So, after a pretty and outdoorsy holiday in Hawaii, which consisted of beaches...
...and visiting awesome people like Rita and her new beau Paul...
...Chris and I came back to the real world.
It kind of made us want to hide. Jess felt the same way.
Once things cooled down, we decided to try out Chris's new present -- America's Test Kitchen. They have a tendency to test and re-test their recipes until they have things just right -- hence the name.
We found the seven layer bar, a classic, and completely embraced the ingredient list.
1 cup (5 ounces) chocolate-covered toffee bits 12 whole graham crackers 1 stick butter 8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped fine 1 cup rice krispies 1 cup (4 ounces) pecans 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup (4 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut, toasted 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk 1 tbsp vanilla extract
The authors originally got this recipe on the back of a can of condensed milk, then modified it. One of the modifications? Adding a second can of condensed milk for more chewiness and moistness. You would have thought the condensed milk advertisers would have thought of that one themselves.
The toffee bits were combined with butter and graham crackers to create the first layer. As a sidenote, food processors are a wonderful and necessary item, saving time on anything that needs to be reduced to crumbs. We put the first layer in the oven to get brown.
Then pretty much all of the successive ingredients were put in, in order. We had to get very hippy "wheat" graham crackers, the coconut was unsweetened and raw, and the rice krispies were brown rice krispies -- what you get for shopping at Rainbow / living in San Francisco. They were done in half an hour and we climbed for two hours so we wouldn't be tempted to pre-emptively eat them before they were cool.
Final product was decadent and thick, though difficult to separate from the tin foil, and in the future we might just cook without it. After having a few bites of the bars I immediately said to Chris we had to give them to people as soon as possible. Mmm, calories.
All this was happening as a new guest arrived, Meredith -- my childhood friend who is looking at art schools out here, as well as some new shelves. The shelves were a necessary purchase for two people to live in Chris's room. They are real wood with a beautiful maple finish and were from a store recommended to Chris by his friend Alice. With our newfound energy from too much sugar, we cleaned the room to a level the house had never seen before.
And look, you can see floor now. Apparently it's also wood.