BEST Magic Cookie Bars (7 Layer Bars)

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5 from 3 votes

Magic Cookie Bars are layered with a buttery graham cracker crust, chocolate chips, butterscotch or peanut butter chips, coconut, nuts, and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk to achieve the ultimate gooey consistency. Finish with coarse salt for the most heavenly 7 layer bars!

Whether you know them as magic cookie bars, 7-layer bars, or Hello Dolly bars, this dessert is an easy sweet treat that is a guaranteed hit. It’s like magic! With each decadent layer, you’re going to dive into a new flavor that is sure to build on the last. Starting with a buttery graham cracker crumb crust, you’ll then be met with melted chocolate, rich butterscotch, chewy coconut shreds, crunchy nuts. 

The real magic is this final layer to give them their ultimate gooeyness: the sweetened condensed milk! You’ll notice that we add this last rather than first for good reason. When drizzled at the end, the condensed milk soaks into the bars, binding them together while baking to achieve the perfect soft consistency. My recipe below shows you how to make the classic 7 layers but also offers options to customize them to your taste!

If you’re in the mood for more yummy bars, don’t sleep on my Pumpkin Bars or Peanut Butter Bars. They won’t disappoint!

What Are Magic Cookie Bars?

Magic cookie bars are 7 layers of heavenly goodness that are baked to form a truly classic dessert bar. 7 layers means only 7 ingredients! It starts with a buttery graham cracker crust and is layered with bittersweet chocolate, butterscotch, sweetened coconut flakes, pecans, and sweetened condensed milk to make everything extra soft and gooey.  Plus, no need to make 15 individual cookies! These bars save time and energy by creating the dessert in one 9”x13” pan with no scooping, forming, or rolling required.

Watch Me Make Magic Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  • Graham cracker crumbs – Graham cracker crumbs are finely crushed pieces of graham crackers that you can find at your local grocery store. Their sweet, buttery flavor creates the perfect crust! If you can’t find them in the grocery store, buy regular graham crackers and crush them up into a fine crumb in a plastic bag. 
  • Salted butter – salted butter adds moisture and helps combine with the Graham cracker crumbs to make the most delicious crust. 
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips – bittersweet chocolate chips are higher in cocoa content than traditional semi-sweet chocolate chips giving them a more rich and intense chocolate flavor, with a slightly bitter undertone. Sub with semisweet or milk chocolate chips if preferred. 
  • Butterscotch chips – butterscotch chips are classic in magic cookie bars. They’re very sweet with notes of brown sugar, caramel and vanilla. Their flavor is SO good in these bars. You can use peanut butter chips if preferred…which are just as yummy! 
  • Sweetened coconut flakes – sweetened coconut adds chewiness and of course, toasted coconut flavor! If you don’t love coconut, feel free to leave it out. 
  • Chopped pecans – chopped pecans bring a nutty and buttery crunch to this dessert. Sub with chopped walnuts.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – sweetened condensed milk is our secret glue that holds these magic cookie bars together! Its rich, caramelized flavor is the perfect final touch. 
  • Coarse salt – like the sweet/salty thing? Finish with a sprinkle of salt!

How To Make Magic Cookie Bars

Learn how to make magic cookie bars! Full instructions in the recipe card; this is an outline!

  1. Prep.

    Grease a 9×13″ pan and preheat oven to 350℉.

  2. Combine. 

    Combine melted butter and graham cracker crumbs in a bowl.

  3. Press.

    Use your hands or the back of a spoon to press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Create an even, packed crumb layer.

  4. Layer.

    Sprinkle chocolate chips in the pan on top of the crumb layer. Then add butterscotch chips in an even layer. Then add coconut flakes in an even layer. Finally, layer chopped nuts in an even layer.

  5. Drizzle.

    Drizzle condensed milk in rows on top of the bars. Make as even as possible.

  6. Bake.

    Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown and bars are set.

  7. Cool.

    Sprinkle with coarse salt if desired. Cool completely before cutting! Serve at room temp or warm.

Recipe Tips

  • Drizzle condensed milk last. There’s quite the debate on whether the sweetened condensed milk should be poured first or last! I’ve tested it both ways and have found that sweetened condensed milk is best as the ending glue. Pouring it last allows it to soak into the bars, binding them together and creating the gooey, soft and chewy bars we love!
  • Layer evenly. Make sure to layer each ingredient evenly so that you get all 7 layers of goodness in every bite.
  • Use graham cracker crumbs. Purchase graham cracker crumbs at your local grocery store and save time not having to crush them yourself!
  • Cut once cooled. With melted chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in addition to the gooey sweetened condensed milk, cutting them while warm can be really messy. The bars are easiest to cut once completely cooled. They smell SO good coming out of the oven, but I promise it is worth the wait!

Variations

These magic cookie bars are so flexible that it’s easy to play around with the ingredients. Here are a few ways to mix things up:

  • Use chocolate graham crackers instead of regular graham crackers.
  • Change the crust and use a crumbly cookie like crushed gingersnaps!
  • Use white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch chips.
  • Don’t love coconut? Feel free to leave it out.
  • Swap the chopped pecans with Candied Pecans. Or use chopped walnuts instead!
  • Add a layer of crushed pretzels for a salty twist. 
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream and top with Hot Fudge!

Storage

  • Store: store in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. Alternatively, you can store them in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Reheat: if you prefer a warm bar, heat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. 
  • Freeze: the bars freeze really well! Place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months once cooled completely. When you are ready to enjoy, let them thaw at room temperature on the counter overnight.

More Dessert Recipes You’ll Love!

BEST Magic Cookie Bars (7 Layer Bars)

Magic Cookie Bars are layered with a buttery graham cracker crust, chocolate chips, butterscotch or peanut butter chips, coconut, nuts, and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk to achieve the ultimate gooey consistency. Finish with coarse salt for the most heavenly 7 layer bars!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: any season
Servings: 15 medium bars
Calories: 361kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Equipment

  • 9×13" pan

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 10 tablespoons salted butter melted (1 stick + 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans or chopped walnuts
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • Coarse salt to finish (optional)

Instructions

  • Grease a 9×13" pan. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Combine melted butter and graham cracker crumbs in a bowl.
  • Use your hands or the back of a spoon to press mixture into the bottom of the pan, creating an even, packed crumb layer.
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips in the pan on top of the crumb layer in an even layer. Then add butterscotch chips, then coconut flakes, and then nuts in even layers.
  • Drizzle condensed milk in rows on top of bars as evenly as possible.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bars are set and the edges are golden brown.
  • Sprinkle with coarse salt if desired. Cool completely before cutting.

Video

Notes

  • See the above post under “Variations” for different layer ideas!
  • If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs in the grocery store, buy regular graham crackers and crush them up into a fine crumb in a plastic bag with the bottom of a water glass.
  • Don’t have salted butter? Use unsalted plus a pinch of salt.
  • Leave out the coconut if you aren’t a coconut fan!
  • Serve warm or room temp!

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 195mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 318IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 1mg
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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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