Friends, let me tell you about the love of my life: SWEETENED. CONDENSED. MILK.
LISTEN, I ADORE this stuff. And not just in baking. I could take a spoon and just eat my way through an entire can. But I don’t, of course, because I’m mildly lactose intolerant and I actually have a decent amount of self control.
I discovered this recipe on the back of a can of Eagle brand condensed milk. Apparently, it’s quite an old recipe, which also goes by the names of “Hello Dolly bars” and “Seven Layer Bars”. Here is my take on this easy treat. BUT, one thing…
Here is the number one, most important piece of advice regarding this recipe:
- LET THE BARS COOL IN THE PAN FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR AND A HALF BEFORE CUTTING.
There. I put that it in bolded, all caps because I don’t want any of you to make the unfortunate mistake I made the first time I made these bars. I only let them cool for about 30 min before cutting in. The result was a gooey, crumbly mess that fell apart. I was so disappointed I almost cried. Seriously.
The second, actual successful attempt at these cookie bars 🙂
SO, I had to go and make them a second time, which wasn’t toooooo much of a problem, since they are so quick to throw together. But I went through half a bag of coconut flakes and a full package of graham crackers to make these, so I’d like to spare you all the trouble.
When done CORRECTLY, these bars truly are magical. Even my highly critical, super picky nephew said that these are one of his favorites. They’re soft, sweet, crunchy, savoury…and completely customizable! You can use peanut butter chips, toasted pecans, hazelnuts…I would even dare to use raisins. Have fun and be adventurous with this recipe!
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Let’s get baking!
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted.
- pinch of salt. la pizca de sal.
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips.
- 1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes.
- 1 cup sliced almonds, or any other chopped nut of your choice.
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch pan and line it carefully with parchment paper. Do not skip the parchment paper; a properly lined pan is very important in this recipe.
- Pour graham cracker crumbs into the pan, then pour the melted butter. Add your pinch of salt here. Stir the crumbs and the butter together until they are well incorporated. The mixture should resemble wet sand. Use the back of a spoon, a measuring cup, or your hand to press the crumbs into a flat, even crust.
- Here, you will begin to layer your bars. Start with the chocolate chips, then, the coconut flakes, and finish it off with the almonds.
- Lastly, drizzle the condensed milk over everything and press down lightly with a spatula or fork.
- Bake for about 25-28 minutes. The sides and tops of the bars should be lightly browned.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Even though the bars are finished, they will not be set, so don’t attempt to remove them from the pan or slice into them.
- Allow the bars to cool for at least an hour and a half. Use the overhang from the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the baking pan. Slice them into squares or diamonds, and serve!
Notes & Resources
- Original recipe: https://www.eaglebrand.com/recipe-detail/magiccookiebars-3934