Magic cookie bars recipe, sometimes called Hello Dolly bars, are an irresistible bar cookie featuring decadent layers: a buttery graham cracker crust, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts (I like pecans) and shredded coconut bound together with a can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk.
You'll realize the magic in these 7-layer bars when you eat your first bite.
These bar cookies are ridiculously easy to make but they taste like you spent hours in the kitchen.
These magic bars with condensed milk are a popular treat during the Christmas holidays.
If you find yourself wanting to make these but out of sweetened condensed milk, check out Condensed Milk Substitute
Or perhaps Christmas Muddy Buddies.
Bar cookies are great because they're time savers. You're not portioning cookie dough by hand with a cookie scoop. You're just slicing the bars once they've finished baking.
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- graham cracker crumbs
- melted butter
- chocolate chips
- butterscotch chips
- nuts (I like to use pecans)
- shredded coconut
- 14-ounce can of condensed milk
See recipe card for quantities.
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Use your senses to know when the bar cookies are done. They will smell done and the coconut will look lightly toasted when the bars are done.
- Graham cracker crumbs - use whatever you have--regular or cinnamon or chocolate even
- Nuts - I like to use pecans but use whatever you have. Be sure to chop the nuts into small pieces.
- Chips -use whatever type of chips you have. I usually use semi-sweet morsels but you can use whatever you have, milk chocolate or dark or a flavored chip like cinnamon or espresso.
Magic bars are endlessly customizable.
You can do all kinds of variations on magic bars.
- Peanut - use peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips and use chopped peanuts for the nuts.
- Add pretzels in with the graham crackers for the crust - add chopped toffee bits instead of butterscotch chips.
- Peppermint - make a festive version with peppermint chips instead of butterscotch
- You'll need a 13x9 pan, I really like this Nordicware pan, which comes with a lid.
- Parchment paper
- A sharp knife or a bench scraper for slicing the bars.
- And then of course, an oven to bake them in.
Store magic bars in a container with a tight fitting lid for up to a week.
Freeze well wrapped in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Freezing directions: slice bars and freeze each bar on a tray separately, kind of like you're freezing berries. Then once frozen, wrap in freezer safe paper or foil and put in a freezer safe container.
Don't overbake the bars.
When you're layering the ingredients, press down lightly on each layer with your hands before adding the next layer. This will help the bars stay together.
Store magic bars at room temperature in an airtight container. This Nordicware 13x9 pan is great. The pan comes with a lid so you can store the bars in the same pan you used to bake them.
Yes, but before freezing them, slice the bars and freeze them in individual bars or triangles. Once they're frozen, wrap them well in freezer paper or foil and tuck them in a freezer-safe container. You can freeze the 7-layer bars for up to three months.
You can store magic bars for up to a week at room temperature. Or freeze, tightly wrapped, for up to three months.
Magic Cookie Bars Recipe
- 13x9 pan
- parchment paper use foil if you don't have parchment. Spray or butter liberally so bars don't stick.
- sharp knife or bench scraper
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs any flavor--regular or cinnamon or chocolate
- 1ch cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels can substitute milk or white or dark chocolate morsels
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1.3 cups flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped nuts use any nut you like, I think pecan works well.
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk Eagle brand is great. You can also substitute a store brand.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Or line with parchment paper so the bars are easily removed.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
- Layer evenly with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut and nuts. Push down each layer with your fingers.
- Pour can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top of all the ingredients.
- Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, checking for doneness after 20 minutes. Use all your senses. The coconut should look lightly toasted when done.
- Remove from oven and set pan on a wire rack to cool for at least an hour.
- Refrigerating the bar dessert will make slicing it into neat bars or triangles easier.