When I was thumbing through my Mom’s orange notebook last month, I came across an American recipe that she absolutely adored: 7 layer cookies. One of my sisters had added it to the notebook. Maybe it was my sister Linh, who loves to bake. I remember Linh making those bars for my mom over and over. My mother loves coconut, nuts and chocolate. Over the years, she scored countless post-Halloween deals on Almond Joy bars. When I buy See’s candies for her, I make sure there are plenty of the “dark cocoanuts”.
I’ve never made the 7 layer cookie recipe because I was put off by the versions I’d had in recent years. They tended to be so darn sweet with not much character. But after seeing the recipe in mom’s notebook and thinking about her Mother’s Day, I wanted to update the recipe my mom’s (and my) 21st century tastes: dark chocolate over semi-sweet chocolate, a mild sweetness, and a touch of saltiness. (You could say that we're bittersweet salty people but I'll leave that judgement up to you.)