Tag Archives: sweetened condensed milk

Coconut Biscoff Magic Bars

When I don’t know what to make, I make magic bars. I have all sorts of recipes for them on this site—vanilla malt, peanut butter-Oreo, and s’mores are some of my favorites. As long as I have sweetened condensed milk in my pantry, nothing is safe from being turned into a magic bar.

Coconut Biscoff Magic Bars

These layered bars are so easy to make and so good. I mean, how could a buttery crumb crust topped with chewy, caramelly filling possibly be bad?! There is barely any mixing involved; the majority of the ingredients are layered or scattered into the pan. Their titular “magic” comes from the way their sweetened condensed milk-based filling seems to assemble itself in the oven.

Coconut Biscoff Magic Bars

Today’s variation involves sweet, chewy coconut, smooth white chocolate, and buttery spice from Biscoff cookies. These are a little unusual, but definitely still magical. Coconut Biscoff Magic Bars are super simple to make, containing just seven ingredients and taking under an hour to prepare. Simply mix together the Biscoff cookie crumb crust, bake it for a few minutes, then layer the filling ingredients on top and bake again. Make sure to let these bars cool completely so that the caramelized sweetened condensed milk will set up properly—we love clean slices!

Coconut Biscoff Magic Bars

Now you might be wondering “why these flavors?” Well, as I alluded to above, magic bars are a great way to bake with the odds and ends in your pantry. I opened mine one day and saw the dregs of some coconut, the last of a bag of white chocolate chips, and a sleeve of Biscoff cookies—simple as that. The light spice of the Biscoff and the oven-toasted coconut compliment each other incredibly well, and the white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk add richness and texture.

If you’re not already sold, you’ll have to trust me that these bars are much more than the sum of their seven parts. Or, you know, you can dig into your own cabinets and make a weird and wonderful magic bar recipe of your own.

Coconut Biscoff Magic Bars
Coconut Biscoff Magic Bars
makes 1 8- or 9-inch pan, about 12-16 bars

26 Biscoff cookies, divided
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup white chocolate chips + more for topping
6 Biscoff cookies, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 350F. Heavily grease a 9-inch square pan and line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on two sides. Grease again. Set aside.

Place 20 Biscoff cookies the bowl of a food processor and process until pulverized. Add brown sugar and melted butter. Pulse until combined. Alternatively, cookies may be crushed in a bag and crust ingredients may be mixed in a bowl.

Transfer crust mixture to the prepared pan. Press into an even layer. Bake for five minutes, until set. Set crust aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over crust. Use a silicone spatula or the back of a spoon to carefully spread into an even layer. Scatter coconut over the top, followed by white chocolate chips.

Break remaining 6 Biscoff cookies into pieces and scatter over the top. Use the palms of your hands to lightly press the toppings into the sweetened condensed milk. Bake for 30-32 minutes, tenting pan with foil if anything becomes too dark. Bars are done when the center jiggles just slightly when the pan is jostled. The bars will set as they cool. Top with more white chocolate chips if desired.

Let bars cool completely in the pan on a rack. Use overhang to remove bars from the pan to a cutting board. Peel off foil. Slice with a lightly-greased knife and serve.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet

Last year, I posted a recipe called Easiest Ever Mango Sherbet. The gist is that you blend frozen fruit and a can of sweetened condensed milk, then freeze it and scoop it like regular sherbet/ice cream…but you don’t have to have an ice cream machine, you know? And that’s ideal because I think if I bring another piece of equipment home, my beloved roommate will abandon me and I’ll have to build a house out of all my cake pans.

But I digress.

Today, I took that easy formula and complicated it in the very best way: the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake way! That’s right—all the flavors that you love in the undisputed queen of everyday cakes are packed into this cold, creamy, scoopable treat! The base is buttery brown sugar-roasted pineapple bliss, and every bite is filled with bits of vanilla cake, maraschino cherries and butterscotch sauce!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet starts with a whole pineapple. You could, of course, do this with about 2 1/2 pounds of pre-cut pineapple, but buying whole is much cheaper. Don’t fret—I’ve detailed how to slice up a pineapple in the recipe.

