Seven Layer Bars
My husband called yesterday afternoon and asked if I could make something for his work potluck planned for today. I said sure, thinking I was fine with less than 24 hours notice, and figured I could throw something together with ingredients I had on hand. I found a recipe on Averie Cooks that looked perfect. I got busy making these bars and my children both begged me to let them have one when they were finished. I repeatedly told them no, not this time, because they were for their dad’s work. They were bummed but understood. The bars couldn’t have been easier to make and smelled great while they baked. I placed the cooled bars in the refrigerator to set. After I thought they had set properly, I removed them from the refrigerator to photograph and cut. Let’s just say, it didn’t go as planned.
I learned a few hard lessons while making this recipe:
1. Don’t try to remove the bars from the pan and carry them in the wax paper from the table to the counter because they will drop and fall to the floor. Thankfully, they landed on the waxed paper side so they were still edible.
2. Let them set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, if not, they won’t have set completely and when you drop them on the floor they will become an ugly mess.
3. Make sure to spray wax paper with cooking spray, because the bars will stick to the waxed paper – it took a lot of time & patience to remove all of the wax paper from these bars.
I wanted to cry. Seriously.
My kids were ecstatic that they got to keep the bars at home and they each gobbled one up for dessert last night. Although they weren’t so pretty they said they were super delicious. Since they were such a huge hit, I decided to post the recipe anyway. Thankfully, there was one corner of the bars that didn’t get ugly so I was able to take a photo of it.
Needless to say, my poor husband went to work today empty handed. UGH.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with waxed paper or tinfoil (make sure it is longer than the pan so you can use the ends as handles to easily remove it from the pan). COAT WAXED PAPER OR TINFOIL WITH COOKING SPRAY.
Melt butter in a large bowl in the microwave then add the graham cracker crumbs to it. Mix well to combine then press crumb mixture evenly into the lined baking pan. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture.
Layer evenly with half of the coconut, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and toffee bits. Repeat using the remaining ingredients.
Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until top is just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Place into the refrigerator for 2 hours to let the bars completely set.
Remove from the refrigerator and make sure the center of the bars is set. Carefully remove the bars from the pan holding onto the excess ends of the wax paper (or tinfoil). Place on the counter. Remove the bars from the waxed paper or tinfoil then place on a cutting board. Cut into small squares because they are very rich and decadent. Serve with cold milk. Enjoy.
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ⅓ cups sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- ½ cup Heath Bar toffee bits
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper or tin foil (make sure it is longer than the pan so you can use the ends as handles to easily remove it from the pan). COAT PARCHMENT PAPER OR TIN FOIL WITH COOKING SPRAY.
- Melt butter in a large bowl in the microwave then add the graham cracker crumbs to it. Mix well to combine then press crumb mixture evenly into the lined baking pan. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumb mixture.
- Layer evenly with half of the coconut, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and toffee bits. Repeat using the remaining ingredients.
- Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Place into the refrigerator for 2 hours to let the bars completely set.
- Remove from the refrigerator and make sure the center of the bars is set. Carefully remove the bars from the pan holding onto the excess ends of the parchment paper (or tin foil). Place on the counter.
- Remove the bars from the parchment paper or tin foil then place them on a cutting board. Cut into small squares because they are very rich and decadent. Serve with cold milk. Enjoy.
Make sure you categorize this one under “comedy of errors” or Murphy’s law…. Looks good!! Needed a pic of the mess on the floor to truly appreciate!! Did you find a voodoo doll on the floor with chips next to it?? 😉
These bars look great! Bummer to hear about them falling.. but at least they were still got to be enjoyed! Maybe you can make them again… 😉 Yummy!
i must have those bars. awesome!
Been making a version of these for years for MY hubby to take to work at Christmas. Not a graham cracker fan, so I substitute crushed ‘Nilla Wafers instead. Just throw a few in the blender at a time and give them a whirl! I also did not know of the wax paper trick and have fought with and ended up with fugly bars every year. THIS year, they will NOT be fugly!! Thanks for that tip!
AWWW!! At least your kids were happy. What a shame! I always keep boxed brownie mixes for emergencies like that– I’ve had plenty!
Ooohhhh… I’m sorry to hear you had such a hard time with them… but I have to admit, the way you tell the story is seriously funny. I’m sure it was not funny to you at the time, but hey, we all have messes in the kitchen (at least I do!!)!!! I’d blame kids.. they probably sabotaged the whole thing just to make sure they kept the bars! lol (j/k) They still look incredible, Pam!
We make a similar bar but wait and pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top after everything has been added first. I think it helps it all to set better. Then we put the little pieces into individual mini cupcake papers. They present better that way and if they don’t set as easily, inside the mini papers they just look cute enough to eat anyways.
Oh no! I hate when baking lessons have to be learned the hard way. Looks like these still turned out super delicious, Pam!
These bars sound delicious! even if it is not in bar shape ;-).
Thanks for posting the tips!
oh, I hate it so much when that stuff happens! I bet they still tasted awesome and your misfortune probably made your kids day. I’m sure your husband’s co-workers won’t turn down a surprise treat another day!
I would call it seven layers of pure pleasure and indulgence!!
Hard to reisit.
Aww that stinks! But i must say, I’ve TOTALLY been there. It’s always the desserts that matter the most or that you’re going to serve to other people that end up getting messed up. At least in my experience.
Dear Pam, They were just meant for the kids!
I am sure they were very delicious.
Don’t feel bad you did your very best and I do believe it is the thought and the effort that counts most of all.
Blessings dear and a hug, Catherine xo
The bars look yummy, too bad it didn’t turn out quite as you planned.
At least your kids were happy with the final result 🙂
I have been making these bars for 30 years, and I never get tired of them. My son expects them when he comes to visit. I’m sorry you had the mishap with them, but I am glad your children got to have some for dessert. This is a recipe that everyone should have in their recipe box! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes : )
Oh my goodness, I would have cried too. But at least the kids got them!!
So decadent, but SO delicious I’m sure. I wish I had one now!! Great post!
Awwww… bummer there were some difficulties but it looks and sounds delicious Pam!
I am so happy that you posted a recipe failure (with your improvements). I’m sorry this recipe failed and your husband didnt get to take it to work, but thank you for posting the recipe and what you did to fix it. If you love to cook and bake, there will be recipes that fail. Thanks for taking the time to post about it!
Hmmm…not sure what went wrong for you. I have been making these for 30 plus years and have never had this problem of them not being ‘set’. Ours are usually pretty firm. Maybe they need to be baked longer. We always have these at Christmas. They are a tradition at our house.
Tried these over the weekend — OMG, ~so~ delicious! However, despite trying to learn from your experience and coating the waxed paper with cooking spray, they STILL stuck like crazy on the edges. We ended up turning the whole sheet over, removing the wax paper tediously form the bottom and then cutting away the edges. (Since I followed the other advice, too, and let them sit in the fridge a good long while, we could do this.) Maybe the tinfoil would work better? Alternatively, I might try using the base from the “Dream Bars” recipe in the Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book. Similar, and I’ve not had any trouble getting those out of the pan. 🙂
lessons learned, nothing wrong with that. the bar you’ve shown looks delicious, so i’m actually glad your kids got them and not your husband’s coworkers. 🙂
Those bars look so good!
They say to do it to prevent a mess but what it did was make a mess. If you don’t use it, please let me know how it turns out! My kids loved these bars and would like me to make them again.
I had a crappy day (nothing major), so I made these and my mood improved greatly. lol These are delicious!! Thanks for sharing.