Seven Layer Bars

Or

Why Heather was overweight as a kid

Makes 36 to 72, depending on how you cut them

Set oven to 350

Ingredients

1 stick of butter

1 cup crushed graham crackers

1 cup shredded coconut

1 package chocolate chips (milk, semi sweet, dark, whatever form you choose)

1 package butterscotch chips (replace with peanut butter, white chocolate, or whatever interesting flavour is out that season)

1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecan)

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Equipment

8×8 or 9×9 pan

Christmas time brings back so many taste memories, from the overly sugary sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping, to the sage and apple infused stuffing, to the far too rich tiramisu.  I remember the scene in my Gran’s kitchen (and later in my mum’s), when three generations of us would spend the day baking delightful treats- boozy rum balls, raspberry thumbprints, peanut butter cookies (which I never liked), little gingerbread women (I come from a long line of feminists), buttery spritz, and my very favourite- seven layer bars.  We would bake all day, carefully bagging up treats as gifts and to savor ourselves. I was too little to do most of the baking, so I did a lot of decorating, and of course it was my thumb in the thumbprint. And, I will admit to probably eating way more of the cookies than I should have, sneaking into the kitchen at night and eating two or three goodies- especially the seven layer bars.

These were one of the first cookies I made by myself, along with the good old fashioned Nestlé Toll House cookies, and I still make them every year at Yule and often a second batch to give as a gift to my Father in Law, whose sweet tooth is as big as his heart (a trait he shares with my husband).  And, it is the first cookie that I taught my daughter how to make, when she was eight, I guided her and her best friend Madi through the recipe. They are easy and delicious, and so rich! I love that biting into one is like being a kid again, baking with my family.

Preheat oven at 350

I put the stick of butter in a 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish (I have a glass 8×8 baking dish or a 9×9 silicon one, I use whichever is clean) and place in the preheated oven for five minutes, or until it is completely melted.  Remove from the oven, make sure the butter is in an even layer, and sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs on top, pressing down to form a good crust, you can always add more crumbs if it seems too wet. Then, place the layer of coconut next, pressing down as needed.  Next come the two kinds of chips and the nuts, press down but be sure to not mix the layers. Last, carefully pour the sweetened, condensed milk on top, letting it sink into the pan. DO NOT MIX anything! Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven, and let it cool completely.  I normally let it get to room temperature and them put in the refrigerator so they can get nice and firm before I cut them. Cut into 36 pieces (or 64 or 72, if you are stingy and want tiny piece).

-Cyberwaif

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