Did you think I was going to let Easter pass us by without a recipe involving mini eggs?? You probably weren’t thinking that, but that’s ok, the answer is absolutely not. Easter treats are probably my favourite of any holiday treat, and mini eggs are right up there when it comes to absolute fave. I can’t be left alone with them, they are just too good. So I knew they would make their way into something this year sooner rather than later!
And oh boy, what a recipe they did make it into. I had heard of magic bars a few times (apparently other people also call them 7 layer bars), but hadn’t made them before, so when Jase suggested that we put our own spin on them and add some mini eggs and a couple of other fave baking ingredients, I immediately said yes. Magic bars are basically a crust, and then a whole lot of yum things stirred up with some condensed milk, and baked until gooey and perfect. They are quite possibly my new fave thing - super easy to make, but also super versatile and very open to ingredient swaps!
And of course we couldn’t help ourselves and had to fancy things up a little bit. We switched the traditional graham cracker crust for a baked shortbread crust, which we mixed some chopped hazelnuts into. Once that was baked, we topped it with a condensed milk mixture, loaded up with shredded coconut, more chopped nuts, some caramelised white chocolate, and mini eggs. A wee bit fancy meets your fave easter candy. The best. And it couldn’t be more simple. In fact, it is so simple to make, that my inner control freak took over and I asked Jase a zillion questions (“Where are the eggs? How does it set? Are you sure this will work?”) because I couldn’t get over how easy they seemed. But they really are as easy as they seem. Little wee magic bars. I hope you make these - they are super simple but so, so good, and you can add anything to them! I’m already dreaming of a pretzel and marshmallow one this summer.
A few wee tips:
You can really make these your own, by adding whatever you like. If you don’t have caramelised white chocolate, you could add milk chocolate, or dark chocolate, or regular chocolate. They would work great to use up any leftover easter chocolate. Same goes with the nuts - if you are allergic, or you don’t like them, leave them out or sub them with something else.
We used Cadbury mini eggs in this recipe! The ones that go into the oven whole may crack a little, so we added some extra on the top too once they were baked, for the #instagram. This is totally optional, but IMO you can’t go wrong with too many eggs.
The base definitely doesn’t need to be made in a stand mixer if you don’t have one - an electric mixer or just a wooden spoon and some elbow grease would be fine!
We used the pre-chopped hazelnuts, but if you don’t have those, you can just blitz up some roasted hazelnuts until they are in chunks. You will need 105g total - 30g for the base, and 75g for the filling.
Milk Chocolate Mini Egg Magic Bars
- Makes 12 large bars -
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
170g all-purpose flour
30g chopped hazelnuts (we used pre-chopped, see notes)
One 14 oz (400g) can of sweetened condensed milk
75g chopped hazelnuts
120g unsweetened shredded coconut
140g caramelised white chocolate (we used Dulcey by Valrhona), roughly chopped
330g milk chocolate mini eggs, roughly chopped (1 1/2 bags)
1 tsp salt
Flaky Sea Salt for finishing (optional)
- PROCESS -
Preheat the oven to 375°f / 190°c. Grease and line a 9” square pan with parchment paper, extending the paper over the sides slightly to give you a ‘sling’ to help remove the bars easily when they are done.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste until light and fluffy. Add in the flour and mix to combine. Add the chopped hazelnuts and mix briefly to incorporate.
Press the base into the pan, packing it in with the base of a measuring cup or an offset spatula.
Prick the base well all over, then bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
TOPPING AND ASSEMBLY
Drizzle 2-3 Tbsp of condensed milk over the warm shortbread base, and spread with a pastry brush or offset spatula.
Remove a small handful of each of the topping components (chopped nuts, coconut, caramelised white chocolate and mini eggs) to put on top of the bars, then place the rest in a medium sized bowl, add the salt, and toss well to combine. Add the remainder of the condensed milk, and mix well until combined and everything is well coated.
Transfer the topping mixture to the pan, and smooth down well with an offset spatula, packing it in slightly.
Sprinkle with the reserved filling ingredients.
Bake the bars for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the coconut on top of the bars is starting to turn slightly golden.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Cool completely before removing and slicing using a sharp knife.