“Magic Bars” are a retro classic that can be made more delicious by the introduction of ginger and a more imaginative mix of nuts and bits. Ginger provides a nice variant on the usual cinnamon or “pumpkin pie” spice (whatever that is), which often dominates dessert choices for the gastronomic blow-out known as Thanksgiving.
Try this: Instead of using only graham cracker crumbs, crush Ginger Snaps (any brand will do), and add powdered ginger to kick up the base. A blend of nuts — pecans, walnuts, cashews, almonds — and a mix of semi-sweet, dark, milk, butterscotch and white chocolate chips makes for a more complex, satisfying outcome.
This is a great way to use up remainders of small left-over amounts of whatever nuts and chips you have on hand.
Here are the steps for putting more magic in your bars:
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Melt one stick of butter in a 13×9 pan.
- Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of ginger snap crumbs into which you’ve added 1/2 tsp of ginger.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of flaked coconut
- Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped mixed nuts. Some in the mix can be lightly salted!
- Sprinkle 2 cups of mixed chips.
- Pour one can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk over all.
- Press down the entire surface firmly with a fork.
- Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Photo by Andrea Bonsignore