Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars

Hey all!  Hope everyone had a great summer!  It’s been a while since I made anything worth blogging about.  A business law class (whose dumb idea was it to take THAT in a 5 week condensed summer session???) left me pretty burnt out  and uninspired.  I have spent the last few weeks hiding out in the air conditioned glory of my living room and watching Naked and Afraid XL on the Discovery Channel.

Leave it to my favorite season to bring me out of my baking funk… About two weeks ago all kinds of fall themed goodies started popping up in my Pinterest feed, and then I saw an article about the newest seasonal flavor of M&Ms – Pecan Pie!  I managed to get my hands on a bag last week and then these Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars were born!

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars
Adapted from Samoa Magic Bars by The Domestic Rebel

Ingredients

Cake Base
1 box of Butter Recipe cake mix from Betty Crocker
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted

Brown Sugar Crumble
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Topping
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup Pecan Pie M&Ms
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.  (I used a metal, nonstick pan.  The baking times may vary if you use glass.)
  2. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, egg and melted butter until a soft dough forms.  Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. While the dough is baking, make the brown sugar crumble by combining the melted butter, flour and brown sugar with a fork until crumbs form.
  4. When the 10 minutes is up, remove the pan from the oven and pour about 1/2 cup of the sweetened condensed milk on top of the cake.  Next, evenly cover the cake with the dried cranberries, chopped pecans and Pecan Pie M&Ms.  Drizzle on the remaining sweetened condensed milk and then top everything with the brown sugar crumble.
  5. Return to the oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the crumble begins to brown.
  6. Remove from the oven.  Allow the bars to set at room temperature until cool before cutting into bars.

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

These bars would be perfect for a fall bake sale, or a Thanksgiving dessert table – not that you need a specific reason to make them.  Sometimes you just want something to stuff in your face snack on while you watch Fear the Walking Dead (why is it so stressful?  We KNOW what happens!!).

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

Whatever your reason for making them, you will find these magic bars an easy treat to whip up.  If you can’t find the Pecan Pie M&Ms the Harvest Blend M&Ms would make an excellent substitute.  I just love the fall color palette!

Now, I just need Mother Nature to get on board with my seasonal obsession.  Today’s forecast high is 94 degrees!  Not quite pumpkin picking weather just yet…

These Cranberry Pecan Pie Magic Bars are made with tart dried cranberries and Pecan Pie M&Ms! Perfect for #fall or #Thanksgiving! #magicbar

Lemon Coconut Magic Bars

Hi all!  Is it finally starting at act like spring where you are?  I think the temperature here in NJ actually got above 60 degrees today!  Of course, it’s supposed to be all crappy and rainy today but that’s okay because I just baked a batch of sunshine last night.  🙂  Lemon cake, coconut flakes, Lemon Creme Oreos, pretty pastel White Chocolate M&M’s.  These Lemon Coconut Magic Bars look like spring and taste like summer!

Lemon Coconut Magic Bars | Shake Bake and Party

 

Lemon Coconut Magic Bars
Adapted from Samoa Magic Bars by The Domestic Rebel

Ingredients

1 box of lemon cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup Easter White Chocolate M&M’s
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut flakes
10 Lemon Creme Oreos
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, spray the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside.  (I used a metal, nonstick pan.  The baking times may vary if you use glass.)

2.  In a large bowl combine the cake mix, egg and butter until a soft dough forms.  Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.

3.  While the dough is baking, roughly chop the Oreos into small pieces and measure out the M&M’s, white chocolate chips and coconut flakes.

4.  Remove the pan from the oven and pour about 3/4 of the sweetened condensed milk on top of the cake.  Next, evenly cover the cake with the chopped Oreos, white chocolate chips, coconut flakes and White Chocolate M&M’s.  Drizzle the remaining sweetened condensed milk on top.

5.  Return to the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.

6.  Remove from the oven.  Allow the bars to set at room temperature until cool before cutting into bars.  I stored mine overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator before taking them in to work the next day, but according to the original recipe these will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for several days.

Lemon Coconut Magic Bars | Shake Bake and Party

I’ll be honest – this might be the best (non-alcoholic) thing I’ve made to date.  The house smelled wonderful while it was baking, the lightness of the lemon and the coconut flavors keep it from being TOO sweet and I just love the colors of the M&M’s.  This would be an easy treat to make for Easter, or for the weekend, or for Monday…  You really don’t need any reason to make these bars other than the fact that they are absolutely delicious!

Lemon Coconut Magic Bars | Shake Bake and Party

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you all have a great weekend!