In an earlier blog post describing activities of our SolWritersGroup, I mentioned that each March we hold a Coffee House where we give public reading of short pieces by members of our Sol Sisters. We also serve homemade light snacks, sweet treats, coffee and iced tea.The event has been sold out most years. Sunday, March 19, was the twelfth Coffee House Public Reading. It was a successful evening, and the terrific audience gave us kudos for a very entertaining event.

This year was only my third year of participation, but it had become expected that for the treats, I would bring my “Hallo Dollies.” I suspect this is the main reason they keep me in the group! I was given this recipe by the Home Economics teacher on staff at a high school where I taught English in the early 1970s. They have become a family favorite as well as enjoyed by friends and acquaintances at potlucks. Thank you, Donna. I will share the recipe with you. Friends in the United States have said this recipe is similar to Seven Layer Bars, without the butterscotch chips.

Hallo Dollies

½ cup butter or margarine, melted

1 cup crushed graham wafers

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup pecan halves

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pour melted butter or margarine into a 9 x 9 inch pan. Sprinkle evenly with remaining ingredients in order given. Do not stir or mix. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Loosen edges and refrigerate. When firm, cut into squares (approximately 25-30 pieces). Keep in a container in the fridge and set out just before serving.

Tips: I put the margarine cut in pieces into the pan and set it in the oven to melt while the oven is heating up. During this time, I get the other ingredients ready, while keeping eye on the oven to take the pan out as soon as the margarine is melted and not bubbling until it burns. I prefer Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. Bars can sit out for a fairly long time, but will get stickier over time. They are usually all gone before this happens! Keep leftovers in the fridge for another day. They last in the fridge for several days. Enjoy!

Rosemary Vaughn

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