Seven-Layer Bars (Magic Bars)

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Seven Layer Bars2I’ve been in a really good mood lately.  Not that it’s completely out of the norm, but I’ve currently had numerous days in a row where I’ve been uplifted and ready to conquer the world.  (In my book, “conquer the world” means getting things done around the house.)   🙂

More insight into my character:  When I’m in a bad mood, I like to eat.  When I’m in a good mood, I like to bake.  Funny how they can go hand in hand.  My recent good mood brought about these seven-layer bars (also known as Magic Bars), and fortunately it didn’t take a bad mood for me to eat them.  Yes, almost all of them.  It got so bad that I had to wrap them up and send the rest to Ben’s work.  Although, he forgot them so I ended up eating them anyway.  Darn <snap>!

You see, these are Ben’s all-time favorite dessert bar that dates way back to his childhood.  He might claim in the fall season that pumpkin bars are his favorite, but there is no question he places these coconut/chocolate/butterscotch squares even above those.  You might call me a bad wife for not making these for him more often, but the first time I attempted them, I used a recipe that didn’t turn out so well.  So you can understand why I put them on the backburner.

Seven Layer BarsThen, my new cookbook I ordered from Amazon, The New Best Recipe, came to my rescue.  This was the first recipe I decided to try in the book, and it did not let us down.  The bars turned out beautifully in presentation, and scrumptious in taste.  The chocolate and butterscotch chips held their shape, which allowed a good balance of crunch in each bite.  I was tempted to leave out the walnuts, but they blended into the succulent graham cracker crust and added just the right amount of nuttiness that didn’t interfere with the texture, like they do with brownies.  The next best thing about these?  Now Ben and I share a favorite dessert bar.  What a happy ending.

Note:  The Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies I posted last December has many of the same ingredients as these Seven Layer Bars.   I’d love to encourage you to try these cookies, as well, and maybe add butterscotch and white chocolate chips to them.  I’m going to do the same!

Seven-Layer Bars (or Magic Bars)

Printable Recipe

Yield: 18 bars

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
9 graham crackers, crushed
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350˚F with the oven rack adjusted to the lower-middle position.  Butter a 9- x 13-inch pan and line with parchment paper so that there is overhang that will help in easy removal of the baked bars.

Spread the coconut flakes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the outer flakes just begin to brown, about 8 minutes; set aside.  Meanwhile, heat the stick of butter in the lined baking pan in the oven, until completely melted.

Remove the pan from the oven and take turns tipping each side so that the butter spreads evenly across the bottom.  Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter and toss until the butter is absorbed and the crumbs are evenly distributed.  In order, sprinkle the walnuts, semisweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut over the graham cracker crumbs.  Pour the condensed milk evenly over the top.

Return the pan to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.  Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment overhang.  Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 2 x 3-inch bars.  If the bars are still soft and falling apart, cool in the refrigerator until firm before continuing to cut.

Source:  The New Best Recipe

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  1. Sue Gladd says:

    You work magic in your kitchen, Nikki!

  2. These look awesome!

  3. I have my Grandmas recipe for these, LOVE them! One of my favorite bars.

  4. I had never had one of these bars until recently and it was so amazing. Except it was called a Hello Dolly bar. Guess that’s because I am in Memphis, TN haha. But I definitely need to make these myself now.

  5. Wow! Those look amazing! Your photos on your blog are fantastic, nice work!

  6. These are very near and dear to my heart, as they were one of my late mother’s favorite things to make. So delicous!

    P.S. Love your blog!

  7. Yum, yum, YUMMY!!! Love these things!!

  8. This is similar to what was called a Hello Dolly at my dorm in college in TX.

  9. I can almost taste these. Yummy. I love all seven of the ingredients so I guess that means I’ll love these times seven. Congrats on making the Top 9 today.

  10. These look so perfect and delicious~I like the simple ingredient list too 😀 haha, I don’t know~I think I’d love the pumpkin bars a lot too~

  11. These sound wonderful. Congrats on the Top 9!

  12. Oh yum… There aren’t many words for these. Just yum. Drool. Swooooon!

  13. These look delicious! I made some a couple months ago that were really thin – yours are nice and thick. I can see how you’d eat most of them!

  14. Ooooh these are nostalgia for me! So easy and delish!

  15. I LOVE these! So yummy! Anyway, I really like the top photo…it’s great! 🙂

  16. i’m from new york and we’ve always called these hello dollies, too! when my sister was little, she’d call them dolly partons.

  17. I am from Texas and we, too, call them hello dollies!!! 🙂

    LoVe your blog!!

    Brandy ~ Texas

  18. When we were kids none of us knew these were 7 layer bars because we always just called the “Jesus Cookies”.

  19. Mmm. addictive. We called the Hello Dollys – completely forgot that!

  20. I call them 7 layer magic bars! I also call them yummy!

  21. I’ve always called them hello dollies, I’ve made them since I was little and love them they’re so delicious!!

  22. I know what I’m going to make for the Waterfowl guests at our house this week!

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