Once it’s sliced up, the pineapple is brushed with melted butter & brown sugar and roasted until tender, fragrant, and rich yellow in color. This concentrates the flavor and softens the fruit’s natural tartness. Also, it smells out-of-this-world good. Please resist eating half of it in one sitting so you can make it into no-churn sherbet, okay?!

After roasting, let your pineapple cool before freezing it. The sherbet base requires only frozen fruit and sweetened condensed milk—don’t try to take any shortcuts here! I find it easiest to freeze the pineapple by arranging it in one layer on a small sheet pan, then freezing until…well, frozen. You can do this a few days (or even weeks!) in advance; just transfer your frozen roasted pineapple into a freezer bag for longer storage.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet

Next up: blend the base! This is easy. Just combine your frozen roasted pineapple and sweetened condensed milk in a blender and blitz away! Pour half the creamy, pale yellow mixture in a loaf pan, then top it with Pineapple Upside-Down Cake mainstays like maraschino cherries, cubes of vanilla cake, and spoonfuls of brown sugary butterscotch. Repeat the layering with the remaining pineapple base and toppings and then freeze until scoopable. Finish it with more butterscotch and cherries, if desired. Pineapple bowl optional, but recommended.

One quick thing before I get to the recipe. This recipe has a lot of steps, but can be as easy or as complicated as you like. For instance, I baked my own vanilla cake and made a batch of butterscotch for this sherbet, but this recipe would work just as well with store bought pound cake and jarred butterscotch (or caramel sauce or dulce de leche). As with all the recipes on this site, we’re aiming for delicious and fun here. If making the base, some cake and butterscotch ceases making this process enjoyable, by all means take some shortcuts.

I won’t tell anyone. I’ll be too busy shoving bites of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet into my face to even care.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet
makes about 8-10 servings

Roasted Pineapple:
1 whole pineapple (about 4 lbs)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

For the Sherbet Base:
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

For Assembly (all divided):
2/3 cup maraschino cherries, drained & cut into small pieces
3/4-1 cup butterscotch sauce (or caramel sauce)
1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch vanilla cake cubes (cake recipe below)

Roast the pineapple. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment. Set aside.

Place your pineapple on its side on a cutting board. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to lop off the top & bottom. Move the pineapple so that it is standing on the flat spot where the bottom used to be. Use the knife to remove the rind (skin) in strips, being sure to also remove the brown dots beneath it. Slice around the core, then discard it so that only the flesh (good fruit) remains. Slice your pineapple flesh into spears, and then split each spear into 2 shorter spears. Place them in an even layer on the prepared sheet pan.

Place butter and brown sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until butter is melted and mixture is combined.

Brush half the butter & brown sugar mixture on the pineapple pieces. Roast pineapple 20 minutes. Flip the pieces and brush with remaining butter & brown sugar. Roast another 20 minutes. Cool pineapple completely.

Freeze the roasted pineapple. Line a rimmed sheet pan that will fit in your freezer with parchment. Arrange roasted pineapple pieces in one layer on the pan, then place the pan in the freezer for at least four hours or overnight. If not making sherbet immediately, remove frozen roasted pineapple to a freezer bag before returning to the freezer.

Make the sherbet base. Combine frozen roasted pineapple and sweetened condensed milk in a high-powered blender. Blend on high for about 1 minute, or until smooth and thick. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the carafe as necessary.

Assemble the sherbet. Transfer half the sherbet base to a loaf pan or other vessel. Scatter with half the maraschino cherries and cake cubes. Drizzle on butterscotch sauce, or drop on by the spoonful. Top with remaining sherbet base, spreading it to the edges to cover the add-ins. Top with remaining cherries, cake cubes & butterscotch. Freeze 4-6 hours before scooping and enjoying.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet will keep covered in the freezer for up to a month.
Vanilla Cake
makes 1 9x5” layer

3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (not skim or fat free), room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Line with parchment, leaving some overhang on the two long sides for easy removal. Grease again. Set aside.

Make the cake batter. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the egg. Mix in half the dry ingredients, followed by half the buttermilk. Add remaining dry ingredients followed by the remaining buttermilk. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Tap full pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake cakes 33-37 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in its pan for fifteen minutes. Use parchment overhang to lift cake onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off and discard parchment.

For Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet, you will only need about half this cake (1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubes). Use the other half for snacking, or triple wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 3 months.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Sherbet

No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice CreamDo you think Nancy Meyers knows how many lives she changed when she wrote peanut butter and Oreos into the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap? Mine, for one, and probably millions more. Certainly more than when she had Meryl Streep make croissants in It’s Complicated (and in an absurdly short period of time, I might add). Probably way less than when Steve Martin had a meltdown over the quantity disparity between packages of hot dogs and hot dog buns in Father of the Bride. That one still hasn’t been resolved.

Hi, I guess I am a Nancy Meyers completist.No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice CreamAnyway, since I started baking, I’ve thrown peanut butter and Oreos into many recipes because they just *work.* This salty, creamy, bittersweet combination is one of the easiest ways to take a dessert from fine to fabulous.

Exhibit A: my most popular recipe of last year (and all time), Peanut Butter Oreo Magic Bars. Regular magic bars are good. Oreo-Peanut Butter Magic Bars though? Ho-ly crap. Seriously, I’ve never once made a peanut butter and Oreo recipe and regretted it. Not once. They are a perfect pair. Period. End of story. Sorry friends with peanut allergies, I’ll get you next time.

*gets off soap box Costco-sized box of Oreos*No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice CreamToday’s offering is one you probably saw coming from a mile away: No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice Cream! Of course—of course!—I was going to combine them in an ice cream someday. And by someday, I mean today, which just so happens to be National Ice Cream Day. I swear I didn’t plan it like that.

The base of No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice Cream is rich, peanut buttery and incredibly easy to make. It’s made from just two ingredients: sweetened condensed milk and whipped heavy cream. Together they make for a thick, rich, airy and decidedly not-icy ice cream, no machine required. Here, I added a touch of salt, some vanilla and 1/3 cup of creamy peanut butter to the sweetened condensed milk before folding in the whipped cream. Just a warning that this is very difficult not to eat right out of the mixing bowl, but patience is a virtue and you should (mostly) hold off because Oreos.No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice CreamOh yes, it’s the big chunks of Oreo cookie that are the real magic here. That’s one thing I have a lot of feelings about: big chunks of cookie instead of cookie crumbs in my cookies & cream. It’s not called crumbs & cream, am I right?!

The “secret” (not a secret) to getting big chunks of cookie in your scoops? Quartering the Oreos before folding them into the base. The pieces will seem too big, but I promise they’re not. They’ll soften slightly while the ice cream freezes so that, when scooped, each portion gets some big pieces and some little, which is absolute heaven for a texture person like myself.No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice CreamActually, this whole situation is heaven. Cold, creamy, sweet & salty, Oreo-studded heaven piled in a cone.No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice Cream
makes about 8 cups

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup creamy-style peanut butter (not natural)
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream, very cold
24 Oreo cookies, cut into quarters

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, salt and vanilla.

In a separate medium-large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. Stir 1/3 of the whipped cream into sweetened condensed milk mixture just until combined. Gently fold in the another 1/3 of the whipped cream, followed by the last 1/3. Carefully fold in quartered Oreos.

Transfer ice cream into a 9×5″ loaf pan, or other 8 cup vessel. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the ice cream. Cover plastic wrap with aluminum foil. Freeze ice cream for 6 hours or overnight, until completely frozen. Scoop and enjoy!No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice CreamNo-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice CreamNo-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut MacaroonsDid you know that the world is still turning and Easter is happening next weekend? How is that even possible?

Ash Wednesday seems like it was five years ago, but it was at the end of February, back when when eggs were not a hyper-precious commodity. It was a time I would have gladly posted a recipe requiring two egg whites and maybe—big maybe—given you an idea of something to do with the yolks. But that was then. Now, the idea of asking you to separate eggs for a non-essential recipe and then leaving you to find something to do with egg yolks is just…well, I’m not going to do it. Not today.Coconut MacaroonsIn keeping with my stay-at-home, work with what you have, waste not/want not approach to baking (and literally everything) right now, I’m taking a note from a recipe I posted last Easter: Chocolate Macaroon Tart. In case you missed it, it’s basically a giant coconut macaroon filled with chocolate ganache…except that it’s not a macaroon at all! Or not the way most people think of a macaroon, anyway. I mean, it’s coconutty and all, but where macaroons are traditionally made with egg whites and sugar, this tart crust is made with sweetened condensed milk. And, since that mixture worked so unbelievably well pressed into a pan, why not mound it like regular macaroons and bake until golden?

