Editor's note: Watermelon Oreos, in limited release by parent company Mondelez, may be a trendy fad for summertime fun. But traditional Oreos can be used for more than just snacking. They also make a delicious add-in to your favorite dessert bars.
Magic cookie bars are like the stir-fry of desserts. When you want to use up random ingredients in your fridge, you throw together a quick stir-fry: veggies before they spoil, the leftover chicken and/or beef from last weekend's barbecue, cubes of tofu before the use-by date. Same with magic cookie bars. I had some pecans I had already toasted from another recipe, Rolos I bought on sale, Oreos I bought to bake with (rather than eat straight out of the package), a few spoonfuls of salted caramel, and half a can of sweetened condensed milk from a prior recipe. So voilà, the Oreo Rolo magic cookie bars were born.
As with a stir-fry, magic cookie bars are actually pretty forgiving and flexible with the add-ins. The only "must haves" for me are a crust, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk for the topping. Everything else is whatever you want to use up. In this case, I processed Oreos into crumbs and added melted butter to make a crust for the bottom layer. Then I baked that for 10 minutes to firm it up a little so it wouldn't be too soggy and layered on my add-ins: the last of the salted caramel so I could recycle the jar it came in, the chopped up Rolos for more caramel goodness, the toasted pecans for crunch, coconut (I love coconut and it wouldn't be a magic cookie bar without it), chocolate chips, and the last of the sweetened condensed milk.
End result was delicious goodness. Double bonus was that I used up some random ingredients and that this was super easy to make. Very little mixing and it's hard to overbake these because the coconut signals when they're done – golden brown in spots but not uniformly brown all over.
The measurements below are approximations. Feel free to experiment on your own.
Oreo Rolo magic cookie bars
1 cup crushed Oreos, finely processed into crumbs in a food processor
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup Rolos, chopped
1/3 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup coconut
1/2 can (7 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine crushed Oreos and melted butter. Press in an even layer in pan and bake for 10 minutes.
3. Take pan out of oven and spread caramel evenly over hot crust. Sprinkle with chopped Rolos, pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips. Cover evenly with sweetened condensed milk. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until coconut is golden in patches and the edges of the bar cookies are brown.