Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Magic Squares

That's all that's left after the huns at the office descended upon my pan of Magic Squares today.  Most desserts aren't worthy of capitals, but these could be best described as MAGIC SQUARES.

Hell, they're worthy of caps and bold:  MAGIC SQUARES.

The first time I had these, I called them Miracle Bars, because, truly, they are miraculous.  There is nothing magical about them, but miraculous, oh yes.  Definitely!  And easy?  An industrious four year-old can make these.

There is nothing subtle about these bars.  They are an in-your-face, full-out sugar-rush of goodness.  So, for the uninitiated, here it goes:


1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup graham crumbs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Chipits brand)
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)
1 can sweetened condensed milk, such as Eagle Brand

Mix melted butter and graham crumbs, and press into 8"x8" glass baking dish.

Mix chocolate chips, coconut and nuts in a bowl.  Spread evenly over graham crust.

Pour can of sweetened condensed milk over entire mixture.

Bake in a 350F oven for 25-30 minutes, checking often towards end of baking time.

Let cool, and enjoy.

I guarantee you they won't last long, and they'll have the troops begging for more, once their stomach aches go away.  These are so easy to indulge in.  I keep saying, "I'm just gonna have a leeeetle sliver...", and before you know it, a chunk is missing.  And the knife?  It stays IN the pan.  I make imbibing in these babies easy.  Just call me an enabler, I'm proud of it.

There are as many variations of these squares as there are cooks.  In fact, I recently came across an old copy from an original Eagle Brand advertisement that was easily 25 years old.  The recipe called for the sweetened milk to be poured directly on top of the crust, and let me tell you, the outcome of that ain't good.  I also know lots of bakers who layer the coconut, nuts and chips, and this creates an end product that falls apart.  Mixing the dry ingredients results in a more homogeneous topping, with all that melted chocolate goodness holding things together.

It's like creating nuclear fusion, right in your own kitchen!

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