By: Mary Fran Bontempo

Well, today is our entertainment day here at NRFGP, but let’s be real. It’s six days before Christmas and we’re women. The most entertainment we can hope for is no nightmares about forgotten presents when we collapse into bed at the end of the day.

Somehow, no matter how we try to “be done,” there are always last-minute gifts to buy, things to wrap, cookies to bake, dishes to be hauled out of cabinets for dinners, grocery shopping to be finished, and on and on.

Who has time to be entertained?

To that end, below, find a super easy and delicious recipe for Magic Cookie Bars if you still have baking to do. One pan, no extra bowls to wash and no multiple trips to the oven to refill cookie sheets.

And with the time you save putting pan after pan in the oven, make sure to sit and relax for the half-hour baking time and read a magazine, watch something mindless on TV or just sit and look at your beautiful Christmas tree undisturbed (catch a few winks if you can, too!).

Finally, don’t forget to try and enjoy all the wonder you’ve created for everyone else. No one deserves it more than you!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Magic Cookie Bars

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter (I always use butter–might as well go for it!)
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (This amounts to one pack of crushed crackers in a box with four packs)
1 (14 oz) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (Not evaporated milk)
2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate morsels (I just use one bag)
1-1/3 cups flaked coconut (If you like)
1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for glass dish). In a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, melt butter in oven.
2. Sprinkle graham crumbs over butter and distribute, forming a crust.
3. Pour condensed milk evenly over crumbs. (I use the back of a spoon to spread if needed.)
4. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork (or your hand!)
5. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool, Chill if desired and cut into bars.