Food: Quick Baking for a Cookie Exchange

I am a busy person. I make cracks about being lazy in my posts, but my laziness tends to be in inverse proportion to my busyness. The more time I spend running around the less energy I have to expend on, say, sewing those personalized, hand felted stockings I swore I was going to make this year.

You guys know how it goes.

It’s no real surprise that I tend to forget things, given the pace of my life. Today after working 9 hours, commuting 40 minutes in each direction, having a minor heartattack over the cost my garage quoted me, taking in my daughter’s holiday concert and finding time to tend to pressing ladypart business over the course of the day, I found myself finally relaxing on the couch. I poked around on another lady blog, considered posting yet another rant about What Is Wrong With Internet Commenters Today, Get Off My Lawn Edition, rewatched last week’s 30 Rock and thought about trundling off to bed, when I realized I promised to go to a cookie exchange. Tomorrow.

I had baked no cookies! No bars! No bacon cupcakes! No rainbow cake! It was 11-freaking-o’clock!

It is not acceptable to me, who has pretty much one solid grasp on fame with my baking, to show up at a cookie exchange with store bought cookies. I’m lazy, not a heathen.

Luckily, there is one recipe I can turn to in my time of (time-pressed) need; my mother-in-law’s Hello Dollys. They are a gooey, chocolaty, nutty bar that have never failed to get oohed and ahhed upon, and the preparation is easiest thing in the world*. (*YMMV)

Bea’s Hello Dolly:

1 stick butter, melted in a 13″ x 9″ baking pan

1 cup of graham cracker crumbs

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup coconut

1 cup nuts

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Into the melted butter pour your graham cracker crumbs until the mixture is moist. Press into an even layer. Add in layers the chips, coconut, and nuts. Pour over the pan the sweetened milk. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Seriously, that’s it. I sub in what I have on hand for the layering ingredients. Tonight, for instance, I subbed generic brand vanilla wafers that I had sitting around (after discovering that off-brand vanilla wafers are cheap for a reason) for the graham cracker crumbs. Well, I subbed them for most of the graham crackers ““ I had 1 package of chocolate honey crackers in the pantry, so this will have a vanilla-y/chocolatey base. I use both butterscotch chips as well as chocolate, because that’s what I had and I find a little butterscotch makes a big impression, and I mixed hazelnuts and walnuts for the topping.

It’s all in the oven as I write this, smelling fantastic. And tomorrow I will bring them triumphant to my party, where no one will know I panic-baked them when I should have been in bed.

By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

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