Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Solstice

I'm feeling kinda depressed today.

I hate the new shower head a lot. It takes me so long to take a shower now, so long to get the soap off, so long to get the shampoo out, and even longer to rinse out the conditioner. Kinda defeats the purpose of a water saver shower head, doncha think? My back and scalp feel like they are starting to break out as if I'm not getting them clean enough. I feel like I'm at summer camp, all that's missing is the sulfur smell, too. Sheesh.

My husband pointed out a recipe on the label of the can of condensed milk: Magic cookie bars. The Girl and her friend, Hermione, helped me make them. Here's the recipe:

1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
.5 cups butter melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups chocolate chips (12 oz)
1.3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for glass dish).
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter, mix well. Press mixture into a 13x9-inch baking pan.
Pour condensed milk evenly over crumbs.
layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with a fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature.

Sounded easy enough. Hard to mess up. Right? They look pretty good coming out of the oven. But they are not "bars," they are crumbles. Taste OK, but don't hold together. They turned out like a chocolate chip cobbler.

Can any of you cooking types figure out what is wrong with this? Can you help me out and make my day?


kenju said...

Anne, I have been making them for years. Maybe you didn't press hard enough - I use a spatula - not a fork. If you let them sit a while and cool before cutting, they might hold together better. You can also make them with butterscotch chips, and a mix of 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 butterscotch. I love them! My son used to take them to college and sell them in his dorm for $1 each.

Kara said...

I dont know how to fix it, but it looks yummy anyway. as Kenju said, harder pressing might do the trick. Graham cracker crusts are always tricky.
Hapy Holidays from over at Michele's

just me said...

My mom used to make those all the time, but I don't like coconut, so I never bothered to learn how to make them. But just hearing the phrase "magic cookies" made me think of her. Thanks.

Sorry to hear about your shower-head woes. A bad shower is no fun. Maybe you should just put the old shower head back on.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hi, Anne! Michele sent me today.

The only thing I can think of is that when I made those bars, I used my hand and not a fork to press things down. Wash it first, lick it afterward. Bonus!

Hang in there; the solstice means the days are getting longer again. Summer will be here before we know it, and we can shower at summer camp again and smell like sulfur...

gautami tripathy said...

I hate when my head is not clean enough. It gives me an itchy feel.
I think you should change it back!

I don't know about cookies. I never made any!

Wishing you laughter,love, joy and much peace for Christmas and coming New Year!

Michele sent me here, your way!

Maddy said...

My 'guess' would be insufficient butter [or glue as we cooks so often refer to it] Half a cup is merely a smidge, hardly enough to grease the pan. Check the recipe again it was probably 5 cups of butter [or should that be sticks or ounces or grammes.....I'm a great help huh!

This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"which takes you straight to my new blog.

greeny said...

Ah, magic is what I need to make anything apparently. I tried butter fudge. The first time it was butter sauce, the second it's butter caramels. So much for the purchasing of a candy thermometer. So don't ask me what's wrong. I'll lead you astray,.
Ack, bad showers leave me feeling angry as well soapy! Luck finding an alternative.

kontan said...

Yummy! We call them seven layer bars, or at least I think it is the same. Either way, yum! On the water saver, totally agree. Defeats the purpose if your shower takes twice as long!

Here from Michele's

AM Kingsfield said...

My friend Julie has a wonderful recipe for them. Now I have to go to Texas to get them!

MarkEC said...

No help here.. but I will wish you a Merry Christmas! Hope Santa doesn't mind a few crumbs in his Magic Cookie Bars. Have a wonderful holiday break! Enjoy NYE at Rams Head.

Lisa said...

I like to bake bars on parchment. Then I lift the whole thing out to cool and cut with a chef's knife. Ok, so I cut off the edges all the way around, too. What can I say - I like symmetry in my bars. Things to check for your recipe - pan size, oven temp (may need calibration).

John said...

I hope you get your head worked out. Shower head I mean.

No help for your magic bars but when you get them figured out, give me a call. I'll help you eat them. You have my number, right?

Nikki-ann said...

I can't help with your bars, but they do look delicious!

Mery Christmas :)

Lorraine said...

Yeah, I'm thinking either not pressed hard enough or not allowed to sit long enough after they came out of the oven. But eating them with a spoon would be fun, I think.

Now go put on your old shower head and take a nice long hot shower.

BreadBox said...

If you are making the crumbs from scratch, make sure that there are not too many big pieces in there. If from packaged crumbs, that's not it.
Next, make sure that the butter is well combined with it (melt the butter first, then stir in thoroughly with a fork). As Maddy said, try a little extra butter.

The cooking time looks a little bit short to me: you could blind-bake the crust for 5 minutes first, and that might help.
The other thing is that heated condensed milk makes great caramel: so you could put in the first couple of layers and cook for 15 minutes, then add the rest and plonk it back in the oven, and probably not hurt anything. The bi thing, of course, is not to burn the crackers, or the chocolate.

As far as showerheads are concerned, I made the mistake of not buying one in Canada -- to me it is definitely a false economy, since a shower takes well over twice as long when using 75% as much water per minute. That is, for my showers, I use 50% more water than with a high flow head....


BreadBox said...

Oh, and "press" down the crumbs does mean "press"! With fingers.