There’s something to be said about your childhood friends: the ones you’ve grown up with, slumbered with, shared their family stories and teased while their parents shared their own amusement as you and your friend goofed around at the dining table in your PJs. This is just one of many memories of having a childhood friend whose mom was like a 2nd mom to you. She was concerned for your well-being, your discipline, and your grades. She valued her daughter’s friendship with you, maybe even more than you yourself, at the time of your teenage growth. And you got in trouble with her once in a while too for not making the best decisions. She told you to not watch Degrassi Junior High (even though it was a PBS show!) and she told you to take care in your appearance. She loved you because you were her daughter’s friend. And now, this one 2nd mom of mine is gone. I miss her lectures and talks in her kitchen. And I didn’t even know I missed them til she was gone.
Though I loved her kitchen for the talks and the homeyness, the dining table, the Toaster Strudels and the other junk food, she and her family loved our desserts. Namely, my own mom’s Magic Bars.
Her family loved, absolutely LOVED my mom’s Magic Bars. And today, in honor of my second mom’s life and joy of living and entertaining, I’ll give you this remarkable recipe. I prefer this with bittersweet chocolate, just like life can be. Let’s all take a bite and remember those we have loved and lost.
Serves: 20 pieces
- ½ cup butter plus 1 ounce butter (I used ½ cup only, which is 1 stick, unsalted), melted
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used the boxed ones. Sheesh.)
- 1 cup coconut flaked (she means like the Baker’s brand sweetened coconut)
- 1 package 6 ounces chocolate chips (I used bittersweet)
- 1 can 14 ounce condensed milk
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a 13x9” baking pan, spray oil.
- Mix melted butter and crumbs in bowl and spread evenly in the pan. Press with spatula to make even.
- Pour condensed milk evenly, then chips, then coconut and nuts. Press with spatula.
- Bake 25-30 minutes in center of oven. Let cool and cut.