Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

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Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars are sweet, chewy layers of buttery graham cracker crust, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, dark chocolate chips and pecans.  This magic bars recipe may be made traditionally or gluten free!

magic cookie bars overhead shot

I grew up baking in the kitchen with my mom for the holidays every year.  We would bake quick breads, cookies and bars during the entire month of December, then my mom would freeze everything so that she could give them away as gifts to the entire family on Christmas Day.

I loved everything that we made, but these Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars were at the top of my list.  No other treat takes me back to my childhood like these bars do!

I always include this magic bars recipe in my holiday baking, and my boys have grown to love them just as much as I do.

I truly have no idea why it’s taken me so long to share them here!

Better late than never. 🙂

magic cookie bars cut into squares in baking dish

I typically make 4-6 different types of holiday treats and give them away to friends and family every year just like my mom did.  

I’ll never forget one year one of my friends said she had a favorite out of everything I made.  I figured it was the labor intensive decorated sugar cookies or gingerbread men, but it turned out to be the easiest thing I made.

Her favorite was the magic bars, naturally.  I should have known!

What are Magic Bars?

These bars are also known as Hello Dolly bars, 7 layer bars and magic cookie bars. 

They’re sweet and chewy, with layers of buttery graham cracker crust, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, chocolate chips and nuts.

Magic bars are so addictively chewy with different flavors and textures!

magic cookie bars in a stack front shot

Magic cookie bar variations

  • Make gluten free 7 layer bars by using gluten free graham crackers and process into coarse crumbs with a food processor.  I used a 7.5 ounce package of Pamela’s Gluten Free Graham Crackers for this recipe and worked very well!
  • These bars work with any variety of cookies.  Try chocolate, vanilla wafers, Oreos, shortbread, etc.
  • Butterscotch, white chocolate or peanut butter chips may be subbed for chocolate chips or use a variety!
  • Use your favorite nuts or omit altogether to make nut free.
  • Change your magic bars up by using chopped dried fruit, candies or sprinkles.

overhead shot of seven layer magic bars on parchment paper

 

Seven layer bars ingredients

These Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars only contain 6 ingredients!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Graham cracker crumbs (gluten free or regular)
  • Butter
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Pecans
  • Optional:  flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Is evaporated milk the same as sweetened condensed milk?

Evaporated milk is not the same as sweetened condensed milk, so it should not be substituted for the condensed milk.

How to make Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

These bars couldn’t be easier to make.  They only take 10 minutes of prep, and bake up in just 25 minutes!

magic cookie bars process collage 1

magic cookie bars process collage 2

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 13 x 9″ baking dish with parchment paper or foil.
  • Place the butter in a medium heat proof bowl and melt it in the microwave.  
  • Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and a pinch of sea salt, then stir until the crumbs are well coated with butter.  
  • Press the graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking dish, then pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top of the crumbs.
  • Sprinkle the coconut over the top of the condensed milk, followed by the chocolate chips and pecans.
  • Press the mixture down across the entire top of the bars with a fork.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until light golden brown, then cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

seven layer magic cookie bars after pressing down with fork

Recipe tips

  • Store magic bars in an air tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Be sure to line the baking dish with parchment or foil to prevent sticking!

overhead shot of magic cookie bars cut into squares in baking dish

More gluten-free desserts you’ll love:

Chocolate Dipped Almond Horn Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Flourless Chocolate Cookies by Two Peas & Their Pod

Greek Almond Cookies 

Peanut Butter Blossoms

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

Yield: 15 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars are sweet, chewy layers of buttery graham cracker crust, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, dark chocolate chips and pecans.  This magic bar recipe may be made traditionally or gluten free!

Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free or regular graham cracker crumbs*
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9" baking dish with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium sized heat proof bowl. Add the graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and stir until the graham cracker crumbs are well coated.
  3. Press the graham cracker crumbs evenly into the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the graham cracker crumbs, followed by the coconut, dark chocolate chips, and pecans. Press the mixture down across the entire top of the bars with a fork, then bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into bars. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • *I used one 7.5 ounce package of Pamela's gluten free graham crackers for this recipe and processed them in my food processor. Any type of gluten free crackers or cookies will work well for these magic bars.
  • Substitute the dark chocolate chips with your favorite variety or a combination. Butterscotch, peanut butter or white chocolate chips are all great options!
  • Swap out the pecans with your favorite nuts or omit altogether. Chopped dried fruit is also a great option.
  • Store magic bars in an air tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 315Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

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