When I attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania, I studied Elementary Education. I use the term, “study,” loosely because I don’t remember a damned thing about education, but I do remember the Seven Layer Cookies my roommate, Margaret brought back with her. Her mom, Mrs. Spratt, lined a box with aluminum foil and filled it with homemade cookies everyone in the dorm swooned over — if they could pry them from my hands.
We stayed in a place called Forest Manor, which sounds way nicer than the concrete bunker it actually was, located about half a mile from the rest of campus. Detainees are kept in better looking places. The floors were concrete, covered by very thin, ugly gray, scratchy floor coverings (I can’t really call them rugs). We were given two beds, two desks and little potential for cuteness, but we tried; warming it up with cheerful red checked curtains and red bedspreads.
But since college boys do things like flood entire floors for fun and girls are notorious for never cleaning, it makes sense to give them the minimum. It didn’t matter, we had fun anyway, probably too much fun.
It’s been too many years, and yet, when I make Mrs. Spratt’s cookies for holidays or any other time, I fondly remember my college days (most of them anyway). These sweets are called Seven Layer Cookies because they actually consist of seven layers. (No, not because you look like you’ve added seven layers when you’ve eaten them.)
Some people call them Magic Cookie Bars, but that recipe doesn’t call for butterscotch chips, which I think, makes them fabulous. I call them heaven, and if you eat them when they’re still warm, they’re so good you go a little crazy.
This may be an old recipe, but it’s worth revisiting because these cookies are fantastic. The buttery, slightly salty layer on the bottom holds the sweet top ingredients and the nuts give them a nice crunch. I just made them and was tempted to eat five but forced myself to stop at two.
They’re really easy and through all the years, the only tweak I’ve made is to sprinkle a little salt on top when they’re done, so they’re the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Thank you Mrs. Spratt!
Seven Layer Cookies
1/2 cup melted butter (I use salted butter, it tastes better)
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes (I use Bakers)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 can of sweetened, condensed milk
A sprinkle of salt (a quarter tsp. or less)
Use a glass pan (9 x 13). Spray the sides so the cookies don’t stick. Melt the butter and pour in bottom of pan. Next sprinkle crushed graham crackers on top of butter. Next sprinkle coconut flakes, in a layer, then the butterscotch chips, the nuts, and the chocolate chips. Finally pour the contents of the sweetened, condensed milk as evenly as possible, over all the ingredients. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes and when edges start to turn golden brown they’re done. Remove from oven and sprinkle a LITTLE salt on top. Cut when cool, or dive in when they’re warm and live a little.