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Family Fun: Holiday Squares for the Time-Crunched

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Posted by : Sue Riedl, Fri, Nov 30 2012

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Baking cookies for the holidays is one of my favourite seasonal to-dos. But a person becomes a little Scrooge-ish with the goodwill after a holiday bake-a-thon with a 4-year-old that includes cleaning up puffs of flour every 5 minutes. So, last weekend I turned to this 7 Layer Squares recipe. It could not be more child-friendly (plus: no flour!): the kids can truly feel like they did everything themselves and the results are always a hit.


7_Layer_Squares

Recipe: 7 Layer Squares

Ingredients
125g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup graham crumbs
1 ½ cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped nuts (pecan, walnuts or almonds)

7_Layer_Square

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Start by pouring a ½ cup melted butter into the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch oven-safe dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup graham crumbs and press down with the back of a spoon to combine and form a nice graham base.

7_Layer_Squares_Crumbs

Now, evenly sprinkle 1 ½ cups shredded, unsweetened coconut. (As you can see from the pic, this is where the kids can really start to participate.)

7_Layer_Squares_Coconut

Now add in the 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (this is where the kids start to participate in eating the ingredients). Usually, I will add a few extra chips to help cover the whole area better.

7_Layer_Squares_Choc_Chips

Now, add 1 cup butterscotch chips. I find these very sweet so I do not add any more than the recipe asks for.

7_Layer_Squares_Butterscotch_Chips

I added the picture below to show you the “coverage.” It is also exciting to see so many chips and imagine their melting potential (well, it is for me).

7_Layer_Squares_Chips

Drizzle the whole dish with about ¾ cup condensed milk. Do lick sticky fingers.

7_Layer_Squares_Milk

Now add your last layer — the 1 cup chopped nuts. I used walnuts but you can also use pecans or slivered almonds.

7_Layer_Squares_Walnuts

Now, drizzle on the last of the condensed milk — just for a glaze on top. You don’t have to use it all up.

7_Layer_Squares_Nuts

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the nuts are golden and the edges of the squares look slightly crisp. Allow to cool, then slice into squares. These cookies are rich, so I portion them very small — almost 1 x 1 inch. They look really nice on a cookie tray this way, too, and they are also perfect for a cookie exchange. You know someone will be sending out that email soon….
 

7_Layer_Squares_Golden


Recipe: 7 Layer Squares

Ingredients
125g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup graham crumbs
1 ½ cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped nuts (pecan, walnuts or almonds)

Instructions  

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Pour the melted butter into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  3. Pour in the graham crumbs and combine gently with butter to absorb and form even layer on bottom of the dish.
  4. Evenly distribute the coconut on the graham base.
  5. Evenly distribute the chocolate chips.
  6. Evenly distribute the butterscotch chips as the next layer.
  7. Drizzle ¾ can of condensed milk over the layers.
  8. Evenly distribute the chopped nuts.
  9. Drizzle with the rest of the condensed milk to act as a glaze.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges crisp up and the top layer is golden brown.
  11. Cool and slice into small squares.


 

Sue_Riedl Sue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 4-year-old. 


 

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Posted: by Sue Riedl

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