sometime after having ellie, i was invited to a mom get together. fellow mom, gretchen, brought a plate of magic bars. it was my first time away from ellie and in the hour and a half i was there, i never left that plate's side. i ate a couple bites of various vegetable and fruit platters in an attempt to appear normal, but in reality, i ate my and everyone else's fair share of those magic bars. i then snuck a few out to eat on the way home. i'm pretty sure i used nursing cravings as an excuse with those who were around me long enough to realize what was happening, but lets face it, new baby or no new baby, the outcome would have been the same. or worse. without a hungry baby to return to i could have easily stayed and polished off the whole plate.
over the next two years i tried more than a handful of magic bar recipes. one of which was featured here. all the while, i would intermittently email gretchen, hoping not to come across as a stalker. the last message must have sounded just desperate enough because she sent me the goods. thank you gretchen! i hope you didn't feel it necessary to change your email address when i told you i loved you. here goes::
using the back of a measuring cup makes pressing the crumbs simple and even. and thank you trader joes for helping me rationalize how many of these i will be eating::
this is where gretchen's recipe differs. and its my hypothesis that this is what gives hers the perfectly chewy texture i've been trying and failing to recreate. the sweetened condensed milk is spread directly onto the crumbs before the sprinkling of chips and coconut flakes::
you cannot begin to image the joy. unless you've been reading this blog for a while and have grown accustomed to my usual geeking out over such things::
gretchen's son is in owens class and i ran into her at international night. over by the great wall of china i thanked her again and asked her one more quick question. she said she wouldn't mind at all if i passed on her recipe! so here you go::
gretchen's magical magic bars, the recipe::
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. press firmly into bottom of lightly buttered 13X9 inch pan. pour sweetened condensed milk over crumbs. layer evenly remaining ingredients. bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until light brown and bubbling all over. cool and cut into bars. store in the fridge for added chewiness. try not to eat the whole tray in one sitting, for breakfast.