no-bake rocky road bars

by jenna on November 11, 2011

Who really uses evaporated milk anymore?

For reals. The stuff is a little scary and has “great grandma” written all over it. Sweetened condensed milk? Now, that’s a different story. I could drink that stuff with a straw and bow down to it for it’s majestic role in this grand beauty.

But evaporated milk?? Really, great grandma? Really?

But just look at what it’s mixed with:

Do you feel better now? I do. And I think we all know by now that you really can’t have enough graham crackers in the house. This woman seriously must have had a basement full of them to produce enough crumbs for all her treats.

In these bars, the crumbs are mixed with marshmallows, powdered sugar, nuts and chocolate then stuck in the fridge for an hour and sliced into dense, delicious rocky road bars! I totally would have named them s’mores bars but it wasn’t my recipe to name.

You know what they taste just like?? Golden graham treat bars. I LOVED those things.

To my delight, you couldn’t taste any weird evaporated milk taste in these bars. Like I said…golden graham treat bars all the way. Despite the massive amount of oozing dark chocolate you see in the photo above, they really aren’t all that chocolatey. Definitely more marshmallow + graham crackery.

I loved how thick these were! They’re kinda a pain to slice (put some muscle in it!) but would look lovely on a Thanksgiving dessert platter sliced up and dusted with an ample amount of powdered sugar.

So whatdayasay? Graham crackers for life? I’m not even a fourth of the way through great grandma’s recipes and already, I want to take stock in them….along with Crisco and shredded coconut, of course. Unfortunately, I made my first “weird” recipe from the stack yesterday, which I’ll share with you next week if you really, really want me to. Just remember that I told you it was weird up front. And that it contains prunes. Your call.

No-Bake Rocky Road Bars

makes about 12-14 bars

Print this recipe!

Ingredients:

4 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup powdered sugar

1 12-oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup evaporated milk

Directions:

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, nuts and powered sugar in a large bowl. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Add the evaporated milk to the chocolate and stir until smooth and incorporated. Pour chocolate over graham cracker marshmallow mixture and toss until well combined.

Press mixture into a well-greased nine inch pan and pat down (easiest to do with wet hands!). Place in fridge until firm (about an hour). Dust with powdered sugar and slice into squares.

Time:

1.5 hours

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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Khushboo November 11, 2011 at 3:31 am

Graham crackers for life indeed!

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Emmy (Wine and Butter) November 11, 2011 at 3:38 am

I LOVE prunes!!!!!!!! But I do also love graham crackers .. and maybe even more. Truth be told digestive biscuits (the UK version) are just not the same. Currently my house (and freezer) are stocked to the brim with lemon white chocolate cookies…. but I SO have my eye on the graham cracker torte – not to mention your mint brownies. I so love that idea!! Did g-g ever bake savoury!? apart from the peas…

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 11, 2011 at 3:51 am

What a great recipe…it reminds me sooo much of what my grandma used to make in her tiny Minnesota kitchen from the 1940s and she had a basement that I think she had graham crackers stockpiled in. That and powdered sugar went into everything!

I have had many more modern day adaptations of rocky road/marshmallow bars but I love the old school grandma’s recipe you used…I bed my grandma’s were similar. Must make!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes November 11, 2011 at 3:59 am

Lovve it! Looks fab :)

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Erika - The Teenage Taste November 11, 2011 at 3:59 am

Ahhh, these rocky road bars must be delicious. I mean, how can they not be when they are made with the trifecta of yumminess? (graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate) ;-)

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Sweet and Savvy November 11, 2011 at 4:06 am

Oh wow! There is nothing That could make these less than amazing! :)

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Molly @ RDexposed November 11, 2011 at 4:28 am

I tell underweight patients to add evaporated milk to foods to increase calroies. I’m not even sure what the stuff even looks like. Woops :)

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Molly @ RDexposed November 12, 2011 at 9:55 am

Disclaimer: I know what evaporated and dried milk both are, I just wouldn’t be able to tell you what the package looks like. A lot of patients identify the milk that they drink with the color of the cap and I have to figure out which they are talking about. So if they were to describe the box of dried milk I wouldn’t probably figure it out.

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Katie November 11, 2011 at 4:54 am

I use evaporated milk all the time in cooking! Maybe I’m the only one. This, along with all of your great-grandmother’s recipes, looks delicious. It’s getting me more interested in my grandmothers’ recipes. Thank you for sharing them with us!

