Hello Dolly Bars

Meet the Hello Dolly Bars, also known as Magic Cookie Bars! Imagine layers of crunchy graham crackers, topped with a mix of pecans, chocolate chips, and coconut with sweet condensed milk. It’s not just a dessert, but an irresistible delight perfect for your festive gatherings.

Hello Dolly Bars on a serving platter and plate.

Discover the simple joy of Hello Dolly Bars, a dessert that turns ordinary moments into something special. In a pan, a wonderful mix of ingredients comes together to make these delightful magic bars.

Every bite is a sweet surprise, filled with the warm, nutty goodness of toasted pecans, a layer of gooey chocolate chips, and a drizzle of sweet, creamy coconut. You get a treat that’s naturally delightful and full of various textures and flavors.

This recipe goes by a bunch of names. You might know it as Hello Dolly Cookies, Hello Dolly Squares, Hello Dollies Cookies, Magic Cookie Bars, Seven-Layer Bars, or Coconut Dream Bars.

Curious about the “Hello Dolly” name? Check word history expert Barry Popik’s research for detailed posts on Hello Dolly Squares (Hello Dolly Bars; Hello Dolly Cookies; Hello Dolly Cake; Hello Dollies).

Why We Love This Recipe

  • These bars are delightful with layers of deliciousness and they capture the simple goodness of pecans, like in our Easy Bourbon Pecan Tart.
  • Just gather 6 ingredients. Mix them in a pan, and you’re just steps away from mouthwatering bars.
  • Adaptability is the essence of this recipe. Feel free to make substitutions that suit your preferences and craft your ideal treat! You can even top it with dark chocolate chips. Sounds yum, isn’t it?
  • With just 15 minutes of prep, they’re ready to enjoy in under an hour.

Recipe Ingredients

Prepare all the ingredients to make these delightful Hello Dolly bars.
  • Crushed Graham Crackers: Use ready-made or homemade crumbs for a sturdy, tasty base.
  • Sweetened Coconut Flakes: Contributes sweetness and a chewy texture.
  • Chopped Pecans: Pecans make the bars crunchy and tasty, adding a nutty flavor. They match well with the other sweet ingredients. For a vegan Hello Dolly Bars recipe, see Vegan Magic Cookie Bars.
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: Best choice for soft, delightful chocolate pockets in each bite.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: Use a whole can for enhanced sweetness and creaminess. This makes each bite moist and delightfully soft. Any brand works well.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

You can change almost every part of a Hello Dolly 7-Layer Magic Bar! Let’s start from the bottom and go up. There are so many options, ensuring everyone can find a version of the bar that they’ll absolutely love!

For the Crust: Instead of graham crackers, you can use any of the following: Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate Cookies, Pretzel Sticks (also some are Gluten-Free), Ritz Crackers, Vanilla Cookies, Gingersnap Cookies.

Butter Alternatives: In your recipe, feel free to experiment with various butter alternatives such as salted or unsalted butter, coconut oil, shortening, and almond butter. Each option allows for different flavors and dietary adjustments, enhancing the versatility of your dish.

Chocolate Chips Variations: Try different chocolate chips like dark, milk, or white chocolate chips in your baking. Each one gives a unique and tasty flavor, making your recipe special.

Nut Varieties: Explore a world of nutty flavors! Swap pecans with almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, or peanuts for exciting tastes and textures in your dish. Love nuts and peanut butter? Explore our amazing Peanut Butter Balls recipe.

How to Make Hello Dolly Bars

Step #1: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a 9” x 13” glass baking dish with parchment paper that overhangs the edge of the dish. Butter the parchment paper.

Step #2: Crush the graham crackers by placing them in a large food storage bag. You can do this by hand or use a rolling pin, but be cautious not to puncture the bag. Alternatively, you can use pre-made graham cracker crumbs if available.

Crushing graham crackers with a rolling pin.

Step #3: Measure out 2 cups of the graham cracker crumbs and spread them evenly in the 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish. Pour the melted butter into the dish. Mix the crumbs and butter thoroughly.

Pour the melted butter on the dish for your Hello Dolly bars.

Step #4: Then, press the mixture down firmly and evenly using your hands. Make sure the graham cracker base is well-packed.

Hello Dolly Bars crust pressed down firmly.

Step #5: Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the graham cracker base.

Pecans added on top of the crust.

Step #6: Do the same with the chocolate chips.

Chocolate chips added on top of the pecans.

