I LOVE St. Patrick’s Day but found myself feeling caught off guard and a bit behind when new crafts and recipes began showing up on the internet before Valentine’s Day. I thought the months-in-advance promotion of decor and internet content was reserved solely for Christmas and Halloween. Often my mercurial holiday muse doesn’t appear on command. It can be anything from a change in the wind velocity or a scent in the air that causes a recipe idea to spring forth for me; go figure.
I try to be sure to share a well-rounded selection of recipes with you, covering easy delicious dinners, desserts, healthy options, breakfast choices and cocktails. The time is feeling apropos for both something gooey and sweet, as well as to start thinking about St. Patrick’s Day!
I don’t know your personal feelings about leprechauns. I was enchanted with them as a child and have loved their depictions in movies over the years. I will say we have one that visits our house every St. Patrick’s Eve and turns the house on its ear! We arrive downstairs in the morning to find chairs stacked to the ceiling a la Poltergeist circa 1982. Often shamrock stickers adorn everything from fruit to door handles. I finally had to write a note requesting they discontinue tainting the toilet water green as it was causing an annual trip to Home Depot on March 18 to replace all the seat covers that bore a permanent reminder of the shenanigans in brilliant, permanent shade of emerald. Now just the milk is turned green.
So my friends, it is with this background that I will share a recipe for Leprechaun Bait Bars. A chocolate cookie crust is covered with gooey chocolate chips, mint M & M’s, mini marshmallows and Andes mint rectangles. Of course we know they love gold so some yellow Mega M & M’s are thrown in for good measure.
I’ll let you decide is you dare bait a leprechaun. You have been warned! Though I’ll add the bars also attract husbands, wives, children, co-workers, boyfriends, girlfriends and mail men too.
- 2 cups gluten-free Chocolate Cookie Crumbs* or 1 ½ cups regular Chocolate Cookie crumbs if not gluten-free
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 14-ounce can Sweetened Evaporated Milk
- 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup Dark Chocolate Mint green M&M’s
- 1 cup Mini Marshmallows
- 1 4.67-ounce package Andes Crème de Menthe Thins (28 pieces), unwrapped and cut in half horizontally to make 2 squares per rectangular thin
- ¼ cup Yellow Mega M&M’s (the amount of yellow found in a 10.20-ounce bag of mixed Mega M&Ms)
- Butter or spray with non-stick spray a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine cookie crumbs with the melted butter. Mix well and spoon into the prepared baking pan. Press down into pan to form a crust.
- Drizzle half of the sweetened evaporated milk over the cookie crumb crust and smooth out with the back of a spoon.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chocolate chips, Mint M&M’s, Andes mints and marshmallows. Toss to fully combine. Distribute evenly over the crust.
- Drizzle the remaining sweetened evaporated milk over the entire mixture in the baking pan. Evenly distribute the yellow Mega M&M’s over the top.
- Bake the bars for 25-30 minutes until the marshmallows and condensed milk begin to turn golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before slicing. Tip: after the bars cool to room temperature, put them in the refrigerator to chill before cutting. This allows firm bars to be cut.
*I make the crumbs using gluten-free chocolate cookies ground in a food processor.