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Heather (Heather's Dish) November 11, 2011 at 4:58 am

yes PLEASE!

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Lucy November 11, 2011 at 4:58 am

This reminds me to pick up some graham crackers for snacks. So good dipped in yogurt or hummus.

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Clair November 11, 2011 at 5:01 am

I used evaporated milk in my coffee for a long time. That’s what they use in Germany instead of cream (in most places), and it brought back so many fantastic memories of enjoying coffee there.

Then I discovered the joys of hot chocolate with almond milk, and I haven’t seen any evaporated milk around for awhile…=)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 11, 2011 at 5:10 am

I think if I had to pick a favourite cracker, it’d be a graham cracker. Maybe because they’re practically cookies?? Either way, these sound so delicious!!

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Krystina (Organically Me) November 11, 2011 at 5:12 am

Interesting. I’m not even sure what I’d imagine the texture to be. I love rocky road, though.

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Bev Weidner November 11, 2011 at 5:14 am

I’d happily evaporate my FACE into those rocky road bars.

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Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy November 11, 2011 at 5:35 am

graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows all in a no bake bar! Sign me up!

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Lori November 11, 2011 at 5:36 am

Every time I hear Rocky Road I think of Sloth in The Goonies when he breaks into the ice cream freezer and is offering a half gallon to Chunk. :)

These look amazing. Adding them to my very long list of yummy things I need to bake but will never live long enough to get to.

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Julia @ La Petite Maison Verte November 11, 2011 at 5:37 am

I’m loving these retro recipes and hoping there’s lots more with graham crackers, I can never get enough! I think you should share the prune-thing, to be true to your grandma’s recipe collection: the good, the bad and the ugly (?!). We have all been forewarned :-)

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Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray November 11, 2011 at 5:39 am

Your great grandma is a genius fo’ sho…these look like great hunks of deliciousness!

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Jen November 11, 2011 at 5:52 am

This is definitely a grandma recipe. Mine makes something similar to this, but they are usually hard as rocks! ;)

Just have to say thank you Jenna for your blog and actually having content that isn’t about just you or what you ate everyday.

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Amanda November 11, 2011 at 5:53 am

Evaporated milk totally reminds me of my grandmother too! I remember she had a stock pile of things like evaporated milk, tea biscuits, and these sunkist jelly candies. Anyone know what I’m talking about? They were orange, red, yellow, and green fruit-flavored jellies, covered in sugar, and individually wrapped. I used to sneak them whenever we would visit. :)

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Sally November 11, 2011 at 6:03 am

Yes!! Please share the weird recipe – it probably still tastes fantastic and more people like weird recipes than will actually admit. Totally just vouching for myself on that one. :)

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katie @KatieDid November 11, 2011 at 6:28 am

Man she loved graham crackers! Such a classic in baking, I can see why- these look amazing!

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Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) November 11, 2011 at 6:29 am

These contain all of my fav baking ingredients! Chocolate, mallows, and graham crackers?! Um, perfect.

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Jenn November 11, 2011 at 6:30 am

Yes, please bring on the weirdness!!

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kathleen @ the daily crumb November 11, 2011 at 6:32 am

delish! i used condensed milk in seven layer bars… always wondered the difference between the two. is there one? regardless, these look amazing. can’t wait to try! the perfect treat balance out by those roasted veggie enchiladas.

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jenna November 11, 2011 at 8:28 am

sweetened condensed milk has a lot of added sugar to it and it’s almost “syrupy” aka delicious enough to drink with a straw.

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 11, 2011 at 6:52 am

Definitely share it! I want to see the good and the bad in great-grandma’s stash!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 11, 2011 at 6:52 am

PS-I started reading How to Love and American Man last night after your suggestion. Totally HOOKED.

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Laura@mypurposefullife November 11, 2011 at 6:59 am

These look so good. And the fact that they’re no bake makes them that much better. I will be buying the ingredients for these on my way home from work today. :)

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Meme November 11, 2011 at 7:05 am

I need to make these right.now. I love your great-grandmother’s recipes!

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Cait's Plate November 11, 2011 at 7:11 am

Seriously. If those are the outcome I’d be down with evaporated milk any day. Those look absolutely incredible and the fact that they’re no-bake?! Great grandma knew what was up ;)

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Meredith November 11, 2011 at 7:31 am

Love prunes!! Go on and post that recipe! :)

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Sara-Jane November 11, 2011 at 7:32 am

Prunes are cool…. in a great-grandma sorta way! :) bring it on….

