This magic cookie bars recipe is popular around the holidays but crave-worthy the rest of the year too! They’re a decadent layered bar made with a soft and buttery graham cracker crust topped with sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, nuts, and shredded coconut for the ultimate easiest dessert!
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Easy Magic Cookie Bar
Would you believe these decadent layered are made with only 6 simple ingredients? Not only that but they are incredibly easy to make. They truly are made of magic 🙂 Which may be slightly dangerous because of how utterly addicting they are!
These old-fashioned hello dolly bars, as they’re also known, are sweet, chewy, nutty, and chocolatey bars full of layers of ooey gooey goodness. They’re made with a base layer of graham cracker crust, topped with sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut.
Baked until golden, this classic magic cookie bar recipe is a delicious, sweet dessert bar everyone will love to see on your holiday baking tray and bake sales!
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: You can find graham crumbs in the baking section of most grocery stores. If you have the cookies on hand, place them in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are formed or in a plastic baggie and use a rolling pin to turn into crumbs. You can also use gluten free graham crackers too.
- Salted Butter, Melted: Adding melted butter to the crumbs will make the texture of wet sand and once baked it’ll set nicely into a crust that will hold together.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: NOT to be confused with evaporated milk. Thick, rich, and sweetened condensed milk melts into the bars holding everything together and adding an extra layer of chewy and sweet! I love Eagle Brand condensed milk.
- Dark Chocolate Chips: I like to use dark chocolate chips but feel free to use your favorite.
- Chopped Pecans: These add a fantastic crunch factor with a nutty flavor. You can opt to use a different kind of nut if preferred.
- Sweetened Shredded Coconut Flakes: The finishing touch! Coconut, chocolate, graham crackers, and nuts are a match made in heaven!
1. Swap the pecans with a different kind of nut. Slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, cashews, or peanuts would be great instead.
2. For something a little extra, use candied nuts or chocolate-covered nuts.
3. If you’re not opposed to extra sweetness, by all means, use semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips. You can also trade them in for white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips.
4. To balance out the sweetness, sprinkle a little bit of flaked sea salt overtop the bars for a little salty-sweet combination.
5. Make them 7-layer bars by adding butterscotch chips on top.
6. Feel free to make them without coconut if you’re not a fan.
7. Swap the nuts for pumpkin seeds or you can leave the nuts off completely if you’d like.
How to Make these Magic Bars
This recipe will come together in just a few easy steps and will be ready to slice and serve in under 1 hour. No need to make the announcement, the aromas wafting from your kitchen will have people running to grab a slice or two!
Step 1: Add the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl and mix until the crumbs are moist.
Step 2: Transfer the graham cracker mixture to the foil lined 9×13 pan and use your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crust firmly into the bottom of the pan. Bake it for 8 minutes at 350° F.
Step 3: Remove the baked crust from the oven and pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the entire crust. It helps if you move the can from side to side, back and forth, so you’re not pouring in one spot.
Step 4: Sprinkle the chocolate chips in an even layer over top of the condensed milk followed by the chopped pecans and shredded coconut.
Step 5: Place the assembled dish back into the oven to bake for another 25-30 minutes. The edges will be golden brown and the middle should be set.
Step 6: Allow them to cool completely. Then, use the sides of the foil to lift the bars out of the tray. Cut into bars and enjoy!
- This recipe yields 12 even-sized bars, but you can make more or less depending on the size you cut yours.
- For clean slices, use a sharp knife and wipe the knife in between each cut. Also, wait until they are completely cooled, otherwise the warm gooey (albeit delicious) mess won’t help you.
- Using parchment paper or aluminum foil to line your baking sheet helps to create a nonstick surface for this ultra-sticky treat! Leaving the edges hanging over the sides helps to lift it out of the tray
These simple cookie bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Absolutely! These bars can be frozen. I like to freeze them in individual slices in plastic wrap and transfer them to a freezer bag. Keep them frozen for up to 2 months, then thaw them on the counter when ready to enjoy again.
Yes! While not soft enough to fall apart, it’s not a hard crust. The graham cracker crust should hold together well but will still be soft and chewy.
Magic Cookie Bars
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup butter salted melted (1 stick)
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk 1 can
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips divided
- 1 ½ cups pecans chopped
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes shredded
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line a 9×13” pan with parchment paper or foil. (If using foil, spray it lightly with non-stick cooking spray).
- In a medium bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and mix until all the cracker crumbs are moistened.1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs, ½ cup butter
- Then add the crumb mixture to the pan and press it firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake the crust for 8 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven and pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over top the crust.14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- Sprinkle 1 ½ cups of the chocolate chips over the condensed milk layer.2 cups dark chocolate chips
- Then sprinkle over the chopped pecans and coconut evenly over top of the condensed milk.1 ½ cups pecans, 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- Lastly, sprinkle the remaining ½ cup chocolate chips evenly over top of .
- Place the pan back in the oven and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the middle has set.
- Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely. Lift the entire batch out by the foil (or parchment paper) and slice them into any desired size
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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