These magic cookie bars (a.k.a Hello Dolly bars) are loaded with flavor and easy to make. Between the graham cracker crust, chocolate chips, nuts, and shredded coconut, these bars are a sweet, chewy, and chocolaty delight.A stack of hello dolly bars with a glass of milk beside

What are magic cookie bars?

Magic cookie bars are a type of cookie bar made with butter, graham crackers, chocolate chips, nuts, shredded coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. Each component is layered into a baking pan before they are baked and then cut into squares. All the layers “magically” come together due to the sweetened condensed milk poured on top before baking.

They are also known as Hello Dolly bars, as a reference to the Broadway musical “Hello, Dolly!” which was popular when these bars were created in the mid 1960s. Over the years butterscotch chips were added to some versions of the recipe and they became known as 7-layer bars as well, for each of the 7 ingredients.

Why this recipe is so great:

  • Easy to make – All you have to do is simply layer everything into a 9×13″ pan, pour the sweetened condensed milk on top, and bake. It’s as easy as that!
  • Tastes amazing – There are so many wonderful flavors and textures in these magic cookie bars which is what I think makes them so great. You’ve got a buttery graham cracker crust, chocolate chips, crunchy nuts, shredded coconut, and ooey gooey sweetened condensed milk binding everything together. Every bite is like a flavor explosion!
  • Keeps well and serves a crowd – These cookie bars keep for up to 5 days so they are a great make-ahead dessert. They also serve up to 24 or more depending on the size you cut them.

magic cookie bars on parchment paper

Ingredients you’ll need:

ingredients needed to make magic cookie bars

Butter, sweetened condensed milk, shredded coconut, graham cracker crumbs, chopped walnuts or pecans, and chocolate chips.

How to make magic cookie bars:

(the ingredient amounts are listed in the printable recipe card further below)

  1. Mix the graham cracker cookie crumbs with the melted butter. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9×13″ pan lined with parchment paper.
  2. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and chopped nuts on top.
  3. Then top with the shredded coconut.
  4. Evenly pour the sweetened condensed milk over top. Bake at 325F for 30 minutes.

process shots of how to make magic cookie bars

Variations & substitutions:

  • Graham crackers crumbs – Oreo cookie crumbs can be used for a more chocolaty cookie bar
  • Chocolate chips – Any kind of chocolate chips work (dark, semi-sweet, milk) and you can swap half with other flavored chips and bits like butterscotch, peanut butter, white chocolate, toffee bits, raisins, etc.
  • Nuts – Any kind that suits your fancy. I’ve also seen recipes that use pretzels instead.
  • Optional – If you’re a cinnamon fan, add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the crust mixture. The added spice is great during the holidays and winter months.

FAQ:

Can you freeze magic cookie bars?

Yes, they freeze well. Place the bars in a freezer-safe container with a sheet of wax or parchment paper in between each layer and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to store magic cookie bars:

Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

How to cut magic cookie bars:

You can cut them into squares, rectangles, or triangles using a large chef’s knife. For perfectly clean cuts, wipe the knife clean with a damp dish towel in between each cut.

Can you make magic cookie bars without coconut?

You can by replacing the coconut with half that amount of quick-rolled oats.

three magic cookies bars stacked with one on its side

You might also like:

Did you make this recipe? Please kindly leave a comment with your star rating below.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Magic Cookie Bars

  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These magic cookie bars (a.k.a Hello Dolly bars) are loaded with flavor and easy to make. Between the graham cracker crust, chocolate chips, nuts, and shredded coconut, these bars are a sweet, chewy, and chocolaty delight.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240g) graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (114g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 112oz (2 cups) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (100g) chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 2 cups (200g) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 114oz can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on the sides.
  2. Add the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter to the pan and mix together with a fork until all is moistened. Then press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and chopped nuts on top. Then top with the shredded coconut.
  4. Evenly drizzle the sweetened condensed milk all over the coconut.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the surface is just starting to brown as well.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature.

Keywords: magic cookie bars, Hello Dolly bars

Recipe adapted from Insanely Good Recipes.