Magic Cookie Bars Recipe

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I love the holiday season: the special time with family and friends, the decorations, the music, and the food!  I love that each family celebrates differently, too – unique traditions, meals, recipes.  Now that I’m an adult it’s fun to hold on to old traditions and create new ones.  Before I get to this month’s recipe, here are a few of my favorite holiday-related “ingredients”, typically enjoyed during the month of December:

The smell of fresh Christmas trees – Enough said.
Decorations – I especially love the lights!
The song “Feliz Navidad” – I remember dancing around to this song when I was a kid.  It made me happy, and still does.  The original version by José Feliciano is the best!
Holiday baking – When I was young we had sugar cookies, Magic Cookie Bars (recipe below), and fudge at Christmas.  Yum!  This is one tradition I’ve chosen to carry on.
“Waltz of the Flowers” – When I was eleven and taking ballet, my class performed a dance to this song from Tchaikovsky’s The NutcrackerThe Nutcracker is on my play list every December, and it invokes feelings of both nostalgia and festivity.
Tamales – One of my husband’s family’s traditions is making tamales, and they’re SO good!  Whether you choose a tamal that’s sweet or one that’s savory, they’re corn husk-wrapped goodness.

On to the Recipe…

This month’s recipe is brought to you by my childhood.  My mom found this recipe on a can of sweetened condensed milk when I was very young, and it’s been a must-bake recipe ever since.  These babies are dangerous; I could literally eat a pan all by myself, but they’re also quick, easy, and great for sharing.

Some people make a version of these bars with butterscotch chips as well, which I think is total blasphemy.  Don’t do it!  If you follow the recipe exactly, including the layering order of the last three ingredients, you’ll be very happy with the results.  Everyone who eats them will be, too!

So, without further ado, here is the recipe for Magic Cookie Bars. Simple, but soooooo good!

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Magic Cookie Bars

(Makes 24 bars)
½ cup butter or margarine
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1½ cups angel flake coconut – sweetened
1 cup chopped nuts (preferably walnuts)
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  (325 degrees for a glass dish)  In a 13×9-inch baking pan, melt butter.  Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter; pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs.  Top evenly with remaining ingredients (coconut, then the walnuts, then the chocolate chips); press down gently.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Cool thoroughly before cutting.  Store, loosely covered, at room temperature.

I hope you enjoy these cookie bars, and I hope your ingredients for a festive December all come together beautifully.

Warm regards,
Melody

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6 Comments

  1. Posted December 9, 2010 at 12:17 pm by Beth Nielsen | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing these the other day! Dangerous and delicious at the same time.
    Beth

  2. Posted December 9, 2010 at 3:29 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Beth,
    I’m glad you enjoyed them. Thank you for endorsing my recipe!
    Melody

  3. Posted December 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm by pam | Permalink

    Will definitely be making these to share on cookie plates! How easy can it be? And anything made with sweetened condensed milk has got to be w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l!

    Tamales! Tradition at our house too – just wish I had more family around to help out! I make mine in November and freeze them so we can eat a few here and there. Although it is traditional for us to have them on Christmas with Posole, I make enough so we can have them occasionally through out the holiday season too.

  4. Posted December 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Pam,
    I agree – the fact that they’re super easy and include sweetened condensed milk are positives in my book, too. Okay, now I’m hungry for tamales and pozole! Thank you for commenting, and for your enthusiasm.
    Melody

  5. Posted December 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm by pam | Permalink

    Just had to come back to tell you that I made these yesterday for cookie deliveries today. My sweetie, who feels it is his responsibility to sample my cookies for quality gave these his resounding approval!

    I can not believe how easy and how delicious these cookies are. Usually this type of cookie would be too much for this plain vanilla girl – but I loved them too!

    Thank you again for sharing the recipe.

    Still haven’t been able to get to the sugar cookies, but now that I am ready for Christmas, I have time! will report soon!

  6. Posted December 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Pam,
    Thank you for reporting back – I love reading comments and interacting with readers. 🙂 And hurray – I’m so glad that both you and your sweetie enjoyed the cookie bars. Yes, they’re ridiculously easy and delicious – I think they’re the perfect mix of ingredients. I look forward to your feedback on the sugar cookies. I have a feeling you’re going to LOVE them. Happy holidays!
    Melody

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