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Magic cookie bars are a childhood favorite I’ve never outgrown. Today, I’m sharing them with a fall twist–fresh bits of apple and tart, chewy Craisins.

APPLE CRAISIN MAGIC BARS

¼ cup butter, melted
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup chopped dark chocolate (I used Valrhona Guanaja 70%)
¼ cup chopped Valrhona Dulceys (32% blond chocolate)
about ¾ cup flaked coconut—enough to make a generous coconut “snow” layer over the graham crumbs and butter
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup Craisins
1 small apple, diced (about 3/4 cup)–I couldn’t find my usual Macouns so I used a Smitten™ and really liked it
a bit more than ½  of a 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (SCM)
1 tablespoon bourbon to mix into the SCM (optional)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract to mix into the SCM
sprinkle of cinnamon for the top of the pan (optional)

Butter an 8 x 8″ baking dish. Melt butter, combine with graham cracker crumbs and ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cover this layer completely with coconut, then nuts, chocolate(s), Craisins and apples. Sprinkle a bit more cinnamon over the top of the apples if you like. Stir 1 tablespoon of bourbon and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract into SCM, then pour evenly over the pan.

Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F . Run a knife around the outside of the pan while still warm. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Happy fall and happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your time with the ones you love and the ones who love you most.

Hope and Balashi

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They call them magic cookie bars, Hello Dolly bars, seven-layer bars. Call them what you like, they’re old-fashioned deliciousness baked up in a pan. Being the small batch kat I am, I like to bake a half portion in an 8″ square. It’s just enough to bring a bit of sweetness to the day without going overboard.

Today, I added Valrhona Dulceys to to the mix. It’s 32% blond chocolate–“creamy and toasty,” so says the bag. Yes, and almost vaguely salty, like fine caramel. You can find them at Whole Foods. Or go nuts as I did and buy a 3 kg bag from Amazon. Hey, go big or go home, right? Life’s short, enjoy the ride. Or at least make it a little sweeter when you can.

KATTY’S MAGIC COOKIE BARS

¼ cup butter, melted
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
sprinkle of cinnamon
¼ cup chopped dark chocolate (I used Valrhona Guanaja 70%)
¼ cup chopped Valrhona Dulceys (32% blond chocolate)
about ¾ cup flaked coconut—enough to make a generous coconut “snow” layer over the graham crumbs and butter
½ cup chopped pecans (I used ½ pecans, ½ sliced almonds today)
½ (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (SCM)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract to mix into the SCM

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Butter an 8 x 8″ baking dish. Melt butter, then sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly over the butter. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon. Cover this layer completely with coconut, then nuts and chocolate. Stir 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract into SCM, then pour evenly over the pan.

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Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees F . Run a knife around the outside of the pan while still warm. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds.

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What are you waiting for? Dig in–it’s time to make the magic happen. CHOP-CHOP!