¾ cup butter (or 1 ½ sticks)
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
⅛ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup coconut
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (I like my walnuts toasted first)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in 9”x13” baking pan. Mix together in a bowl the cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour the crumb mixture evenly over melted butter, and push down so that the mixture becomes the crust. Pour the condensed milk over the crust, and then spread the coconut evenly over the milk. Scatter chocolate chips evenly over coconut. Spread walnuts over chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes*. Cool completely and cut into bars.
*If using a dark coated pan lower temperature to 325 degrees, as the edges tend to get dark.
So back in the 60’s there was a musical that took Broadway (and the world) by storm called “Hello Dolly!”. It stared Carol Channing and was about a meddlesome woman who considered herself a matchmaker and had quite a few scenes all revolving around the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant. How this actually relates to the dessert bars, I’m not 100% sure, but supposedly a little girl named Alecia Leigh Couch of Dallas, Texas, entered the recipe (which she borrowed from her Grandmother) in a baking contest held by Clementine Paddleford (America’s first food journalist). When published in the September 19, 1965 edition of the Syracuse Post-Standard, Ms. Paddleford wrote: “The “Hello Dolly” name was Alecia’s idea. “No need even to mess us a bowl,” Alecia writes, “and that’s the big reason why I call this my favorite cake recipe. And of course it’s good!”
Again, how this relates? No clue… Maybe ’cause Dolly liked things easy? Who knows… what I do know though, is the bars are incredibly easy to make and easier to eat! So enjoy!