Raising the Bar

If you're like me, candy bars don't hold a candle to homemade bars. They taste better, aren't filled with lots of artificial this and that, and seem to satisfy my sweet tooth without requiring a bit slice. So a tweak to a tried and true treat is really enough to make me smile:

If you're familiar with traditional magic bars, these are very similar, but they have a bit more coconut and almonds instead of pecans. The result is a bar that takes some of the flavors of Almond Joy candy bars and makes them all your own. And don't worry about getting messy when eating these. Part of the magic is having them in summer when you can go out in the yard and have a water fight to rinse off!

These bars are really great for potlucks, picnics, and other summer gatherings. I like to make sure I've had them in the refrigerator overnight before taking them on the road though. A little extra chilling will keep them from falling apart and requiring more involved cleaning than the above-mentioned water fight. Enjoy the treats of summer!

Almond Magic Bars

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 c. shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 c. slivered almonds
  • 12 oz. sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a 9x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

To make the crust, cream the butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and egg; mix until combined. Add the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt and mix until fully combined. Press graham cracker dough evenly into the bottom of your prepared baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and sprinkle with the chocolate chips (reserving a small amount for the top), coconut, and slivered almonds. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top (you might not use it all, don't drown it!) and sprinkle with reserved chocolate chips. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until set.

Allow the bars to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and then cool further in the refrigerator to cool all the way through (the bottom of the pan will be cold). Cut into 12 squares. DO NOT cut the bars while they are still warm.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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