Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One of those easy things...

You know those secret weapons in life that are super easy but everyone assumes you must be a genius pastry chef/top-notch seamstress/professor of awesomeness because you can do it??

Well, I have one of those to share with you today.  It's my recipe for the best bar cookies in the world.

Last week was Chris' birthday and he is INCREDIBLY low-key about his birthday.  Like, if we didn't celebrate or even mention it to him, he'd probably be okay about it.

But of course we do celebrate it because we love him.  The kids and I talked and decided what to get him for gifts, what to cook for supper and what to make for dessert.  Chris isn't a really big dessert eater, so while he likes chocolate cake, he'd eat a piece or maybe two and then guess who'd eat the rest...yep, me.  :/

So...I asked the kids what we should make instead and both piped up "Hello Dollies!!"  almost simultaneously.  Hello Dollies are one of my secret weapons.  You may know them as Magic Layer Bars, but everyone in my family calls them Hello Dollies and the name always makes me laugh.  They are probably Chris' favorite dessert in the entire world and thank goodness for that.  :)

This was the only one left this afternoon and Emma snapped a photo on my phone for me before sharing it with her brother...sorry for the phone pic.  ;)

Want to know how easy they are??  Of course you do...

Gather your ingredients together:
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs (I just throw a sleeve of graham crackers into my food processor and turn that baby on for a few seconds.)
1 can sweetened condensed milk  (YUM!!)
2 c. chocolate chips
1 1/3 c. coconut flakes
1 c. chopped nuts (I use pecans, but go wild with what your family likes)

Now...time to get busy...
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  While it's heating, throw the stick of butter into your 13 x 9" pan and put it in the oven to melt.

When melted, pull it out and sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the melted butter.

Pour the milk over the crumbs and then sprinkle the remaining ingredients over the top.  Press everything down gently with a fork.

Now that your oven is fully preheated, pop the pan back in the oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool and cut!

See??  Easy peasy!  But, let me get a little honest with you here--I NEVER measure anything.  And I don't usually even gather my ingredients together until my butter is melting away.

This is usually how it goes around here--get a hankering for Hello Dollies...Turn on the oven and throw a stick of butter in the pan and get it to melting.  Grab everything else out of the pantry and crush up the crumbs.  When the butter is melted I drop the crumbs in, get them fairly even and then start sprinkling.  I put a few handfuls of each ingredient in till they look good and pour the milk over the top of everything.  Yep, it doesn't even matter what order you put it all in there.  Then I gently pat it all down with a fork and throw the pan back in the oven.

I have never taken these anywhere that I had leftovers.  Which is sad because I always want to eat the leftovers myself on the way home.

You can add or substitute the ingredients for what your family loves--peanut butter chips or butterscotch, maybe even cinnamon chips or toffee bits.

Next time you need a quick and easy secret weapon, try these Hello Dollies.  Your family will thank you.  :)

Hello Dolly Bars Recipe
Photo via My Recipes--now if only I had taken a picture like this last week... But we ate them too fast!  ;)

I'm linking up with Debbie a day late, but I have to say that her post yesterday on donuts drove me to get 2 donut pans at Walmart today and I think I know what I'll be baking up tomorrow...


  1. haha! Sorry - love that you bought 2 donut pans!! ;-)
    Anyway, also love Hello Dollies - My aunt always made them at the holidays, and I loooooved them! Maybe I'll make some this year!
    Thanks for linking up - but for some reason it didn't link quite right - can you glance?
    Do report back about the donuts!!


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