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Magic cookie bars are classic Midwestern treats that go by several other names including seven-layer bars, coconut dream bars, and hello dollies. Whatever you call them, there’s no denying that they’re delicious, with sweet coconut, crunchy nuts, and yummy chocolate chips.
INGREDIENTS for MAGIC COOKIE BARS
You will need:
- 1/2 cup of salted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of light brown sugar
- 2 cups of honey or chocolate graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (about 16 full sheets)
- 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup of shredded sweet coconut
- 3/4 cup of chopped pecans
- 1 2/3 cups of sweetened condensed milk
SUBSTITUTIONS and ADDITIONS
Milk Chocolate Chips: You could use dark chocolate chips or butterscotch chips as an alternative.
Pecans: If you don’t have pecans you could use walnuts, pistachios, cashews, or macadamia nuts.
Sweetened Condensed Milk: We like to use Eagle Brand condensed milk. Cream of coconut works well as an alternative if you prefer to avoid dairy.
Coconut: Don’t like coconut? No problem. You can make magic cookie bars without coconut if you prefer.
Marshmallows: These are optional but add a great chewy texture.
Dried Fruit: Raisins, sultanas, and cranberries all make nice additions to this recipe.
Candy: To make this recipe extra magical, consider adding M&Ms or any other small candies.
HOW TO MAKE THIS MAGIC COOKIE BARS RECIPE
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish and set aside.
STEP TWO: In a mixing bowl, add the graham crackers vanilla extract, sugar, and melted butter. Stir until combined.
STEP THREE: Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Use a spatula to press it down firmly.
STEP FOUR: Sprinkle on a third of the chocolate chips, a third of the pecans, and a third of the coconut. Repeat two times to create layers.
STEP FIVE: Pour the condensed milk on top.
STEP SIX: Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
STEP SEVEN: Allow to cool completely, slice into bars, and serve.
IN THE FRIDGE: Magic cookie bars can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. If it’s not too warm, you could keep them on the counter for about three days.
IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze magic cookie bars for up to three months in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Magic cookie bars are called ‘magic’ for a reason – because they’ll be gone in a flash! Luckily, there are so many magic cookie bar variations that you can enjoy making these treats again and again.
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Magic Cookie Bars
- 1/2 cup salted butter melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 cup honey or chocolate graham crackers crushed into crumbs (about 16 full sheets)
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup shredded sweet coconut
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish. Set aside
- In a mixing bowl add crushed graham crackers, vanilla extract, light brown sugar, and melted butter. Stir to combine.
- Pour into the 8×8 baking dish and press down firmly with your fingers. You might want to use something flat to really press the mixture down so the crust can set up.
- Sprinkle 1/3 of the chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans. Repeat layers 2 more times.
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top of the layers.
- Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the coconut and edges are lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.