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Zen Bars Recipe

Zen Bars
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 40 mins | Active Time: | Makes: 24 bars

The traditional seven-layer cookie bar gets an Asian twist in this version with graham cracker, chocolate, almonds, candied ginger, coconut, and sesame seeds. A few bites will take you one step closer to Nirvana.

This recipe was featured as part of our Good Food for Kids photo gallery.

INGREDIENTS
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
  • 3 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 1/3 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in middle. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with butter and line it with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Combine butter and graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl and mix until moist throughout. Sprinkle over the bottom of the baking dish and press down lightly to form an even layer; set aside.
  3. Combine almonds and candied ginger in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until pieces are pea-sized, about 20 times. Add coconut and pulse a few more times until coconut is oat-sized.
  4. Evenly sprinkle chocolate chips over the graham cracker crust, followed by the ginger-coconut mixture. Top with sesame seeds, then drizzle the sweetened condensed milk evenly over everything. Bake until the bars are golden brown around the edges and springy to the touch, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.