Do You Believe in Magic?

Baking elaborate cakes can be an exciting challenge, but sometimes it’s the simple things that really shine. I had invited a small group over to hang out, and it just so happened to be my friend Kyle’s birthday as well! I wanted to make something quick and easy, knowing that a cake would be too much for a small crowd. With only seven ingredients, this dessert was shockingly good! It’s no wonder they are called Seven Layer Magic Bars.
The “magic” in these bars comes from the sweetened condensed milk. Granted, chocolate and butterscotch combined with walnuts and coconut is pretty fantastic on its own. But these all come together thanks to this decadent ingredient. Condensed milk is basically milk from which water has been extracted and sugar added to. Once canned, it can have a shelf life that lasts for several years. Condensed milk can be found in recipes around the world, from the Brazilian Brigadeiro to the English Banoffee Pie.
First appearing in cookbooks in the 1960s, these cookies quickly became and still are Eagle Brand’s most popular recipe. These cookies don’t require any eggs, making them a quick fix for any busy weekday. That being said, they are insanely delicious and definitely worthy of a special occasion. My friends certainly agreed – click HERE to the secret to these wonderful bars!
I thought that for a recipe with seven ingredients, a septet would be a great pairing. That led me to the beautiful Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet by Maurice Ravel. Ravel wrote the work on a 1905 commission by the Érard company to celebrate its creation of a double-action pedal harp. The work is well-known amongst harpists, resembling more of a miniature “concerto” than a chamber work for the instrument. It demonstrates the agility and expressive range of the harp, with the quartet and winds providing colorful context. I performed this work several years ago with my beloved friend, harpist Lucia Stavros (she did a fabulous job, as always!) I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I do!

Sources Cited:
“Condensed Milk,”
“Introduction and Allegro (Ravel),”

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