Do you sometimes get a craving for a treat, but when you go to the cupboard both everything and nothing seem quite right? I’d love the honey-sweet crunchy taste of some Teddy Grahams, but then there’s the sweet and sticky delicious tub of caramel in the fridge that’s begging to be drizzled over something. Then again, I could seriously go for some of those candied pecans I made yesterday, but I’m also craving chocolate… It’s a vicious cycle for me. Sometimes I wind up eating everything (too often), and sometimes I just throw up my hands in frustration because nothing is quite what I want.
Well these delicious bars are exactly my solution for that. They’re the result of staring into the cupboard and wondering, “how on earth can I put all these cravings in one?” A crunchy crumb base, sweet maple caramel-like filling, pecans, chocolate; how would it be wrong?
Magic cookie bars have always been one of my favourite treats to pile up on my plate at holiday parties. They’re easy, delicious and at least one or two people will bring their own variant of them to a Christmas open house, so I always manage to get my fix of them if I hover around the dessert table long enough (and where else would I be?)
In these magic bars you could use either regular pecans like I did, or pecans that you’ve already candied for an extra kick of flavor and texture! I drizzled a little extra chocolate over the tops just for a prettier bar, but they were perfectly delicious without that added step. I may have taste-tested one (or three) before I added the chocolate!
I hope you try these yourself and make someone else who’s hovering around the dessert table this Christmas very happy!
Chocolate-Maple-Pecan Magic Bars
An amazing combination of every sweet-craving in each bite, these delicious easy to make bars are perfect to bring with you while you go visiting this holiday season!
Prep time: 15 min.
Bake time: 20-25 min.
Yield: One 9”x13” pan, 32 bars
2 cups graham crumbs
½ cup – ¾ cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup maple syrup (splurge on the real stuff!)
1 tsp maple extract
1 & ½ cup flaked coconut
2 cups pecan halves/candied pecans
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
½ cup dark chocolate, melted (Optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9”x13” pan well with non-stick cooking spray. Press a sheet of parchment into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. This will help you lift out the bars later.
2. Combine graham crumbs, melted butter and salt in a bowl and mix until combined. It should look like wet sand. Press crumb mixture onto an even layer in your pan. Set aside.
3. Mix together condensed milk, maple syrup and extract in a bowl until fully combined, then pour mixture gently over the graham crust. Tilt the pan to ensure the milk mixture has covered the entire bottom of the pan in an even coat. Sprinkle coconut over the milk mixture, followed by nuts, mini chips & butterscotch chips. Press the toppings down slightly into the condensed milk.
4. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Chill 30 minutes until set. Run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen the sides. Lift the bars out and onto a cutting board. * Cut the bars into the size you desire and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
* Optional: Melt ½ cup of dark chocolate in a double boiler, or in increments in the microwave until smooth. Drizzle over your magic bars and allow to set before slicing.