Quick note from the editor: Now through midnight December 31, comment on any of the 2017 Christmas Cookie Palooza recipes to let me know which one is your favorite — and in so doing, you’ll be entered in my drawing to win a copy of The Findlay Market Cookbook! Enter as often as you’d like; one winner will be randomly selected from all entries. Love to you!
In this holiday season, can we share a bit of honesty, friends? Let’s acknowledge that Seven Layer Bar Cookies are not, in fact, cookies. They’re more like candy bars. Which is totally fine, of course. Calling them by their true name recognizes their utter decadence, their chocolatey, butterscotchy deliciousness.
Here’s another recipe in The Dorothy Project: my Grandma Dorothy’s recipe for Seven Layer Bars. It’s likely the same as your grandma’s recipe for Seven Layer Bars. These delicious little squares were ubiquitous on the buffet table at Christmastime when I was a kid. Everyone loves them.
[Here’s a confession: I hatehatehate coconut. Hate. It. So I skipped the coconut when I made the recipe for the photograph here. But if coconut is how you roll, then by all means.]
Funny thing about Grandma’s recipe: As you can see from her handwritten old recipe card in the photo, it calls for a package each of butterscotch chips and chocolate chips. Which, my dears, is soooooooo many chips. A quick online search told me that the proper amount of chips is 1 cup of each. Packages of baking chips back when Grandma copied down this recipe must have been half as big as they are today.
So, here you go. Grab some butterscotch chips (you probably have semisweet on hand already) and a can of sweetened condensed milk and go to town. Make these traditional Christmas bar cookies … erm, candy bars.
seven layer bar cookies
makes about 48 small squares
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup moist coconut
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk.
Line a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish or quarter sheet pan with parchment paper; spray sides of pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350°. Pour the melted butter in the bottom of the pan and tilt to spread it evenly. Layer ingredients in order given, then pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top. Bake until deeply golden brown and set, about 25 minutes. Run a thin spatula around the perimeter of the pan to loosen the bars while they're warm, then let cool. Use the parchment paper to lift the whole thing out of the pan, then cut into small squares.