Wow, I just said “macaroon” like 478 times.Coconut MacaroonsCoconut MacaroonsAnyway, here is a pantry-friendly version of Coconut Macaroons, a springtime classic. You’d never know these aren’t made with the usual egg whites and sugar—they’re just as toasty-edged, soft-centered and delightfully chewy as their traditional counterparts.Coconut MacaroonsCoconut MacaroonsCoconut MacaroonsCoconut MacaroonsThe ingredient list is short: a bag of sweetened shredded coconut, about half a can of sweetened condensed milk, some vanilla and salt. No vanilla? Leave it out. Wish they had a little lime or orange to offset the sweetness? Zest some into the sweetened condensed milk before mixing. Like your macaroons dipped in chocolate? Cool them and then dip away!Coconut MacaroonsAnd if you, perhaps, have egg whites leftover from—I don’t know—making Lazy Lemon Curd, and are looking for traditional macaroons, you can double this recipe and swap the potato chips for 3 cups of coconut.Coconut MacaroonsAs for this recipe, all you’ll have leftover is a half a can of sweetened condensed milk, and if you’re not already drizzling that into your weekend coffee…well, you’re in a pandemic and this is the time to start.Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons
makes about 1.5 dozen

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 14-ounce bag (5 cups) sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, use a fork to whisk together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt.

Place coconut in a medium mixing bowl. Pour in sweetened condensed milk mixture and stir together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Wet one hand and knead a few times to make sure everything is well-combined.

Wet your hands. Scoop coconut mixture in 1 1/2 tablespoon increments (I used a medium cookie scoop) and form into balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 16-17 minutes, or until light golden and slightly puffed. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Coconut Macaroons will keep covered at room temperature for a few days.

Oreo-Peanut Butter Magic Bars

Oreo-Peanut Butter Magic BarsLet me take this moment to express gratitude for the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap. Did we need a remake of the 1961 classic? Probably not, but it’s enjoyable enough, and it introduced little 13 year-old me to one of the great duos—not Lindsay Lohan & Lindsay Lohan—peanut butter & Oreos!

I was already a big fan of peanut butter & chocolate (duh!), but Oreos were a game-changer. I’ve been finding ways to put them together ever since.Oreo-Peanut Butter Magic BarsBesides the obvious dipping of Oreos directly into peanut butter, I’ve paired the two in homemade peanut butter, cupcakes and blondies, and now Magic Bars!Oreo-Peanut Butter Magic BarsOreo-Peanut Butter Magic BarsOreo-Peanut Butter Magic BarsOreo-Peanut Butter Magic BarsThey have just four ingredients–Oreos, peanut butter, butter & sweetened condensed milk–and come together in less than 45 minutes. Oh, and they’re ridiculously easy and far more delicious than any baked good with four (!) ingredients should be.Oreo-Peanut Butter Magic BarsWe’re talking soft, chewy peanut butter filling and buttery Oreo crust here, people!Oreo-Peanut Butter Magic BarsThose are two of my very favorite things. One of the great duos, if you will.Oreo-Peanut Butter Magic Bars

Oreo-Peanut Butter Magic Bars
makes 1 8- or 9-inch pan, about 12-16 bars

36 chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos), divided
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy-style peanut butter (not natural-style)

Preheat oven to 350F. Heavily grease a 9-inch square pan and line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on two sides. Grease again. Set aside.

Place 24 chocolate sandwich cookies the bowl of a food processor and process until pulverized. Add melted butter. Pulse until combined. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Press into an even layer. Bake for five minutes, until set. Set crust aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter.

Drizzle sweetened condensed milk mixture over crust. Use a silicone spatula or the back of a spoon to carefully spread into an even layer.

Break or chop remaining 12 chocolate sandwich cookies into pieces and scatter over sweetened condensed milk mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, tenting pan with foil at the 15 minute mark. Bars are done when the center jiggles just slightly when the pan is jostled.

Let bars cool completely in the pan on a rack. Use overhang to remove bars from the pan to a cutting board. Peel off foil. Slice with a lightly-greased knife and serve.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.Oreo-Peanut Butter Magic BarsOreo-Peanut Butter Magic Bars