Monday Magic

After a pile of lovely tomatoes took my attention from this space late last week, I promised to return with something sweet. Well, here I am and I bring with me Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Magic Bars. That's a lot in a name, but they really live up to it!

The base consists of a simple graham cracker crust. If you would like to make that super easy, pull out your food processor or blender and assemble it as directed below. For a special twist, use cinnamon graham crackers. They add just a hint of spice to the bars. Then a layer of sweetened condensed milk that becomes a caramelized layer of sweetness during baking is added. Then a generous helping of milk chocolate chips (although dark chocolate or white chocolate chips could also be used), flaky coconut, and crunchy pecans are added. Finally, a drizzling of sweet strawberry jam is applied over it all before baking. The result is a decadent bar with the unmistakable flavors of chocolate-covered strawberries added to every bite. I can't resist a closer look:

What's really fantastic about these bars is how quickly they come together and how fool-proof the recipe is. In fact, they have become one of my go-to treats for family gatherings, community potlucks, and impromptu entertaining. And, if you happen to be lucky enough to have leftovers survive, they hold up incredibly well. It's really hard to argue with a recipe like this … so I won't! Enjoy them.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Magic Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 1/2 packages of graham cracker sheets)
  • 1 stick butter – melted
  • 1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 - 12-oz. pkg. milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

If you don't have the crumbs already crushed, place graham cracker sheets in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until crumbs form. Add the melted butter and mix until they are completely combined. Press the mixture onto the bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crust. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts. Press the top of the mixture down gently with your hands.

Microwave the strawberry jam in a small, microwave-safe bowl for 25 to 30 seconds; stir. Drizzle the jam evenly over top of the bars.

Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into small bars.

  • Yields: about 20 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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