Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars

Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars - made December 19, 2015 from Eat Cake for Dinner
This is one of those recipes where you should click on the title of the blog post to go to the original blog I got the recipe from and you can see what they’re supposed to look like. If you go by my pictures, you may not be tempted to make these. Mine are a far cry from the original. It’s my own fault since I took certain liberties with the recipe.
First, I didn’t have chocolate graham crackers and I didn’t want to bother getting any since I already had a box and a half of regular graham cracker crumbs I wanted to use up. Second, I didn’t want to buy sliced almonds either because I wanted to use up the pecans in my freezer. The results of my baking willfulness is up for everyone to see.
Fortunately I care more about taste than appearance and these were rather tasty. Then again, I love all things coconut so that didn’t hurt. They did make a thicker bar than I expected, especially the bottom layer so next time I might try them in a 9 x 9-inch baking pan instead. One trick I did learn from the recipe because my magic cookie bars always end up way more brown than what the original blog showed is to tent a piece of foil loosely over the pan halfway through baking pan. That’ll prevent further browning while continuing the bake the cookie bars. I’ve always known the foil trick but I had never thought to apply it to magic cookie bars. I tried it and it worked but I was a little concerned that the bars then looked anemic and a bit raw when technically they weren’t. But because I thought they did, I baked them a little longer than I might normally have. The bottom layer wasn’t dry but it wasn’t as moist as I would’ve preferred.
Ah, a reminder of why I try not to test out new recipes for the holidays. Still, it was more of a glitch than an outright failure and it was good enough that I felt safe in including it in care packages I was mailing out. Even if they weren’t very pretty.
Cookie Crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbd
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 12-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8" baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Crust: In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and egg and mix until combined.
  3. Add flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; ,mix until fully combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Press graham cracker dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips (reserving a small amount), coconut and sliced almonds. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top and sprinkle with reserved mini chocolate chips.
  5. Return to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Loosely tent the pan with foil halfway through baking time to prevent the coconut and almonds from browning and rotate the pan in the oven.
  6. Cool for 30 minutes at room temperature then place in refrigerator to cool completely. Cut into 16 squares when completely cool.

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