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Diana November 11, 2011 at 7:33 am

I don’t understand why you find evaporated milk scary but love sweetened condensed milk. Evaporated milk is just milk with the water evaporated. You can buy it in fat free or low fat and it’s a great healthy substitute for cream in baking.

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Lauren from Lauren's Latest November 11, 2011 at 7:38 am

I love that these are no bake! I can shovel them into my mouth quicker!

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Lisa [With Style and Grace] November 11, 2011 at 7:40 am

I’m with you, evaporated milk scares me, a lot. Now these little no bake beauties. . . they need to be made, a-sap.

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Laura November 11, 2011 at 7:46 am

Bring on the prunes! I’ve always been a fan and I think we all could learn a thing or two from our grandparents :).

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Rachel @ Mommygetsmoving November 11, 2011 at 7:52 am

Thanks for the recipe. I now know what to make for my cooking project with the little guy this week. My four year old doesn’t like when things need to “heat up”.

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Katrina November 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

Hello, beautiful!

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Sonia (the Mexigarian) November 11, 2011 at 9:07 am

Your abuelita was a woman after my heart. :D Love this combination. And I AM looking forward to the prune recipe. I for one, LOVE, prunes. Yes, 28 years old and I buy the big bag of prunes from Costco. Soooo sweet and yummy. Like candy. But good for you.

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Ashlyn November 11, 2011 at 9:38 am

Dang you and your deliciousness!

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Bridget November 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

We make these with colored marshmallows and call them Church Windows! Perfect for Christmas. We also roll them in coconut though before hand.

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Moni'sMeals November 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

This is perfect. I am all about NO BAKE anything right now… mainly because my oven is sucky.

Thanks for this. I will try them out!

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Jenny November 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

I definately want to see the wierd recipe! :-)

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape November 11, 2011 at 10:41 am

These look fantastic!!

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Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out November 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

Dude, bring on the weird recipe. I love seeing what weirdo things grandmothers had in their recipe boxes (my own great-grandmother had a few doozies in her own…)

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Lauren Z. November 11, 2011 at 11:01 am

Dude, Jenna – you TOTALLY have to share the prune recipe! Weird or not, it just sounds so intriguing! :) Those bars look delish!

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jenna k November 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

LOVE rocky road bars! my mom makes them, except her recipe leaves out the graham crackers, powdered sugar, and evaporated milk, and adds sweetened condensed milk instead :)
and for the record, i agree with your canned milk sentiments. sweetened condensed milk seems totally different to me, like a syrup, but evaporated milk just seems like a poor excuse for real milk.

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RunEatRepeat November 11, 2011 at 11:41 am

I LOVE no bake desserts because I always eat half of it pre-oven anyways!

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Maria November 11, 2011 at 11:41 am

what a fun and easy treat!

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emma November 11, 2011 at 11:52 am

These look yummy! And easy….which is ALWAYS good! : )

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Rebecca November 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Wow! Those do look just like Golden Grahams, which I haven’t had in SO long but am not craving like crazy. Sigh. I guess I’ll just have to get baking ;)

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Ashley November 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm

what kind of nuts did you use? this recipe looks yummy and i think i will make them for thanksgiving!

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jenna November 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I used walnuts!

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock November 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Aah…delish! Def. want to make this Jenna.

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Emily November 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Ahh…delicious!
Growing up my favorite snack was graham crackers dipped in milk. I loved when they got all soggy and mushy. I’m aware that sounds absolutely disgusting but I couldn’t get enough!
I definitely have to try making a bar like this. How can you go wrong with a no-bake dessert?

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Jen in LA November 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm

all of these remind me of childhood. I grew up in Minnesota and my mom has these recipes. I wonder if you and I are somehow related through distant grandparents. :) Keep bringing the great north woods recipes!

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sally kate November 11, 2011 at 5:00 pm

yes of course we need to know what you chose as the first of the weird retro recipes were!! i took a food sociology class at ole miss where we studied that women weren’t supposed to eat actual meat and fish with bones in it because it wasn’t “lady like” so thats where crazy aspic salads came from, that sometimes would have things like fish and meat in them, and they would be made in one of those copper molds your mom has hanging up in the kitchen- that way it was dainty enough for ladies lunch :) good lord i’m glad we’ve come a ways since then.

