Every Christmas my aunt would make Magic Squares as part of her plate o' baked goodies. Nestled among the Peanut Butter Cookie Kisses, Brownies, and Banana Bread, I would specifically pick out the Magic Squares since I would ONLY get them that time of the year. When I found out one of my favorite food bloggers re-imagined these yummy bars into the portability of a cookie I knew I HAD to make them.
So these Magic Bar Cookies lack the complete "seven layers" i.e. condensed milk and nuts, but you could easily make them "six layer" cookies by adding your favorite nuts. Probably walnuts, those would be the best option to pair with the rest of the mix-ins.
I'll be totally honest, I'm a baker at heart, truly. A few weeks ago I even got a whisk tattoo! I love baking cupcakes, attempting macarons and even decorating cakes, but I swear cookies are my mortal baking enemy. For some reason I could never perfect the art of baking chocolate chip cookies. As I got older and more experienced, I realized my dough was too warm so when the cookie sheets hit the oven, the dough would spread right away, leaving me with sad chocolate chip pancake-esque cookies. It was literally a hot mess.
I love how this recipe called to chill the dough for an extended amount of time. 1) Because it lets all the flavors of all the mix-ins meld together. 2) The dough will be firmer and easier to work with. 3) The cookies won't bake up as quickly, which means they won't flatten out too fast, which means we won't end up with flat cookies! Hooray!
Reading the recipe the first time, I thought the graham crackers were an optional ingredient. I knew it would be to mock the shortbread used in a Magic Bar recipe but what I failed to notice was that the graham cracker crumbs act as flour in the cookie, which is why the amount of flour used in the recipe seems a little less than usual. I keep a stash of Golden Grahams on hand in the kitchen for when I have an order of Reptar Bars to fill so I figured using these would be comparable. They actually turned out to be easier to use as well since they were already bite sized, all they needed was a rough chop and they were cookie ready!
Well this little gif addition is new! With all the add-ins in this cookie it seemed like a fun way to incorporate all that textural goodness into a fun moving picture!
When I got around to scooping my cookie dough I may have used a large cookie scoop instead of a medium one. In case you were wondering, yes, there is a huge difference between the two and I ended up with MUCH larger cookies than the recipe intended. It wasn't a huge deal since not very many people complain about getting a bigger cookie, but it did affect how many cookies I was able to get out of the recipe. I doubled the recipe and ended up with about 30 large cookies vs. the 44 medium sized cookies that the recipe would have made had I used the right cookie scoop...whoops!
Seven Layer Magic Bar Cookies
adapted from Averie Cooks
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup Golden Grahams cereal, roughly chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Cream together butter, sugars, egg and vanilla with paddle attachment in stand mixer on medium speed until well combined (about 3-5 minutes).
Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, cornstarch, baking soda) in large bowl. Add dry mixture to creamed butter and sugar. Mix until just combined, do not over mix!
Add the mix-ins! Add the Golden Grahams (including crumbs), chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut to the cookie dough and mix on "stir" setting of stand mixer for about 30-40 seconds. You just want to get everything combined.
Using a cookie scoop form heaping 2 tablespoon mounds. You should get about 20-22 dough balls. Place your formed cookie dough balls on a plate or in a pan, flatten them a little bit with your palm and cover with plastic wrap. Let chill for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 5 days before baking. These cookies will spread too fast and will bake very thin if you try to bake them up with dough that is too warm.
After your dough has chilled and you're ready to bake preheat the oven to 350F. Line the baking sheet with a Silpat or grease your cookie sheet. Be sure to place the dough balls at least 2 inches apart as the cookies will spread a bit. My cookies were much larger than the 2 Tbsp. size listed here as I used a larger cookie scoop but I managed to fit between 8-9 cookies per cookie sheet. (I was using large cookie sheets).
Bake cookies for 8-9 minutes, no longer! The cookies will be brown around the edges but the center will be pale and look undercooked. The cookies will set as they cool on the cookie sheet so don't worry about them looking raw. The cookies can't be baked longer than 9 minutes so they can retain their soft, chewy texture.
Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling racks. Store cookies in airtight container and store at room temperature for up to one week or freeze them for up to 3 months.
PS. YAY! It's our 100th blog post!