Cookie Showdown: Layer Bars

Cookie exchanges are a staple at every holiday office party, including the offices of Chow Bella. But the contributors to this blog are a cutthroat bunch, and with an inordinate amount of trash talk thrown about, our cookie exchange quickly became a cookie showdown. Check back here each day through next week to get recipes you can use and find out who'll take home the Cookie Crown. 

Today's contender: Carrie Wheeler's Layer Bars.

Layer Bars
Layer Bars
Jonathan McNamara


When I was a kid, my mom was a part of a cookie exchange and baked somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 dozen of these Layer Bars every December.  She'd exchange a bunch and then store the extras in the deep-freeze,  just in case of a cookie emergency. My sister and I would then pilfer them one-at-a-time from the freezer (they are best when cold and a little hard)...usually until they were gone.

To this day, it doesn't feel like the holidays without a (frozen) layer bar. Luckily they are super easy to make -- just layer the ingredients, bake, cut...and freeze.

Get the recipe after the jump.

Layer Bars

Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 8 ounces of chocolate, butterscotch and/or peanut butter morsels  
- 1/2 cup Heath Bar chips
- 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 325 if you're using a glass dish)
- Pour melted butter into a  13 x 9 baking pan
- Sprinkle crumbs over butter and press down until the bottom of the pan is coated in a thin layer of buttered crust
- Sprinkle the chips, nuts, and coconut
- Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the whole dish
- Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes or until lightly browned
- Let cool, then cut into bars

Tip: If you make your own Heath Bar chips, freeze the candy first, then pound with a hammer until they are in bite-sized pieces.



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