Friday, May 22, 2009

Seven Layer Bars

Tomorrow we're going to a cookout and I knew that I wanted to take a cookie or other dessert-type item, but I just wasn't sure what. So tonight I'm just sitting there and seven layer bars pops into my head. It's been ages since I've eaten one and even longer since I've made them. Have I ever even made them in my adult life? Maybe in college.

I looked through my recipe box of clipped dessert recipes (desserts get their very own box and everything else goes in another), but alas, no seven layer bar recipe. I moved on to the cookbooks. I could have gone straight to the internet, but I knew my umpteen cookbooks would not let me down and they didn't.

I started with the plastic ring-bound cookbooks that are typical of the church fundraiser. The first book had nothing, but I struck gold with the next book, "Roaring Good Cookbook" by the Witt Lioness Club in Witt, Illinois. There on page 64 was the following recipe for submitted by Kathryn Walcher for Seven Layer Bars:

Seven Layer Bars

1 stick oleo

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs

1 small or large pkg. chocolate bits

1 small or large pkg. butterscotch bits

1 c. coconut

1 c. chopped nuts

1 can Eagle Brand milk

Put in layers in order. Cover all with Eagle Brand. Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

That's it. I love how Kathryn assumed that her readers were familiar with the desired outcome of the dish. If you had never eaten a seven layer bar would you know to make this in a 9x13-inch baking dish? Would you know to melt the oleo (butter would be yummy) in the baking dish while the oven preheats? How big is a small or large bag of chocolate bits? What do they look like when they're done? How many servings does it make?

All of the ingredients I had on hand. Six of the seven were purchased back during "baking season" before Thanksgiving and Christmas. The seventh item, graham crackers, I picked up this week for no particular reason other than the fact that "s'mores season" is kicking off at all my stores. All of the stores had marshmallows, graham crackers and milk chocolate bars on sale. They would have you believe that no Memorial Day party would be complete without a few ooey-gooey s'mores.

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