Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Cookie Week: Chocolate Magic Bars

This week seems to have flown by.  Here we are on the last day of Christmas Cookie Week already. 

I made some bars for today's post - the recipe is written below, but be sure and keep reading to get my assessment of them.

Base - 
2 cups (500ml) coconut, toasted
2 cups (500 ml) rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Topping -
1 1/2 cups almonds or mixed nuts (I used a mixture of almonds, walnuts, and peanuts)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
2 cans (300 mls each) regular or low fat sweetened condensed milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350F
2.  Toast coconut by spreading on a cookie sheet and baking for 8 - 10 minutes at 350F or until it starts to turn brown, tossing halfway through
3.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Line with parchment paper for easy removal (and believe me, it is necessary)
4.  In a large bowl combine toasted coconut, oats, sugar, and melted margarine.  
5.  Press into pan in an even layer along bottom and up the sides
6.  Bake in preheated oven for 18 - 20 minutes until golden brown
7.  Sprinkle cooked base with nuts, then with chocolate chips, and then pour the condensed milk evenly over the filling
8.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and bubbly
9.  Cool completely for at least 4 hours before cutting into squares

If I were to rate these bars they would get a 5 out of 5 for taste.  They were scrumpdelicious.  However, and this is a big however, I had a very difficult time getting them out of the pan in nice looking pieces.  They were sticky on the bottom and the top sometimes broke apart.  The pieces in these photos were sort of pushed back together so they look okay, but that doesn't really work well when they are part of a plate of cookies and squares.  So they would rate a 2 out of 5 in terms of appearance.  

I have to tell you that it was mighty frustrating to have them not work out as I had already made a pan of maple-walnut bars last weekend and they just wouldn't come out of the pan and the centre was runny so I scrapped them (and we were forced to eat them).  To have two fails was a bit of a bummer.

My mom and I take dessert to Christmas dinner and I like to have a mix of cookies and bars on the platter - thus far I only have cookies.  So my friends, I'm sending out a plea for you to share your tried-and-true bar recipes.  What is your go-to recipe for squares?  Do tell.  I'm hoping that the third times the charm.

Don't forget to pop over to my friend Angie at Echoes of Laughter and see what yummy recipe she has for you today.

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Linked to Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring,
Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm,
Friday Block Party at Curb Alert,
Overflowing with Creativity at It's Overflowing


  1. I make a different version of magic bars and they too kind of fall apart, but they are SO good that no one seems to mind and they fly off the plate. My tried and true bar cookies are Magic Bars and Lemon Squares...I also have a pumpkin bar recipe that is yummy. If you would like the recipes, let me know and I'll send them your way.


  2. Beautiful photos despite the pain of getting them out of the pan! I shared a bar recipe today too...confetti squares...which are the easiest ever and always the first ones to dissapear off the cookie tray! THanks so much for doing cookie week with me! Have w onderufl weekend! Angie xo

  3. Hello Grace! I am still full from Thanksgiving but those cookies sure look delicious. I am glad you stopped by my blog to see my tree star. Thank you!

  4. Yum! I'm pinning that! It sounds similar to another recipe I make but just different enough that my family would love to try it.

  5. Hello Grace! Thank you for your messages!
    These look nice! I'll have to try them.
    Have a lovely day! hx

    ps! for the Rss.. go to
    then on your blog left click and then go to view details and
    statistics. :) I didn't have a clue how to do that.. now we both know. :)

  6. I have been sooo busy lately that I seem to have missed this entire week of baking!! Oh I am happy I sat down to do some blog reading this morning. These recipes look fabulous and certainly fit in with my start theme.

  7. Grace those look soooo good! xo Maria