I've been pretty homesick lately. Not necessarily for the unGodly hot humid Tennessee temperatures but homesick for trees, rivers, Southern accents, non-pine forests, and rolling hills. And especially homesick for my big, crazy, beautiful, opinionated family.
I don't know if it's the pregnancy hormones or what but I keep wishing my Momma would swoop in with one of her big hugs and make me dinner. But there's this little detail of her living over 1200 miles away. Darn details.
So last week I decided to console myself by making one of the desserts that my Momma has made my whole life - one of those things that the second you smell it baking, all you can do is remember all the good times associated with them when you were growing up.
You start with butter (always a good place to start) and graham cracker crumbs. It's about 12-13 graham crackers or 1 3/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs.
And you press that winning combo into the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking pan.
I experimented with lining the pan with foil, thinking it would make the bars really super ridiculously easy to remove from the pan later. Except I found out that the foil actually makes removing the bars a nearly impossible task. So don't be like me. Skip the foil.
Now, in whatever order makes your heart happy, sprinkle chopped pecans, flaked coconut, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips on top of the graham cracker crust. Drizzle the entire thing with a can of sweetened condensed milk.
If you want to let your creativity go wild, try switching up the types of chips involved. Peanut butter and dark chocolate? White chocolate and mint chips?
Bake in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes - just until the edges turn golden brown and bubbly. Once the bars have cooled in the fridge for a bit, you can dig in and enjoy one of the world's best bar recipes. They're soft, chewy, chocolaty and just darn good.
Seven Layer Bars
Yields 24 bars
1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 can sweetened condensed milk
In a bowl, combine melted butter with graham cracker crumbs. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13" baking pan. Layer remaining ingredients on top, saving the sweetened condensed milk for last.
Bake the bars at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Allow bars to cool and then, before removing them from the pan or cutting them, place them in the fridge for an hour. Once the bars have firmed up a bit, you can go ahead and dig in!