Multiple-Choice Bar Cookies

blueberry-muffin-murderHave you ever had Magic Cookie Bars or 7 Layer Bars? If you have, then you’ve had a version of today’s recipe of Multiple Choice Cookies. I love Magic Cookie Bars (aka 7 Layer Bars)! They are one of the cookies that we have to have at my house every holiday season. I have to say they are quite addicting and very rich. I found this gem of a recipe to mix up my regular recipe as I was reading Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke. I don’t know why, but I love the culinary mystery books. It combines two of my favorite things to do – cook and read. This recipe is found at the very end of the book, but I have to say there were several others that caught my eye – especially the one for blueberry muffins. Unfortunately, I did not have all the ingredients for that one. However, for these Multiple-Choice Bar Cookies, it’s unlikely that you won’t have the ingredients to whip these up any time you have surprise company come to visit and need a quick treat.

Multiple-Choice Bar Cookies

Preheat oven to 350*F, rack in the middle position

½ cup butter (one stick)

1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)

Column A

(1 ½ cups)

Graham cracker crumbs

Vanilla wafer crumbs

Chocolate wafer crumbs

Animal cracker crumbs

Sugar cookie crumbs

Column B

(2 cups)

Chocolate chips

Butterscotch chips

Peanut butter chips

Raisins (regular or golden)

M & M’s (without nuts)
Column C

(2 cups)

Flaked coconut (5 oz)

Rice Krispies

Miniature marshmallows (2 ½ cups)

Frosted cornflakes (crumbled)
Column D

(1 cup)

Chopped walnuts

Chopped pecans

Chopped peanuts

Chopped cashews

Melt the butter and pour it into a 9-by-13-inch cake pan. Tip the pan to coat the bottom.

  1. Evenly sprinkle one ingredient from Column A over the melted butter.
  2. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the crumbs.
  3. Evenly sprinkle one ingredient from Column B on top.
  4. Evenly sprinkle one ingredient from Column C on top of that.
  5. Evenly sprinkle one ingredient from Column D over the very top.

Press everything down with the palms of your hands. Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack and cut into brownie-size bars.


So I learned a trick with these. You do not have to stick with just one ingredient per column, but you do have to stick with the amounts stated per column. For mine, I did graham cracker crumbs from column A, a mixture of M&Ms, white chocolate chips, and regular chocolate chips in the amount listed under column B (I had some of each that I was trying to use up), Rice Krispies from column C, and chopped pecans from column D. Also, I used a trick that I learned from making Magic Cookie Bars. Instead of pouring the sweetened condensed milk on top of the graham crackers and butter, I pour it evenly over the top of everything at the very end. It helps to hold all the ingredients together better that way. I did bake it in the oven, but I think 30 minutes was too long. I think 25-27 minutes would have been better. If you like crunchy cookies, the 30 minutes might work well for you. I just tend to like my cookies a little more chewy and less crunchy. Alternately, even though it doesn’t state that you can do this in the book, if you layer the ingredients in a microwave-safe dish instead, you can microwave the cookies for about 8 minutes, making sure to rotate the pan every few minutes (unless you have a turntable that can move the dish you used). I’ve done this plenty of times with Magic Cookie Bars (graham cracker crumbs, chocolate and butterscotch chips, coconut, and walnuts or pecans) and it works out great.

I hope you enjoy the ease and the tastiness of these cookies! My kids loved them and they are quite addictive so you may need to keep them hidden. I can’t wait to try out a version that I think will be a blend of s’mores and Rice Krispy treats – graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, Rice Krispies and marshmallows, and whatever nut I feel like that day!


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