March 18, 2012

Genius Bars

     Seven-layer, magic, hello dolly bars--whatever they happen to call them where you live... The point is they are outrageously rich, sweet, gooey bars of goodness. And surprisingly fast and simple at the same time. Genius!

     I would argue that there is not much magic here. I mean if you put a crap-ton of tasty goodies together and douse them in sweetened condensed milk, the result is going to taste good. These are out of control decadent, so make sure you cut the pieces nice and small or people won't be able to finish them. I borrowed the mini-muffin liner idea from Deb at Smitten Kitchen. That woman knows what she's doing.

     I particularly liked these bars because not only are they going to make you lots of friends at work, you do not have to slave away for hours to impress them. People will like these, and you will only have to spend about 10 minutes making them. This is perfect for me, because as a first year public school teacher--you may have noticed--I do not have an abundance of free time.

     Ok, that's it. I am officially renaming these Genius Bars. You don't have to be a genius to make these, but you will sure look like one when you bring them anywhere.

Genius Bars
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk, separated (try nonfat!)
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (or semisweet)
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips (or butterscotch)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded coconut, separated
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in a medium bowl. Press crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Pour half a can of sweetened condensed milk over the crumbs.
  3. In a large bowl mix chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, pecans and 1 cup coconut. Spread mixture evenly over the crumb and condensed milk layer. Press down to combine. Drizzle evenly with more sweetened condensed milk, leaving a couple of tablespoons for a final layer.
  4. Spread slivered almonds in a thin layer on top. Sprinkle lightly with 1/3 cup shredded coconut and top with the remaining tablespoons of condensed milk.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until coconut and almonds are toasty, golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack, loosening sides while the pan is still warm. Cool completely. For easiest cutting, chill in the refrigerator for about an hour (and up to over night) before slicing into 1 and a half inch squares. Bring to room temperature and serve in mini-muffin liners.
Makes about 30 servings

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