Magic Cookie Butter Bars

When’s the last time you felt so happy or inspired by something that you squealed, or wanted to really, really badly?

This week has been full of those moments. This week has also been a total vortex of busybody heckishness, resulting in a sleep-deprived mental state and horribly dry left eye. It’s funny how often these two go hand in hand, isn’t it? Emotional schizophrenia can be so tiring! I’d really rather just wrestle a grizzly bear or something.

I’m sure that would be much easier than grading a bunch of papers on Call of the Wild or Winnie-the-Pooh.

 Fortunately, right when I reach the point where I’m ready to throw in the towel and stalk the forests in order to satisfy my primordial instincts of bloodlust, something good usually happens.

To give you an example: early this morning I arrived at the office to find one of the other TA’s looking completely faint. Her first ever guest lecture was in a half hour’s time, and she had spent weeks exhausting herself over preparing for it. We talked about it and agreed that it was just a matter of getting it over with, and that she’d do just fine.

She even told me how she’d been thinking about how I lead discussions, and don’t get overly worked up over whether I know every little bit of info ever written about Lewis Carroll, because I love turning those gaps into a dialogue between my students and myself.

Flour Power: “When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?””I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.” —Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne

That was squeal potential moment #1. Bear hugs superseded any residual thoughts of bear wrestling that might’ve been running through my mind a moment before.

Well, kindness begets kindness. An hour later, she came back into the office with a huge grin and plenty of compliments under her belt about how well she had done.

That was squeal moment #2. Don’t you love it when you can squeal for somebody else’s happiness, despite the spiraling hole of despair underneath your own feet?

I just had squeal moment #3 as I was typing just now–my adviser told the class that he’s bringing an original replica of the teddy bears on which Winnie-the-Pooh, i.e. Edward Bear was based to class on Thursday.

If you see a tiny girl heading for the hills with a giant stuffed bear in her arms, you’ll know what happened. The 100 Acre Woods is kind of like the Hogwarts I never got into. I’m still waiting for my owl post, by the way.

Absolute magic.

Funflour Fact #8: Did you know that Winnie-the-Pooh wasn’t always the red-shirted tubby bear the world knows and loves? His original name was Edward Bear, and he made his first appearance in 1922 in a popular satirical periodical called Punch Magazine! It wasn’t until 1924 that he was officially dubbed Winnie-the-Pooh in his self-titled book by A.A. Milne.  

Kind of like these magic cookie bars.

Try these!

Magic Cookie Butter Bars
Yield: 1 9×13-inch baking pan
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (or any other kind)
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (any variety)
  • 3/4 cup cookie butter (store-bought or homemade)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine melted butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, ground cinnamon, and white sugar. Press evenly into a well-greased 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. Pour half a can of sweetened condensed milk over crust. Sprinkle with both types of chocolate chips, as well as half of the coconut flakes and nuts. Pour remaining half of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the other toppings, then top with remaining coconut flakes and nuts.
  3. Drop cookie butter in small dollops over other ingredients. 
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, until top is golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting into squares. 


2 Replies to “Magic Cookie Butter Bars”

  1. I haven’t read either A. A. Milne or Lewis Carroll for years. By which I mean decades! Probably time again, don’t you think? It’s so much fun rereading books. I recently reread Vanity Fair, and although it was wonderful when I first read it as a junior in college, it’s so much better now. Anyway, this has nothing to do with magic cookie butter bars (great name!). Nice list of ingredients there – I bet this really are magic! 😉 Thanks for this.

    1. This requires an intervention! I was so surprised when I took a poll today among my students and asked whose first time it was reading Milne–apparently only a handful had ever read it before this class! (Granted, I’d only read it last year for the first time.) I have yet to read Vanity Fair, sadly, but I do hope you get a chance to tackle Carroll or Milne when you can! Funnily enough, these magic bars ended up being for my students, so I hope they’ll make associations between the bars and lit now. Thanks for the visit, John!

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