Three… well now it’s four… summers ago, I attended my first writing camp, which had the most horrible dining hall food. Ever. No one was very fond of it, especially the tofu dogs that bounced up and down your plate and tasted like rubber. The desserts were good, though, as they are very difficult to mess up. Sugar is sugar, and butter is butter, and sugar + butter = something good. No matter what. That’s why Paula Deen is so famous.
One day they had these things called “Magic Bars.” I was disappointed because, being a 15-year-old girl at the time, I didn’t have the taste for coconut. Or nuts (I’m still not very fond of nuts). But my friends had it, and they described it, fittingly, as “magical.”
Well, this summer, as I was looking through the internet for easy things to bake, I came upon these Magic Bars frequently. With my more refined *ahem* palate, I decided to give it a try. I finally settled on a specific recipe although they are all very alike:
1 1/3 cups (90 grams) sweetened or unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (100 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans
1 – 14 ounce can (396 grams) sweetened condensed milk
First, you take your stick of butter, and pour it into a buttered 9 x9 in pan.
I only added 1 cup of coconut even though the recipe says 1 and 1/3. You can add as much or as little as you want. One cup worked out well for me.
Okay, so at this time, you can add the walnuts/pecans. I did not. Because I still don’t like nuts. So I just went ahead and added the condensed milk.
Put it in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I left it in a little bit longer. I panicked when the sides turned super brown. But fear not, caramelized condensed milk tastes amazing. Those browned sides became my favorite. I mean, you don’t want it to turn black and burn, but a little dark(er) browning won’t do you any harm. Just make sure the center is fully cooked.
They didn’t look like much. I mean they weren’t pristine and glossy and topped with fresh fruit. But they were magical.