No-Calorie Cookies: A Great Recipe for Teaching a Toddler to Bake

No-Calorie Cookies: A Great Recipe for Teaching a Toddler to Bake

No-Calorie Cookies. Yes, the name is ironic--no lawsuits please. :)

These cookies are absolutely sinfully delicious. They go by many names, seven layer bars, eagle brand cookies, but we always called them no-calorie cookies in my family. 

My favorite part about making these cookies/bars is that it is a perfect recipe to make with a toddler or young child. They can practice measuring and scooping. The quantities aren't super exact and it mostly involves sprinkling ingredients by hand--little hands work just fine.

My toddler started out making this batch with me but then she found out they had chocolate in them and said "I don't like chocolate, no. no. NO!" Then she decided to be done helping. I probably should reserve baking projects for days where she actually sleeps during her naptime. Oops. However, I have made this recipe before with toddler and had MUCH better results. #bloggermommyfail.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of unsalted butter

1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs (a little less than one sleeve)

1 cup flaked and sweetened coconut

1 cup (heaping is fine) butterscotch chips

1 cup (heaping is fine) semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup (heaping is fine) finely chopped pecans

1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk (you can use generic, but the brand name does work better!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in the bottom of metal 9x13 pan and tilt the pan as it melts, so it's evenly spread out. If a young child is helping you, be sure to let the pan cool a bit before letting them move on to the next step. 

I like using a sturdy zip top bag for crushing the graham cracker crumbs. I often use the side and bottom of a loaf pan for crushing them really finely. This might seem a bit weird, but works better for me than a rolling pin. My toddler used her toy hammer from her toy xylophone to pound the crumbs--definitely less efficient, but it seemed super fun. Sprinkle the crumbs in an even layer to make a crust in the bottom of the pan.

Next sprinkle the heaping cup of sweetened flaked coconut.

Then the butterscotch chips. I sometimes add an extra handful to fill in any major gaps.

Then the chocolate chips.

I use a hand grinder to finely chop the pecans. This ensures a more even layer as you sprinkle. 

Finally, you slowly drizzle the Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. Even if your can is a pop-top type, I've found I get better results using an opener to make two holes on the top of the can. In my experience, generic condensed milk tends to be thicker and harder to drizzle. It still tastes fine though!

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes until it turns golden brown on the edges. Yum!

After they have completely cooled, cut into small squares. I like them refrigerated, but that is not absolutely necessary. This is a great recipe for gifts! I used these in this box for neighborhood welcome gifts.

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