Seven Layer Bars

..aka Magic Cookie Bars

……aka Hello Dolly Bars

So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, on with the post! With all the possibilities of toppings (and names, apparently) there are about a billion different ways to make these seven-layer-magic-cookie-hello-dolly bars, so that’s exciting! As I decided to make these at around 10:30 last night -yeah, I actually do like to spend Friday nights baking, it’s cool- I realized I had no graham crackers to make the crust! Quelle catastrophe! So, instead of doing the normal thing and going out to buy graham crackers, I decided to do a little improvising and made a pretzel crumb crust instead! Now, don’t scoff, I know this sounds like I was just being lazy, (and you’d be about 87% right) but it is DELICIOUS. Kinda maybe even better than the grahams, because you get a little saltiness in with all the chocolate and nuts and sugar. Yum. The end.

And for the brief history lesson: Other than about 16 testimonials from bloggers who grew up in the 50s that make these when they’re homesick for Mom’s desserts, I  couldn’t find any interesting story or festive reason for the names or anything like that. But the bars were definitely a popular dessert to bring to meetings and barbeques because you could easily throw them together in 5 minutes..just remember you need another 20 for them to bake!


– 2 1/4 cups pretzel crumbs (I had thin sticks, tossed ’em in a plastic bag and banged at them with a rolling pin. Incidentally, also a GREAT stress reliever!)

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

– 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

– 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

– 1 cup dark chocolate chips (and/or butterscotch/peanut butter/toffee/any and all kind of chips you can find)

– 1/3 cup chopped almonds

– 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

– 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a small bowl combine the pretzel crumbs and butter until a moist crumbly mess is created. Press the crumbs into a slightly greased 13×9 inch glass baking dish to coat the bottom completely. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the crumbs, then add the rest of the ingredients. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes to firm the bars and then eat!

This was the picture I took before I left the room for fifteen minutes:

This is what was left when I returned..

And here they are all properly plated for the civilized dessert eater:


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