Army Care Packages & Magic-Magic Bars

I am frequently faced with the task of making food to be sent by plane, car, or mail. Having spoiled my California co-workers with strawberry-chocolate scones and multitudes of cookies and cupcakes, I was asked to send goodies along with my brothers and dad when they came to Indiana for a visit last Easter. The dilemma of making sendable food was made more difficult withthe addition of my Uncle Steve whose powerful and insatiable sweet tooth is talked about in hushed, reverent tones across the San Diego area. Baked goods and sweets of any kind are not safe in his presence. That weekend I supplied myself with extra candy for the candy bowls, made cinnamon crusted nutmeg muffins to be eaten with strawberries for a quick Easter breakfast, and called on my most sendable standby recipes to be packaged and hauled off.

That weekend I created my extra magic magic bars. Magic-Magic Bars. They’ve been called orgasmic. So when my super cute roommate wanted to send a care package to her husband, they immediately sprang to mind. She wanted to learn how to make granola bars and maybe try her hand at caramels, but I needed to make something too and without question, dear Danny would make friends with these goodies to hare. I mean Lt. Dan. That’s his name now. He’s important and probably decent at shrimping. But way cuter.
(Photo by Geyer Photography)
Wouldja believe that strappin’ young man and that cute lil lady are hitched? Oh, to be young and in love…Oh wait! I am. Hehe. Got carried away there.
Make these magic bars. Maybe make a double batch. Send these to someone you love who is far away and unhuggable. Send them to your people serving overseas. Send them love and food because Lord knows that crap they’re eating isn’t nearly deserving of their hard work and patriotism. Or send them to your kids in college. Dorm food sucks and even if you’re sending care packages every week, they could use another. I never got one living in the dorms. *sniff* So send them one for my sake.
I have always followed the Joy of Baking recipe and instructions, but it’s pretty much the same everywhere you look.
1 stick melted, unsalted butter
1 1/2 C crushed up graham crackers
1 1/2 C shredded coconut
3/4 C chocolate chips
1 C crushed mini pretzels (twisted or sticks)
1/3 C crushed pecans
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 325. Stir together the grahams and butter and press firmly into the bottom of a 9×9 pan. Sprinkle the coconut over top, followed by the chocolate chips and then the mini-pretzel/pecan mixture. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the whole pan and bake for 25 mins at 325.

IF sending by mail or plane, wrap first in cling wrap, then tuck into zip-top bags. Air is your worst enemy in these situations. Steal a sturdy box from your office or Starbucks or McDonalds (people rave about their boxes) and pack tightly. Got room? Send our boys and girls some hot sauce packets, barbeque sauces, and their favorite candies. I’ve been told hot sauce is neccessary for most Army food. Don’t skimp because they’ll share with buddies. Add a note, a kiss, and safe wishes.

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