What Are the Seven Layers of the Seven-Layer (Magic) Bar?

It's a deceptively simple question: "What are the seven layers of the Seven-Layer (or "Magic") Bar?" The answer, however, continues to elude me.

If you look at the "official" recipe on the Eagle Brand website, which I think actually holds a copyright on the phrase "Seven-Layer Magic Bar," it would suggest:

  1. Graham cracker crust
  2. Sweetened condensed milk
  3. Butterscotch-flavored chips
  4. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  5. Flaked coconut
  6. Chopped nuts

Oh no, that's only six! Perhaps they're counting the butter you mix with the Graham cracker crumbs to form the crust? If yes, it's not so much a seven-"layer" bar as it is a "seven-ingredient bar" as the butter and crumbs combine to form a single stratum. And why not also count the layer of Crisco (specified by the recipe) you spray on the pan as an ingredient/layer?

Wait, it gets more puzzling.

Note that Eagle Brand does not specify a type of nuts, which leaves this choice open to interpretation. For example, baker-blogger Sally uses pecans to create an "ultimate" version of the Seven-Layer Bar, yet she herself only lists four ingredients (chocolate chips, coconut, pecans and sweetened condensed milk) as layers, plus the crust.

So essentially, the "ultimate" Seven-Layer Bar has five layers. Um...

This compilation of 31 recipes for Seven-Layer/Magic Bar, some of which contain as many as 10 ingredients, does nothing to assuage my confusion.

Think I'm the only neurotic fool food philosopher to make these observations? Check out this Pinterest board, which I like to think (very) subtly mocks the indeterminate ever-fluctuating composition of Seven-Layer/Magic Bars.

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