I grew up on the East Coast, born and raised in New York before trekking to New Hampshire for my more formative years. During most of young years we lived with/or lived very close to my Granny and Grandad. I remember my Gran constantly baking up delicious treats that became a nightly staple after dinner. One such treasured treat were called Magic Cookie Bars, which quite honestly, are heaven on earth.
Nuts. Coconut. Chocolate. Sweetened Condensed Milk. Buttery Graham Cracker Crust. Get in my belly.
I decided to experiment in the kitchen and make a “real food” version of said heavenly deliciousness, crafting a grain-/gluten-free crust along the way. I think I got pretty darn close. I hope you enjoy the magic that are Magic Cookie Bars. Enjoy a taste of my childhood.
Real Food Magic Cookie Bars
1 and 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (where to buy)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (where to buy real, U.S. sourced sea salt)
1/4 cup almond flour (where to buy)
1/3 cup organic sucanat (where to buy)
1/2 cup melted butter (where to find butter from grass-fed cows)
1 and 1/2 cups organic sweetened condensed milk (make your own, or Trader Joe’s has a great organic option!)
1 cup soy-free, dairy-free chocolate chips (where to buy)
1 cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes (where to buy)
3/4 cup sprouted almonds, chopped (where to buy)
Preheat the over to 350 degrees.
For the Crust:
- In a food processor, combine the rolled oats, salt, and almond flour. Process for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture is broken down into a “floury” consistency. There were still be a few oat pieces that aren’t fully broken down; this is okay, as it will create texture in the crust.
- Take this floury mixture and pour it into a large sauce pan. Toast this mixture over medium heat, constantly stirring, until some of the mixture is toasted and golden brown (about 5 minutes). This will cook out the “raw” taste of the oats. Remove from heat, pour into a mixing bowl, and allow to cool completely.
- While the floury mixture is cooling, melt the butter in the sauce pan.
- When the floury mixture is cooled, mix in the brown sugar until well-combined. The pour in the melted butter and also mix until the floury mixture is coated in the butter.
- In a greased 8×8 glass dish, pour the buttery crust mixture into the pan. Using your fingers, press this mixture into the pan firmly to create an even layer of crust. Follow up the pressing down with your fingers with a fork to really make sure the mixture is tightly compact.
For the Topping:
- Take 1 cup of the sweetened condensed milk and pour it in an even layer over the crust.
- In a bowl: mix together the chocolate chips, coconut, and almonds then pour this mixture in an even layer over the crust and milk.
- Take the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk and drizzle it evenly over the top of the topping mixture. Using a fork, press everything down firmly into the pan.
- Put into the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top is slightly golden brown.
- Remove from oven and loosen the sides of the bars with a knife after it comes out of the oven. However, allow to cool completely before cutting into them.
- Cut into bars, and enjoy the noms.