Monday, October 11, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Bars

Whew, so today's recipe is #5 for the bake-off. I believe I officially started the bake-off last Tuesday....five recipes in one week and with 4 1/2 of those days being spent out-of-town...I am a baking machine. Or insane. Probably both. I have one recipe to go which I'm going to try to conquer before Thursday. The results thus far have been fascinating (and tasty). My roommates are very appreciative of this project.

JessicaM submitted today's recipe. She's just oozes sweetness, majored in Chinese, and I will admit to instantly liking her because she likes Gilmore Girls.

I need a moment here. The Gilmore Girls are my most favorite show of all time. That's a bold statement I know. And I dearly loved shows in my youth, but the Gilmore Girls... I'd add more clips if I weren't so uncertain about the legality of it.

Here is JessicaM's recipe:

Chocolate Raspberry Layer Bars
Makes 2 dozen bars.

1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
2 cups (12-ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 2/3 cups (7-ounce package) flaked coconut
1 1/4 cups (14-ounce can) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup seedless red raspberry jam
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in medium bowl. Press firmly onto bottom of an ungreased 13 x 9-inch backing pan. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, then coconut; pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over top.

Bake in preheated 350° F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned; cool completely in pan or wire rack.

Spread jam over cooled top; sprinkle with walnuts (optional). Place remaining semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips in separate heavy duty plastic bags. Microwave together on Medium-High (70%) power for 45 seconds; knead bags to mix. Microwave at additional 10-second intervals, kneading until smooth. Cut a small hole in corner of each bag; squeeze to pipe over bars.

(I can never pipe the chocolate to make it look pretty, so afterwards I take a fork and using straight lines across the pan, spread the chocolate out evenly over the top. The tines of the fork create lines of chocolate that can look good without being perfect.)

Refrigerate for 5 minutes to set chocolate. Cut into bars.

JessicaM's results:
The roommates went back for seconds. That should indicate how much they loved it. It was so simple to make. Since it's a rich dessert, you can serve smaller portions which means you get more servings out of something like this. Jessica said it was a staple dessert in her home when they have people over and I can definitely see why it does so well.

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