A layered sweet treat that’s perfect for the holidays – fast and easy too! Dark Chocolate and Mint Chip Squares are gooey and messy, and perfectly addicting!
When I sat at my desk to write up this recipe, I began to think of how many times my mom would make these when I was younger. I cannot tell you how many times she made these, but I can tell you this, it was nearly every weekend. She called them Magic Bars and she loved them, and making them in my own kitchen today, brought back so many memories of her and these bars.
Truth be told, I believe this is only my second time making these bars – at least since I started blogging! Just like the last time though, I am making these Magic Bars my way and not in the traditional way most of us have seen the recipe written, therefore, I’m calling these Dark Chocolate and Mint Chip Squares.
You see, traditionally, the sweetened condensed milk is added on top of the graham crumb layer, but I have found that leaves the base of the bar a little too soggy, and also allows for the falling away of the other ingredients which are just piled on top. By adding the sweetened condensed milk last, the sweet stickiness was able to melt down through all of the layers so that you get a little bit in every bite.
Now, if you’re experienced with Magic Bars at all, you’ll no doubt know that they are a glorious mess! The base is meant to be crumbly, so there’s that. The middle is a gooey, chocolaty mess that’s just delicious to eat no matter how many crumbs fall in your lap or how many times you have to lick your fingers! I really don’t think there’s any way around it!
In typical Lord Byron fashion, I wanted to put my own little spin on these for Christmas, so I made them minty, and they’re so delicious! I used the Toll House Dark Chocolate and Mint Chips – you can find them almost anywhere at Christmastime. I bought mine at Wal-Mart.
If you can’t find them, you can use one cup of regular dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips, and one cup of mint chocolate chips. The Toll House brand just happens to have green mint chips, but most of the mint chips that I see from other brands tend to be white, but still minty.
Now, even though my mom made these religiously, and I remember seeing the recipe on the Eagle Brand of sweetened condensed milk can, I thought I’d do a little digging to learn the history of these bars. It turns out that the recipe was not created by the brand.
Magic Bars go by many names. They are a baked sweet treat made of butter, graham crumbs, chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, and sweetened condensed milk. Magic Bars do have a history behind them. They were originally made in the 1960s. It was credited as an Eagle Brand recipe that many people loved, although it was not originally created by Eagle Brand.
The first of these bars were made in 1856, by a man named, Gail Borden. He invented a stable milk product for feeding babies which needed no refrigeration. He started to sell these cookies from a cart in New York City. During the Civil War, and both World Wars, this sweetened condensed milk, known as Eagle Brand, became famous as a needed source of milk and sugar.
After World War I, refrigeration was brought to America, and destroyed the purpose of sweetened condensed milk. Eagle Brand condensed milk then became a popular ingredient for making desserts. Isn’t that interesting?
You know what though, Dear Reader, however you slice them, or whatever you want to call them, Dark Chocolate and Mint Chip Squares are simply scrumptious! They are perfect to share with loved ones, and can be easily made with regular chocolate chips if you’re making these at any other time but Christmas.
One last thing, I used one cup of roughly chopped macadamia nuts in this recipe. You can use peanuts – salted or unsalted – pecans, or even cashews. Next time, I’m trying them with Brazil nuts, because they’re my absolute favourite!
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Dark Chocolate and Mint Chip Squares
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon mint extract
- 2 cups graham crumbs
- 2 cups Toll House Dark Chocolate and Mint Chips
- 1 cup coconut, finely grated
- 1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Over medium heat, melt the butter in a sauce pan. Stir until the butter is melted, do not allow the butter to boil or sizzle.
- Stir in the mint extract and add the graham crumbs. Use a fork to mix the crumbs into the butter until thoroughly mixed.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Press the graham crumb mixture into the pan, being sure to get into the corners. Try to get the base as evenly spread as possible, but do not press too hard.
- Evenly sprinkle over the coconut, followed by the macadamias, and lastly the dark chocolate and mint chips.
- Evenly drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Slice into 25 squares.
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