Recipe: seven layer cookies
Our neighbors are absent in summer because they run a camp in the wilds of Canada. It’s really too bad because we quite like these neighbors and their giant walking carpet of a dog (she’s such a lover). The kids return in late August when school starts, and then the mother comes back in September and finally, the father wraps everything up and returns in October. We see glimpses of one another in the driveways as summer transitions into autumn. It’s a busy time for us too with travel and work such that I make a point of going over to welcome them home. I can’t really walk over empty-handed, because… I can’t.
graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, coconut, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, macadamia nuts
buttering the pan and lining with parchment paper (and buttering again)
So I’m flipping through my old notebook with my earliest recipes, looking for a certain cookie when these seven layer cookies caught my eye. This was a recipe from my days growing up in Virginia, something the ladies would bring to potlucks. It is sweet beyond all get out and is filed with the rest of my favorite “white trash” recipes. I hadn’t made these in over 20 years. I know this because Jeremy had neither heard of them nor tasted them before. Time to whip up a batch, no?
mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs
press into the bottom of the pan
These are the kind of treats that rot your insides, but are surprisingly snacky. That’s why I 1) haven’t made them in 20 years and 2) gave most all of these away. It’s foolproof too. I really don’t think anyone can mess this recipe up. If you do manage to mess it up, don’t tell me.
pour the sweetened condensed milk over the crust
layer the butterscotch and chocolate chips
There is an enormous amount of flexibility to this recipe because it’s just layers of stuff, really. Technically, I think it’s six layers, but seven ingredients. However, seven sounds like you’re really getting a bargain compared to six. Change the stuff up as you like – add dried fruit, pretzels, white chocolate, whatever. Just make sure you have something sticky or gooey that will hold it all together or else you will experience baking FAIL. We all have to stick together, yo.
distribute the nuts (i used macadamia nuts)
The bars are rather good. I mean, some of the ingredients kinda creep me out (like butterscotch chips – what the hell ARE those?), but when it all gets baked together, something magical happens. It’s that white trash recipe goodness that I cannot explain. No one seems to require an explanation though, they just gobble them up.
seven layer cookies (aka seven layer magic cookies)
welcome home, neighbor
Seven Layer Cookies
from the Eagle Brand site even though I use an organic brand instead
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted (plus extra for greasing the pan)
14 oz. (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cup flaked or shredded coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
Brush some melted butter on the inside of a 9×13-inch baking pan. If you want to cut the bars neatly, line the pan with parchment paper and brush more melted butter on the parchment paper for ease of release. Otherwise, you can omit the parchment paper if you plan to cut the bars in the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the graham cracker crumbs together with 1/2 cup melted butter and press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker crust. Sprinkle the butterscotch chips evenly over the sweetened condensed milk and repeat for the chocolate chips. Scatter the coconut over the chips and finally top with chopped nuts. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tops begin to turn golden. Remove from oven. Use a knife to loosen the edges from the pan and let cool in the pan. If you used parchment, when the bars have cooled, lift the whole thing from the pan by the parchment and then slice. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.