Sunday 25 March 2012

Making Magic (and Memories): Magic Squares

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Let me tell you about these squares. This is not a pretty dessert. This is a functional dessert, when that function is to eat tasty treats and impress people with your tasty treats. These squares are magic, and nostalgic, and sweet, and delicious, and sunshine, and rainbows all rolled up into one, and when you make them they disappear at the blink of an eye. Just like magic.

Growing up I had a friend named Sarah. She was great. She was fun and adventuresome and had this magical house filled with delicious food and imagination. There are two foods that Sarah’s mom, Alice, used to make that will stick in my memory forever. Magic Squares and Fudgy Bars (more commonly known as millionaire's shortbread). As far as food memories go, Alice’s baking is way up there. Thank you, Sarah and Alice, for these delicious memories.

I recently made these squares for an appetizer themed dinner party (more on that another time) and they went like snow on a desert! This recipe makes a 9x13 sized pan, there were 8 of us for dinner and only 5 squares remained at the end. They are that good.

If you're feeling like a gooey, chocolate-y, coconut-y, sweet treat, these will surely fit the bill. And if you need to impress a crowd, well, I have solid proof that these will make you some friends and some memories.

Go ahead, whip up a batch of these magical delights, sit back and watch them disappear.

Magic Squares
First tasted about 20 years ago in Alice's kitchen, first made after stumbling across the recipe about 7 years ago in a bookstore - I don't know the name of the book, but credit is due there.

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 - 2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1 1/3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) - I use walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Melt butter and pour into 9x13 inch pan
  3. Sprinkle Graham Cracker Crumbs over butter
  4. Pour condensed milk evenly over top
  5. layer with remaining ingredients and press firmly so that the butter and condensed milk can help keep everything together
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned
  7. Let cool completely before slicing - they will be very sticky, especially while still warm, you may want to refrigerate them for a bit to help make slicing and removing easier - store at room temperature
  8. Share with friends and enjoy!

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