To create this, our crafty kitchen crew started with Almena's temptingly tasty bar cookie recipe to make the treasure chest. Next, our cooks cut up an oatmeal container to form a curved lid, lined it with aluminum foil and frosted it before attaching it to the chest. For the crowning touch, they filled the top of the solid chest with "treasure"—in the form of candy coins and lollipop rings. Serve a Treasure Chest yourself and see if you don't see lots of "jolly Roger" faces.—Almena Hoke, Spring Grove, Pennsylvania
Recommended: 30 Creative Birthday Cakes
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped hickory nuts or walnuts
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 can (16 ounces) chocolate frosting
- 1 empty Quaker Oats container (42 ounces)
- Aluminum foil
- 8 pieces black licorice (8 inches each)
- Jelly beans
- 3 red Lifesavers
- Foil-covered chocolate coins
- Lollipop rings, optional
- Additional brown sugar
- In a bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to the batter and mix well. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spread into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. With a sharp knife, cut into four 7-1/2-in. x 5-in. pieces. Center one piece on a 15-in.-square covered board; frost the top. Repeat layers twice. Top with the last piece.
- Cut ends from the oatmeal container and discard; cut remaining portion into a 7-1/2-in. piece. Cut in half lengthwise to form lid (discard remaining pieces). Cover lid with foil. Frost to within 1 in of one long side. Carefully insert the unfrosted edge between second and third layers of chest. Frost top and sides of chest.
- Cut two licorice pieces into 7-1/2-in. lengths and two into 5-in. lengths; place horizontally around top edges of chest. From the remaining licorice, cut six 2-3/4-in. pieces and six 1/2-in. pieces. Press one 2-3/4-in. piece onto each corner and two vertically on the front of the chest.
- For handles, center a Lifesaver on the front and each side of chest; press two 1/2-in. licorice pieces on either side of Lifesavers. Press three jelly beans on either side of front chest handle between licorice pieces (see photo). Fill the top of the chest with chocolate coins, remaining jelly beans and lollipop rings if desired. Sprinkle brown sugar around chest for sand.
- To serve, remove and discard lid. Divide candy among plates. Cut treasure chest with a sharp knife and place on plates. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Originally published as Treasure Chest in Crafting Traditions May/June 1998 , p41