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Meghan @ StruggleMuffins November 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Graham crackers for life and no-bake for life!

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie November 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I got a shiver of delight just looking at this. I’m pretty sure that I would be in a state of hysteria if I was eating one right now.

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Heidi - Apples Under My Bed November 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I am from Australia, have never tried a graham cracker. Man I want to. I should ship some over. Yes to the weird recipe!! :)
Heidi xo

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MyThy as in "Mighty" November 12, 2011 at 3:44 am

Condensed milk = Vietnamese coffee in our house! My mom likes to add a lil’ bit of half & half to take the edge off but I’ll use evaporated milk to substitute when I’m out.

So excited to see you cooking/baking your way thru Gr’mas recipes. Will we be seeing savory dishes soon? =]

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emily November 12, 2011 at 5:19 am

Hi Jenna!
Just wanted to let you know I made this recipe yesterday afternoon. It turned out beautifully! I feel like your great-grandma had some sort of trick to extract the squares from the pan. . . honestly, it’s like they are super-glued in there! But the extra effort is totally worth it. I’ve been nibbling at them alllll morning long.

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Gillian G. @ When Bread Is Broken November 12, 2011 at 10:08 am

I think I am more intrigued in the recipes that don’t work out as well than the ones that do! [Read: hopeless cookbook history nerd. What I get for writing a thesis on it...]

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carolyn November 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

thank you for posting this. i made something similar with my mom as a kid, except we omitted the graham crackers and used multi colored mini marshmallows. we called them “cathedral cookies” because they reminded us of stained glass windows from the different colored mini marshmallows. anyway, we made them tonight as part of a gift basket for a friend. followed your recipe except used the multi colored ones. going to call them Smore’s Bars on the gift tag :)

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Jenny November 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Funny you should mention wierd/old ingredients that pop up in old family recipes and remind you of your grandma. For me – it’s Crisco and jello. What the heck???

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Vianna November 13, 2011 at 3:05 am

This is a great recipe, and yes, the prune recipee would be good too. I like prunes and all dried fruit and am always looking for more ways to use them. Thank you.

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Callina November 13, 2011 at 11:08 am

I’d love to try this recipe but I don’t really care for marshmallows–any ideas for substitutions? Also I actually like to have evaporated milk on hand because it’s cheap and lasts a lot longer (duh) than fresh milk. It still tastes a little sweet to me so I think it’s perfect for dessert recipes like this.

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jenna November 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Hmmm…you could just nix the marshmallows all together if you really don’t care for them!

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Liz November 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Oh, yeah!!! Pass that plate my way…these look fabulous!

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mel tardy November 14, 2011 at 10:44 am

So, I’ve gotta tell you that everytime I see a recipe with graham crackers I have to chuckle. One of my daughters is majoring in psychology and she has heard in MORE THAN ONE CLASS that graham crackers were originally created for help with people who were sexually addicted. Apparently it has something in it that is supposed to “deter” their unwholesome thoughts and keep them from their favorite activity!!! Totally hilarious to me, since in this era, they are used primarily for preschoolers!!!

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jenna November 14, 2011 at 11:06 am

that.is.HILARIOUS!

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Sara November 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm

O.M.G. This looks incredible.

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Cookin' Canuck November 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I give a big thumbs-up to the evaporated milk if it turns into a treat like this. My kids would gobble these up in a flash.

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Atti November 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm

These look good and I’ll make them for Thanksgiving!
Do you have any special tricks how to finely crumble the Graham Crackers?

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jenna November 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Buy the graham crackers from Trader Joe’s if you have one! They crumble a lot easier than Nabisco brand. I usually just stick the grahams in a large plastic zip-lock bag and crush them with the bottom of my water bottle!

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Atti November 17, 2011 at 8:39 am

Thanks!

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Christine November 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I love this post. Rocky road bars are a prairie family classic and this reminds me so much of the hard-working ladies of Saskatchewan like my own grandma, who made hers with butterscotch chips and the multi-coloured mini-marshmallows. Because it’s important to be festive. Thanks for bringing back a special memory for me:-)

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jenna November 11, 2011 at 7:39 am

The tone of this blog is one of lightness and tongue-and-cheek humor. Thanks for your definition of evaporated vs sweetened condensed milk!

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