Monday, October 29, 2012

"Hello Dolly" Cake


I should rename this "Hello Sandy" in honor of the hurricane that's currently wreaking havoc in my neck of the woods.  But these bar cookies would be equally delicious in stormy and sunny weather, and everything in between.

My mother used to make a version of these; she called them Seven Layer Bars. And early in my marriage, the DH would eat bar after bar of these treats as soon as we passed my mother's threshold.  They're that addicting. And they're so easy, that a child can make these.  Which may be an excellent activity to all NYC residents, since school will be closed tomorrow. As an added bonus, it's less messy than even a one-bowl cake -- everything is placed in the pan in which it is baked.

Preheat your oven to 350 and then melt a stick of butter in a 9 x 9 pan.


While that's melting, crush up some graham crackers.  A ziplock bag and a rolling pin (or wine bottle) works beautifully.  You can also use a food processor, but why dirty a piece of kitchen equipment?

Next, sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs atop the melted butter.


Place the coconut on top, and then add the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.



Next, pour a can of sweetened condensed milk over the cake.


Bake for about 30 minutes. And, voila!


This obviously well-loved recipe was printed using a mimeograph machine, and tucked inside one of my vintage recipe boxes.

Important production note: Your life will be soooo much easier if you line the pan completely with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  This way, when the cake is done, you can simply lift it from the pan.  This makes cutting it into bars so much easier.




7 comments:

  1. These look so quick and easy (and delicious) that it would put me in great danger to have all of these ingredients constantly on hand! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods and Sandy has left you unscathed.

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. We're doing well here, and the silver lining is that I have plenty of time for baking.

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  2. Delish!! I will have to try this rain or shine.

    Now just mentioning mimeograph flooded (sorry Sandy) me with memories. My dad was a professor and he discovered by using "child labor" (my brother and I) to mimeograph and gather his 180 page syllabus, he could build character in his children and put a few extra pennies in his pocket.

    Glad you are staying high and dry with a sense of humor and desire to bake!

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    1. A 180-page syllabus!! That must have been some class! Thanks for writing, Kevel.

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  3. My mom and grandmother make this recipe; it is certainly a household favorite!

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  4. My family has made "Hello Dolly" cake for years and this is the first time I've come across the same name elsewhere. Everyone else seems to call them 7-layer bars (which I can never figure out - where is the 7th layer) or magic cookie bars. We actually double the recipe into a 9x13 pan and the trick is to pull them out when the top is just lightly browned and be sure to cut them while warm. Otherwise the Eagle Brand milk acts like glue on the sides of the pan. :)

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    1. Do you know the origin of the Hello Dolly name? And you're right -- where is that seventh layer? Great advice about pulling them from the oven and cutting them while warm. Thanks for writing!

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