Cindy’s Maid Marians (aka Maid of Honors, aka Whatever You Want to Call Them)

barThese are, by far, one of my favorite treats. In all the years I’ve known about these squares, no one has really revealed a name they would be known as and forget about getting the recipe from those who make it – they just smile and give me a small tin. I was introduced to these wonderful creations when I was 11 and my mother made a batch. I had never had anything like them and I remember begging my mother to make them again but alas, she told me the ingredients were too expensive to make them again.

It was 10 long years before I found them again, and color me shocked that it was my Mom’s best friend who was making them. I all but cried! She told me they are called Maid of Honors and every few years a small tin shows up at Christmas and I am delighted all over again. Sadly, every few years is a long time for my memory so I would ask her if she was going to bake any Maid Marians and there would be much laughter. My mother decided a few years ago that she was jealous of this tin that would show up every once in a while and insisted she get a taste of these special bars. To this day, she says she never made them but she was also overly delighted by these scrumptious squares, and now I’m pretty sure that any tin that has been making its way to me has been waylaid by my mother.

Now, you should know if you search Maid of Honor bars, the recipe will not be the one I’m about to share with you. I haven’t searched Maid Marians but I’m pretty sure you would get bogged down with Robin Hood screenplays and such.  So what name could they possibly have?  Let’s just say I was shocked and extremely happy when my best friend brought out these exact squares during a visit Christmas visit just a few years ago.  I waxed poetic about them and she told me they are called Millennium Squares and once again, I have met a person who delights in not sharing the recipe.  The thing about not having the recipe is that my best friend now enjoys making them at different times of the year and putting a heaping plate in front of me.

As for the name, I still couldn’t track down the recipe by the name Millennium squares but thanks to the wonders of the internet, I just had to put in a few ingredients and bam, I finally found the recipe. Luckily, I’m not like those around me who hide their recipes from prying eyes, so now I share it with you and call them whatever you want, just make ‘em!

This year, I plan to try and make them – the few times I have tried I have over cooked them and when they are over cooked you can play hockey with them. Hopefully I can figure this recipe out but since I’m sure there are many excellent bakers out there here is the recipe.


1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine

1 1/2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs

1 Can (14oz) of Sweetened Condensed Milk (Carnation makes one as does Eagle)

2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (or any variation of chip you would prefer)

1 Cup Flaked Coconut

1 Cup chopped Walnuts (or another nut you would like – I’m thinking pecans)


Preheat Oven to 350 *F

Melt butter in a 13 x 9″ baking pan in oven, remove from oven (or melt with microwave). Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over the butter, stir well and then press into the bottom of the pan. In a small bowl stir condensed milk, coconut, chocolate chips and nuts together and then pour over the graham cracker crumbs.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (remember don’t over do them) and then remove from oven, let cool and then cut into squares. In all honesty, keep the squares to a smaller size than normal – these bars are very rich!

My mom’s best friend does not put the nuts in and puts very little chocolate on them so I think you can move ingredients in and out as you like and if you find time to bake them, you might just discover a new favourite bite-size treat for Christmas!

- Cindy AAR

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9 Responses to “Cindy’s Maid Marians (aka Maid of Honors, aka Whatever You Want to Call Them)”

  1. Leigh says:

    Poor you. I can’t believe everyone kept the recipe from you! I think the recipe for these cookies are in at least two of my cookbooks but you have to know the magic ingredient which is Eagle Brand Milk. They are also known as Magic Cookie Bars.

  2. LinnieGaylAAR says:

    These sound delicious. I’m thinking I’d like them better with pecans than walnuts.

  3. maggie b. says:

    I find it very odd that people don’t want to share the recipe. Maybe a bit embarrased because it is so easy? They do sound good and I will probably try them this year. My husband doesn’t like coconut though so I may have to come up with a substitution.

  4. CindyS says:

    My family and friends think they are hilarious. My mother wouldn’t tell me for years how to make one of my favourite dishes that my family calls Swiss Steak (again, this name doesn’t bring up the food I’m thinking of).
    I finally had to work it out and stumbled onto how to make the steak for myself. And maybe it’s because the dishes are so easy to make but I didn’t cook anything until I was married at 25 so yes, the whole oven/stove thing was intimidating.

    I remember the year I wanted to make fudge for Christmas (3rd year of marriage) and my mother was beside herself telling me I would burn myself. A tin of homemade fudge showed up 2 days later.

    Leigh – ah, magic cookie bars – that makes some sense and yes, the sweetened condensed milk is definitely the secret to these treats.

    LinnieGayl – I prefer pecans also as I find walnuts bitter

    Maggie – I don’t know what you would use instead of coconut – my husband doesn’t like the stuff either which works out for me ;)

    And the only problem I continue to have is the graham crust never sets – it crumbles back into dust. Add more butter?


  5. LeeB. says:

    Those look yummy! Send me a batch. :)

  6. Syd says:

    My mom always makes something very close to this every Christmas. She calls them 7 Layer Cookies, although I’ve never been able to count 7 layers. LOL. They are quite yummy.

  7. CindyS says:

    Lee – they are super yummy – you are brave to eat anything that shows up on your doorstep ;)

    Syd – too funny – 7 layer cookies – I may have to google it and see if there are extra layers in there!


  8. Kathy says:

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I have been scouring my cookbooks for a different Christmas cookie, nothing struck my fancy, and I had just about given up. Then I read your post.

    I made them last night after everyone was in bed, and they turned out great! I used pecans instead of walnuts cause that’s what I had plenty of. You are so right about cooking time. I baked mine for 25 minutes and then checked them. They still needed a couple of minutes, but I completely see how these bars could become hockey pucks. :-)

    • CindyS says:

      Kathy – I’m so glad you tried them. I went out today and bought the ingredients and laughed when I saw the can of sweetened condensed milk because it looks like the squares are on the front of the can.

      I hope you and family enjoy them!