These magic cookie bars are rich, chewy, and a big hit every single time! They feature layers of graham cracker crust, pecans, and chocolate chips, all drenched in sweetened condensed milk and topped with coconut flakes. The result is a crunchy, creamy, and utterly irresistible dessert.
Magic cookie bars are a classic, vintage dessert that is incredibly popular. They’re also known as 7-layer bars or hello dolly bars. They’re not just easy to make, but incredibly delicious and a true crowd-pleaser for every occasion.
And if you want other classic desserts, you need to try these chocolate chocolate chip cookies that are rich, and delicious, or my chocolate coconut pie that is perfect for all the coconut lovers out there!
Table of Contents
Why I Love This Recipe
- Easy to Make: This magic bar recipe requires only a few simple steps and basic ingredients. Simply melt the butter in a baking pan, sprinkle the crumbs over it, pour the milk, and top with the remaining ingredients before baking.
- Family-Favorite: These bars are rich, chewy, and absolutely delicious, making them a hit with both kids and adults. Plus, the sweet and nutty flavor combination is a classic that never disappoints.
- Versatile: This recipe is extremely versatile. You can easily customize it with different types of chocolate chips, such as semi-sweet, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or even dark chocolate. You can even switch up the nuts or add in extra ingredients like butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips.
- Crowd Pleaser: Whether it is for a potluck, party, or just a casual family gathering, these magic cookie bars are always a crowd-pleaser. Plus, they’re easy to transport and serve, making them the perfect treat for any occasion.
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email & I'll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!
- Butter: The butter in this recipe not only helps bind the graham cracker crust together but also gives the magic bars a rich, buttery flavor.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: These crumbs form the deliciously crunchy foundation of our magic cookie bars. They create a firm and flavorful graham cracker crust that perfectly compliments the sweet toppings. You can make your own by crushing the graham crackers in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: This is the magic ingredient that holds all the other ingredients together. It adds a creamy, sweet layer to the bars, and helps the chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and pecans adhere to the crust.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: These add a layer of semi-sweet chocolatey goodness to the bars. When baked, they melt slightly, creating pockets of melted chocolate throughout the bars.
- Unsweetened Coconut Flakes: These add a tropical twist to the magic cookie bars. They toast up beautifully in the oven, providing a nutty flavor and a delicious crunch.
- Chopped Pecans: These give an extra layer of crunch and a hint of earthiness to the bars. When baked, they become slightly toasty, enhancing their flavor and complimenting the sweetness of the other ingredients.
- 13×9 Baking Pan – This is the perfect size for these bars. The butter is melted in it and then the graham cracker crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and pecans are layered on top.
- Spatula or Spoon – You’ll need this to evenly spread the ingredients in the pan and to gently press them down before baking.
- Measuring Cups – To get the perfect balance of flavors in this recipe, accurate measurements of ingredients like graham cracker crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and pecans are crucial.
How to Make Magic Cookie Bar
Before you start making these delicious magic cookie bars, preheat your oven to a temperature of 350˚ F. Then, get a 13×9 baking pan, and have all your ingredients within reach.
Step 1 – Melt the Butter
In your chosen baking pan, melt your butter. This should be done in the preheated oven. After the butter has melted, carefully remove the pan from the oven.
Step 2 – Sprinkle the Crumbs
Once the baking pan with the melted butter is out of the oven, sprinkle your graham cracker crumbs over the butter. To guarantee an even distribution, pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumbs.
Step 3 – Add The Remaining Ingredients
The next step involves topping the mixture in the pan evenly with the remaining ingredients. These could include chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, pecans, or other nuts of your choice. Press down gently to guarantee that they stick to the mixture.
Step 4 – Bake the Mixture
Now, it is time to bake! Place the pan back in the oven and let it bake for about 25 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the top turns a tempting golden brown color.
Step 5 – Cool and Cut
After baking, it is important to let the magic cookie bars cool thoroughly before you begin to cut. This will make it easier to cut into clean, even bars. And then you’re done! You’ve made your own delicious magic cookie bars!
- Preheat the Oven: Make sure you preheat your oven to the right temperature of 350˚ F. This will give your magic cookie bars the perfect golden brown color and texture.
- Melt the Butter in the Oven: Melt your butter directly in the baking dish in the preheated oven. This not only saves you dishes but also allows for even distribution of the butter in the graham cracker crust.
- Layer Your Ingredients Properly: After pouring the butter, sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly. Then pour the sweetened condensed milk over the crumbs. This layering process guarantees that each bite contains all the delicious ingredients.
- Press Down Gently: When you sprinkle the chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans on top, press them down gently. This helps all the ingredients to stick together and makes your bars less likely to crumble when cut.
- Cool Thoroughly Before Cutting: Allow the bars to cool completely before you start cutting. This will help them hold their shape better and also make them easier to handle.
- Add Peanut Butter: If you’re a fan of the classic peanut butter and chocolate combination, this variation is a must-try. Simply replace the semi-sweet chocolate chips with peanut butter chips. The creamy peanut butter flavor perfectly compliments the chewy texture of these magic bars.
- White Chocolate: For a twist on the traditional recipe, swap out the semi-sweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips. The result is a creamy, sweet, and delicious magic cookie bar that white chocolate lovers will adore.
- Butterscotch: If you have a sweet tooth, give this variation a whirl. Add a cup of butterscotch chips to the mixture before you bake. The butterscotch adds a rich, caramel-like sweetness that pairs perfectly with the crunch of the pecans.
What to Serve With
- These magic cookie bars make a great dessert after a hearty meal. Top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delicious treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
- If you’re looking for a midday snack, enjoy a magic cookie bar with a glass of milk. The creamy milk compliments the rich, chewy texture of the bars.
- Pair these magic cookie bars with a hot cup of coffee for an indulgent breakfast. The bitterness of the coffee perfectly offsets the sweetness of the bars.
- If you’re hosting a party, cut the magic cookie bars into bite-sized pieces and serve on a platter. They make perfect finger food and are sure to be a hit with your guests.
- You can also crumble these magic cookie bars over a bowl of Greek yogurt for a delicious and healthy dessert. The tartness of the yogurt balances out the sweetness of the bars.
Yes, you can add butterscotch to the mixture to give it a unique flavor. Other ingredients that could work well include white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or even dark chocolate.
After baking, you should let the bars cool thoroughly before cutting. This is because these bars are rich and chewy, and cutting them while still hot could cause them to fall apart.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigerate: After your magic cookie bars have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for up to three days.
- Freeze: These delicious 7-layer bars freeze okay as well. They may lose from their crunch, but the flavors will still be absolutely delicious. Wrap bars separately with plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month.
- Thawing Instructions: If you’ve stored your magic cookie bars in the freezer, simply allow them to thaw overnight in the freezer. They’ll soften up nicely.
More Chocolate Desserts You’ll Enjoy
- What to Expect: This magic cookie bar recipe makes one 13×9 pan of rich and chewy bars.
- How to Scale: If you’re expecting a larger crowd or just want more of these delicious bars, you can easily double the recipe. Instead of a 13×9 pan, use a larger pan, such as an 18×12, or two 13×9 pans to accommodate the increased volume. Follow the rest of the instructions as directed.
Magic Cookie Bars
- ½ Cup Butter
- 1 ½ Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- 1 Cup Chopped Pecans
- Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.
- In a 13×9 baking pan, melt the butter in the preheated oven.
- Once the butter is melted, remove from the oven. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the butter; pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumbs.
- Top evenly with the remaining ingredients, pressing down gently.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Let cool before cutting.