Yes, they are Magic Cookie Bars

So you don’t consider yourself much of a baker, yet you’ve gotten yourself into the position of having to provide something for your child’s class/a pot luck/coffee hour. You need something fool proof, and oh, also fast because you just haven’t got the time for this.

Magic cookie bars will save you. They are fast, they are ridiculously easy, and unless you leave them in the oven for an hour and accidentally burn them to a crisp, they are foolproof. Also, everybody loves them.

I made a batch today, with some red and green candied chocolate chips sprinkles on top to make them extra festive. You can throw together a batch in the time it takes you to read this post.

Magic Cookie Bars

Magic Cookie Bars

  • 4 oz. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 cups coconut
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I use pecans, but any nut will do)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil.
  3. Put the butter in the pan and the pan in the preheating oven.
  4. When the butter is melted, remove the pan and sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the butter.
  5. Mix the two together and press the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  6. Drizzle the condensed milk evenly over the crumb crust.
  7. Top with remaining ingredients then press down on them firmly.
  8. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until browned around the edges.
  9. Cool thoroughly before cutting. (I flip the whole thing upside down on a cutting board, peel off the foil, and cut it into squares while it is still upside down. I find it easier to work with this way).

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut MacaroonsI love coconut macaroons. They are one of my favourite cookies, and have been since I was little. I’ve been making them since I was 7 or 8.

There are different kinds of macaroons. These are the dense, chewy ones, packed with coconut and flavored with a dash of almond extract. I like pretty much all macaroons, but I like these best.

I’ve played around with them over the years, adding chocolate chips, filling them with lemon curd, but in the end I always come back to the original, unadorned version, perfect in it’s simplicity.

Coconut Macaroons

  • 2 2/3 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 325.
  2. Combine the coconut, sugar, and flour.
  3. Stir in the eggs and almond extract and mix well.
  4. Let sit 10 minutes.
  5. Scoop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden.

Kootenay Cookies

I took a long drive to the B.C. interior this weekend to support my roller derby team as they battled it out in the Western championships. They even let me skate a couple of jams, which was very gracious of my teammates, seeing as I only started skating with them in April. It was an amazing feeling. I love those ladies.

Not wanting anyone to go hungry, I brought cookies. The recipe is my standard go to when I feel like improvising. It’s essentially a chocolate chip cookie batter, to which you can add whatever strikes your fancy. There is no set amount you have to mix into it. Add as little or as much as you like. They will be delicious either way.

This time around I raided my pantry and came up with pecans, pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, coconut, raisins, dried cranberries, corn flakes, and a leftover chocolate Easter bunny, which I chopped into pieces.

A note on the technique: When making cookies, cakes, or pretty much anything actually, I prefer to add the salt and leavening with the sugar at the beginning of the mixing process. It’s my standard personal mixing technique. I can’t really say why I do it this way except that I’ve done it this way for years and it’s never failed me yet.

Kootenay Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • Mix-ins: this time around I used oatmeal, coconut, pecans, pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, corn flakes, and chopped milk chocolate. I have no idea how much of each. I added them by the handful. In the end there was just enough dough to hold it all together.

Cream the butter with the sugars. Beat in the salt, baking soda, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the flour until just blended. Stir in mix-ins until just blended.

Divide dough into 4ths, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375.

Pinch off dough about 2 T. at a time and roll it into a ball. Place on a cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are nicely browned.

Pack cooled cookies into a large zip lock bag, and drive to the mountains.