I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Spiced Dolly Bars

Spiced Dolly Bars

In the kitchen, surrounded by a surfeit of holiday baking supplies, I had a sudden craving for Hello Dolly Bars.  I love Hello Dollies (or Seven Layer Bars or Magic Bars, whatever you call them), but they are not something I generally make, because I have lots of friends for whom it’s their standard recipe for to parties and weekends away.  So I generally rely on others for my dolly fix.  But standing there, with that craving, I suddenly thought I could get a little creative.  I simply substituted warm, spicy speculoos cookies in the crust and added cinnamon chips to the butterscotch.  I left out the coconut, because I don’t love it, but also because I think it takes away from the unique spicy note of this version of the classic.

Spiced Dolly Bars

2 (8.8 ounce) packages Biscoff cookies (about 60 cookies)

½ (1 stick) cup butter, melted and cooled

1 (14 – ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (11-ounce) package butterscotch chips

1 (10-ounce) package cinnamon baking chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with foil, with the edges overhanging.  Use non-stick foil if you can, spray it well with cooking spray if you can’t.

Break the cookies into the bowl of a food processor and girnd to crumbs.  Add the melted butter an process until themixture comes together.  Press the crumbs in a layer on the bottom of the prepared pan, making sure there are no holes.  Pour the condensed milk over the crust, spreading it out evenly.  Sprinkle the butterscotch and cinnamon chops over evenly over the crust, then the walnuts.  Gently press the chips and nuts into the condensed milk.

Bake the bars for 25 minutes, until everything is bubbly.  It will look a little liquid, but will firm up as it cools.  Cool the bars completely, then lift the whole thing out of the pan using the overhanging foil.

Makes 16 bars

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