15 years and you get these; not quite the same as Kim's mom's bars--true magic bars have a graham crust rather than an oat-y shortbread base--but possibly a bit more sophisticated. Because oats = sophistication? Sure. 
So here we have it. A combination of ingredients that really can't go wrong: oats, sugar, chocolate, sweetened condensed milk. The beginning of all good things and luckily a slightly improved mood. :)
Magic Bars
Recipe adapted from EverydayFood
Pictures by Kelly

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or a generous 1/4 teaspoon regular salt)
3/4 cup whole rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips and/or toffee bits (optional)
1 cup walnuts
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper (optional) and then lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, flour, and salt and mix together with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal (or use a food processor and pulse). Add oats and stir until just combined. Press dough evenly into bottom of pan and bake until lightly browned and firm, about 20 minutes. 
  3. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips, walnuts, and butterscotch or toffee bits (if using). Drizzle with condensed milk and top with coconut. Bake until coconut is golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. 

2 comments:

Caroline said...

These look fantastic. I'd like to be eating one at the moment.

phin said...

Having eaten these bars many a time, they truly are magical. If you are looking for a different type of sweet that is going to be a sure fire winner, look no further.

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