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Have you ever had a food that has just grown on you?
As a kid, I would not say I was picky, but I did pick the mushrooms out of any cream of mushroom soup recipe my mom made. Every. Single. One. You know what I am talking about; those tiny little specks of brown, almost unnoticeable to the palette and the eye. Thinking back, it is hilarious to me to think that I would eat the mushroom flavored soup, but those little mushroom flecks had to go!
I had a similar dislike for coconut. My Aunt has been making these 7 Layer Bars my entire life, but not until a year ago did I actually make them, and maybe 6 months ago did I even try them. The fact that there was coconut in the recipe, stopped me from ever eating a single bar. I bet I had the opportunity to try them roughly 100+ times in my life, but never once had I tried them. “I don’t like coconut.” That was my story, and I was sticking to it.
When I met The Hubby and started eating more Vietnamese food than I ever thought possible, coconut came into my life in so many more forms and ways than it ever had before. There is coconut milk, coconut water, fresh coconut, coconut flakes, and it goes on and on. I used to tell my mother-in-law, “No, thank you,” every time she gave me something that had coconut milk on top of it. And boy are there a lot of Vietnamese desserts that use coconut milk!
She never did stop asking, which is the sweet part about her. Finally, I started “tasting” desserts that had coconut milk. And you know what, they were good. They tasted much better than the coconut flakes of my childhood. Next, I went to Indonesia, and was given a fresh coconut with a straw in it by a factory owner. In the spirit of doing business, and not offending, I took the coconut and drank it. I drank it all. It was delicious!
Now I am not going to go as far as say I love coconut and I eat and drink all things coconut flavored, but you will find me at least trying most things that have coconut. And some of them I enjoy. I do really like Vietnamese Colored Rice Cakes with coconut milk poured on top. I will buy myself a Lemon Coconut Water at the grocery store, and if I have a chance to drink from a fresh coconut I don’t hesitate. I call this relationship with coconut, “tolerance”.
Which brings me back to these One Pan 7 Layer Bars, which I had sworn off most of my life. I figured I would start making these bars because they seemed like a crowd favorite, and pretty simple to throw together. I normally have all of the ingredients at home to make these last minute. I also make lots of things I don’t eat, but know other people do– like my grandpas favorite Cry Baby Cookies. I had written these bars off as ones I would make, but not eat.
With my new found “tolerance” for coconut, I thought I should not only bake them, but actually taste them. Wouldn’t you know it, I actually like these bars. I feel silly for missing out on the 100+ opportunities I had had in the past to eat them.
The Hubby asked recently, after shoving a second bar into his mouth, why I had never made these bars before. I guess it just took me a little longer to come around to them than others.
This might not be a new recipe to everyone, but sometimes an oldie is a goodie! And its pretty new to me 😉
P.S. I am falling for Instagram Stories… so don’t forget to follow!!
- 1/2 cup margarine or butter (1 stick)
- 1 sleeve of graham crackers
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1 1/2 cups semi- sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups butter scotch chips
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
- 1 can sweet and condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a 9 x 13 baking pan, place butter. Place in the oven until melted, 3 or less minutes. Remove from oven.
- Place graham crackers into a gallon size ziploc bag and seal. Using a rolling pin, crush crackers until they resemble a powder. You could also place them in a food processor to crush.
- Pour graham crackers into baking pan with melted butter. Be careful if your pan is still hot, to not burn yourself. Using a fork, fully combine crackers and butter. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan to create an even crust.
- Sprinkle coconut, chocolate chips, butter scotch chips and nuts, in even layers on top of crust.
- Drizzle sweet and condensed milk evenly over the top of the bars. Opening the can 2 inches on either side will allow you to drizzle a small stream out of the can, vs. opening the can entirely.
- Return bars to the oven to bake for 25 more minutes, our until lightly golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting.
- Store in an covered.