Step #7: Sprinkle the coconut evenly across the top.

Add coconut on top for extra yummy flavor.

Step #8: Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a grid pattern to ensure even distribution across the top.

Drizzle with condensed milk to add extra sweetness on your Hello Dolly bars.

Step #9: Lastly, bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Check at 20 minutes, and stop baking when the coconut around the edges turns golden brown. Allow to cool for an hour before cutting and serving. Cut the bars into a 4 x 6 grid to yield 24 hello dolly bars. If you want larger or smaller bars, then cut to your liking.

Hello Dolly Bars after baking in the oven.

Expert Tips

  • Graham Cracker Crumbs: Crush the crackers well to form a solid, unified base for the bars.
  • Even Layers: Spread the ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut uniformly for a balanced taste in each bite.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: Drizzle it gently and evenly across the layers to help it blend and bake perfectly.
  • Pan Lining: Use parchment paper in the dish to make removing and cutting the bars easier.
  • Cooling Time: Allow the bars to fully cool, so they hold their shape when cut.
Hello Dolly bars stacked on top of each other.

FAQ

What are Hello Dolly Bars?

Hello Dolly Bars, also known as Magic Cookie Bars or Seven Layer Bars. It’s a delicious dessert made with ingredients like graham crackers, butter, chocolate chips, nuts, and condensed milk layered together and baked to perfection.

Can I use different types of nuts in the recipe?

Yes, the recipe is quite versatile. You can use almonds, walnuts, pecans, or any of your favorite nuts.

How do I cut the Hello Dolly Bars perfectly?

Ensure you cool the bars completely before cutting. Using a sharp knife, cut them into desired shapes and sizes.

Can I make Hello Dolly Bars gluten-free?

Yes, use gluten-free graham crackers or another gluten-free alternative for the crust.

Can I make vegan Hello Dolly Bars?

Yes, see our Vegan Hello Dolly Bars recipe.

Storage Info

On the Counter

Let the Hello Dolly Bars cool fully before storing them to avoid sogginess. Keep them in a closed container to maintain their freshness. Put paper between layers to prevent sticking. Keep the container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight to last up to a week.

In The Freezer

To keep the bars longer, you can freeze them. Wrap each bar in plastic or foil, then put them in a freezer bag or box and they will be good for 2-3 months. Write the date on it to know when you froze them. To eat, thaw them out of the freezer for a few hours; don’t use the microwave because it could change their taste and feel.

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The Hello Dolly Bars on the plate look tempting and delicious with their colorful layers.

Hello Dolly Bars Recipe

This Hello Dolly Bars recipe (also known as Magic Cookie Bars) is a delicious, family favorite dessert to make and share during the holidays with a buttery graham cracker crust topped with pecans, chocolate chips, coconut and sweetened, condensed milk.
4.2 from 22 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: North American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 24 bars
Calories: 242kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 10 Tbsp. salted butter - melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 9” x 13” glass baking dish with parchment paper that overhangs the edge of the dish. Butter the parchment paper.
  • Crush the graham crackers in a large food storage bag. This can be done by hand or with a rolling pin, just be careful not to puncture the bag. Or you can use graham cracker crumbs if your store carries them.
  • Measure out 2 cups of the crumbs and pour them into the 9” x 13” glass baking dish. Add the melted butter to the dish and mix well.
  • Then press it down evenly with your hands.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly across the top of the graham crackers.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly across the top.
  • Sprinkle the coconut evenly across the top.
  • Pour a small stream of the sweetened, condensed milk over the top in a grid pattern so that the milk is evenly distributed across the top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check at 20 minutes and stop baking when the coconut on the edges is golden brown. Allow to cool for an hour before cutting and serving. Cut the bars into a 4 x 6 grid to yield 24 hello dolly bars. If you want larger or smaller bars, then cut to your liking.

VIDEO

NOTES

Storage Info
On the Counter
Let the Hello Dolly Bars cool fully before storing them to avoid sogginess. Keep them in a closed container to maintain their freshness. Put paper between layers to prevent sticking. Keep the container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight to last up to a week.
In The Freezer
To keep the bars longer, you can freeze them. Wrap each bar in plastic or foil, then put them in a freezer bag or box and they will be good for 2-3 months. Write the date on it to know when you froze them. To eat, thaw them out of the freezer for a few hours; don’t use the microwave because it could change their taste and feel.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 206IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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