These seven layer magic cookie bars are super gooey and so easy to make! Also known as magic cookie bars or seven layer bars, they have a buttery graham cracker crust that is topped with condensed milk, pecans, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and coconut. They only take 10 minutes to put together!
This recipe was originally published in March 2021. It has since been updated with new images.
Also known as hello dolly bars, these coconutty 7-layer bars are the perfect dessert bar. I've slightly changed up the recipe by substituting butterscotch chips for peanut butter chips and adding a salty pretzel on top, I just love that sweet and savory combo! This recipe is perfect for the holidays, bake sales, or really any time of year as it is such a crowd pleaser.
I've heard so many different names for this cookie bar, from magic layer bar, seven layer bar, to hello dolly bars! I've tried doing some research to figure out where all these names came from but couldn't get to the bottom of it. Let me know if you know the history of these sweet and delicious cookie layer bars!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Flavour: the amazing thing about these bars is how you can mix it up to fit your taste! My recipe has a gooey filling of pecans, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips and coconut flakes. They're topped with a pretzel to balance the sweetness. So many layers of flavor!
- Texture: the filling in these magic cookie bars is extra gooey, but have a great crunch with the pretzel topping.
- Ease: this is an easy recipe and a beginner could definitely make it.
- Time: it only takes a few minutes to assemble this recipe and then 25 minutes to bake. You'll have to wait for the bars to completely set before cutting!
- Would I make these again? Definitely! The fact that you can mix up the filling with different flavours make this such a great recipe to keep in your back pocket.
Shredded Coconut: you can buy ready shredded coconut, or you can buy coconut chips (untoasted!) and shred them in a food processor or blender, which is what I did.
Baking Chips: I used a combination of white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and chocolate chips, but feel free to use whatever flavors you like!
Pecans: you can use a different nut if you prefer.
Graham Crackers: if you don't have graham crackers the use digestive biscuits. Make sure you blend up your graham crackers into fine crumbs, you don't want any large pieces. Blend it either in a food processor or blender.
Unsalted Butter: I always use European style butter as it is much creamier thanks to a higher butterfat content!
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl with a rubber spatula, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Make sure all the crumbs are moist!
Step 2: In a 9x9 baking pan lined with aluminum foil, sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom. Use a rubber spatula or the bottom of a measuring cup to evenly press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan.
Step 3: Pour sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker crust. Use an offset spatula to make sure it is an even layer, or pick up the pan and move it around to evenly cover the crust. Sprinkle over your chopped pecans, then the baking chips. I kept a few baking chips to the side!
Step 4: Sprinkle over your shredded coconut and press them down with a fork to make sure they're all sticking together.. Then add your pretzels on top. Bake in the oven at 350°Fahrenheit/175°Celsius for 25 minutes, the coconut should be golden brown. Once out of the oven, sprinkle chocolate chips on top, or any of the flavored chips!
Let them cool completely before slicing into individual bars, if you slice while still warm they will fall apart!
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Use a weighing scale – I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. It makes a huge difference to your baking and is the most accurate way to bake!
- Let bars cool completely - let the cookie bars cool completely before slicing. I also suggest chilling them for a few hours to help everything stick together before you slice them up!
- Pretzels - sometimes the pretzels don't stick to the coconut while baking, so what I suggest is placing some chocolate chips underneath the pretzels to act as 'glue' to keep them on!
- Drizzle chocolate - for some more chocolate flavor, drizzle over some melted chocolate!
- Line the pan - make sure you have foil overhanging on the edges of the pan to make it easier to lift the bars out once they're cool.
Frequently Asked Questions
Keep them in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also keep them in the fridge if you prefer a chilled treat!
Yes, you can freeze these bars! Slice them up and wrap each one in clingfilm. Freeze and when ready to eat, you can either eat them frozen (great as a summer treat!) or let them defrost in the fridge.
In the UK it can be pretty tricky to find graham crackers! I have used both graham crackers and digestive biscuits, so you can switch them out.
There are a lot of coconut options out there - shredded, flaked, and desiccated! I used a thick flaked coconut which is less sweet than shredded and desiccated.
Try these bars next!
Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars with Pretzels
- 9x9 baking pan
- 150 grams graham cracker crumbs
- 85 grams unsalted butter melted
- 180 grams chocolate chips
- 100 grams white chocolate chips
- 100 grams peanut butter chips
- 110 grams pecans chopped
- 14 ounces condensed milk
- 171 grams coconut flakes
- 16 pretzels
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a 9x9 pan with aluminium foil.
- In a medium bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs with melted butter until it looks like wet sand. Pour into your pan and use a metal measuring cup to press the crust down evenly.
- Pour the condensed milk over the crust. Use an offset spatula to evenly cover the crust.
- Sprinkle over the pecans, then the baking chips and finally the coconut. Press it gently down. Add 16 pretzels.
- Bake in your oven until golden brown, about 23-25 minutes.
- Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting.