Thursday, January 8, 2009

Recipe: Seven Layer Bars

The boyfriend's parents swung through town last weekend on their annual winter journey down to Florida. Like any good Italian family, they know good food and wine. So what's a girl to do to impress? Well first off, take them out to eat! A girl can't take too much kitchen induced stress. That being said, I wanted to flex my culinary muscles a bit, so I decided to bake a simple but impressive recipe for dessert.

The recipe suggested the importance of splurging on ingredients, so I got the best I could find for each of the main ingredients. This recipe is about as easy as it gets. For the most part you just throw a bunch of delicious things, one on top of another, and then bake. Hard to screw up!

Fortunately they were just as good as I'd hoped. Layers of sweetness and texture with just a bit of crunch and chew...yum! They were a hit with coffee after dinner, and an equally big hit when eaten by my coworkers the following day. I have some frozen for a rainy day, too. You really can't get easier than this, and they are decadent and delicious, so I highly recommend trying them out next time you've got a sweet craving. Not much to look at, I admit, but who cares when there's chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, coconut, and nuts involved?

Seven Layer Bars

From Food and Wine Magazine
  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR plus cooling
  • SERVINGS: 3 dozen bars



  1. 1 cup walnuts
  2. 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  3. 3 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from one 14.4-ounce box)
  4. 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (1 pound 5 ounces)
  5. One 11-ounce bag butterscotch chips (1 1/4 cups)
  6. 3/4 cup white-chocolate chips
  7. One 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut
  8. One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (1 1/2 cups)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool then coarsely chop.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter with the graham cracker crumbs until evenly moistened. Press the crumbs onto the bottom of a 15-by-17-inch baking pan. Scatter the semisweet chocolate chips on top, followed by the butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, toasted walnuts and coconut. Scrape the condensed milk into a microwave-safe container and heat it at high power for 30 seconds, until just fluid. Drizzle the milk evenly over the coconut.
  3. Bake the bars in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until the coconut is toasted; rotate the pan once for even cooking. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the bars cool completely, at least 4 hours. Cut the bars lengthwise into 6 strips and crosswise into 6 strips to make 36 bars.

Make Ahead

    The bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.



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