Easy Like a Sunday Morning, that’s how the recipes in my “Easy” category will be. Nothing rushed or frantic, nothing with a long list of ingredients. Something that is so easy, you don’t really need a recipe. Something that almost cooks itself or requires no cooking at all.
I held off on publishing this recipe because it doesn’t fit in with the more wholesome recipes I’ve been publishing of late but then I thought hey, you can decide for yourselves whether or not you want to make them. For us, these are a once in a blue moon treat. Not something I make very often.
I made these sweet treats for the 2011 Holiday Season. Mr Fox wanted these because they were one of his favourite Traditional Christmas Treats. It had been years since he had them. Could I make them gluten free?
“Seven Layer Bars”, “Magic Bars”, “Big Fat Layer Bars”, “Everything Bars”, “Candy Bars”. Whatever name you call them by, I’m sure you’ve had them. They’re yummy but full of fat and ridiculously sweet. In fact, they’re so sweet, you’ve got to know there can’t possibly be a speck of healthy in them. They are the sort of thing I know I shouldn’t serve my loved ones but when my Hubby tells me they are one of his favourite traditional holiday treats, how could I not make them?
I perused Googleland looking for a refresher on the ingredients for these bars. The original recipe apparently came from Eaglebrand Condensed Milk. Most versions of the bars had a graham cracker-crumb base that was topped with nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and some Sweetened Condensed Milk to hold it all together. Seemed like it would be easy enough to do gluten free. I wasn’t sure where I might find GF Graham Cracker Crumbs but that wasn’t going to be a show stopper, I could always make some GF Graham Crackers!
I ended up making two batches of these bars. The first batch (pictured above, with the red and white background) had a traditional Graham Cracker Crumb Crust made with some homemade Gluten Free Graham Crackers. I made the second batch with a thicker and softer crust (pictured below, with the green background). I preferred the second batch because the squares with the dough-like crust didn’t seem as tooth jarring sweet as the ones with the thinner graham cracker crust.
If you are interested in a vegan and/or a more allergy friendly version of the bars, you should check out this recipe for Gluten-Free Magical Seven Layer Bars Vegan Soy-Free Nut-Free Casein-Free by Gluten Free Gigi
Recipe: Seven Layer Bars With Gluten Free Crust
Summary: This version of Seven Layer Bars, uses a gluten free cookie dough crust, instead of the traditional Graham Cracker crust.
Gluten Free | Egg Free | Vegetarian
- 1/2 Cup + 1 Tbsp millet flour
- 1/2 Cup tapioca starch/flour
- 1/3 Cup + 2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
- 1/4 Cup brown rice flour
- 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2/3 Cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Toast the coconut; Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake until the outer flakes just begin to brown, about 4 minutes. (Keep a close eye on it – coconut can go from slightly browned to burnt in a matter of seconds.) Set aside.
- Grease, butter or line a 9 by 13 inch pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together millet, tapioca, sweet rice and brown rice flours. Add xanthan gum, whisk until uniform in colour.
- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, vanilla, butter and brown sugar. Add the dry ingredients, mix just until a thick dough is formed.
- Spread dough uniformly in prepared pan, it will be fairly thin.
- Bake for 15 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from oven but leave the oven on, you’re not done with it yet.
- Pour sweetened condensed milk over crust. Layer evenly with nuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and coconut. Press down firmly with a fork.
- Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Cut into squares or cut on the diagonal for diamond shaped squares.
- If you don’t want to be bothered with measuring out the various flours, you can replace the millet, tapioca, sweet rice and brown rice flours, with 1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour blend.
- strong>Tip:line entire pan with parchment paper, extending paper over edges of pan to act as handles for lifting the bars. After bars have baked and cooled, grasp both sides of the extended parchment paper, lift up to remove from pan. Cut into bars
- For a traditional Graham Cracker Crust, omit the Crust ingredients as listed above. In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crumbs with 1/2 cup melted butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350°F for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Follow topping instructions as listed above.
- Optional: Replace chocolate chips or nuts with candy coated pieces, dried cranberries, raisins or mini-marshmallows.
Recipe by Laureen.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 24
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