When I started dating Mark his mother made the best 7 layer bars in the world. I’m guessing it was a church-shared recipe because everyone was making them back in the 1960s and 1970s. These bars were called “Magic Bars” by my mother-in-law, as I remember.
But other people called them “7 Layer Bars” and even “Hello Dolly Bars.”
They are a combination of graham crackers, butter, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, and chopped pecans. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can add more nuts, skip the butterscotch chips, and use milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Yes, it’s that easy! These are soft, chewy, moist, and easy to transport to neighborhood parties or church activities. Oh, and don’t forget the family reunions, these are always so popular.
I’m so grateful for family members who have shared their recipes over the years. I thought my mom was the best cook in the world. When I started dating Mark, I learned his mom was equally as good when it came to cooking wonderful foods, particularly when it came to delicious desserts. She tried to have a treat for her kids when they came home from school and for most meals. I’m not sure how Mark was able to stay as slim as he was when we met.
The Best 7 Layer Bars
Kitchen Items You May Need
- Enamel ware 9 by 13-inch Pan
- Parchment paper (please do not use wax paper)
- Food Processor or a bag to crush the graham crackers
- Can opener for sweetened condensed milk
- Food chopper for nuts, or use a sharp knife
- Danish Whisk
The Best 7 Layer Bars
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grab a 9 by 13 inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper. I used clothespins to hold the paper in place. I will remove them before baking the mixture. Set the pan aside.
I was going to process my graham crackers in a food processor, but then I thought there are a lot of people who don’t have one. So I decided I shouldn’t make a mess with the processor and grabbed a gallon size freezer bag and rolled or crushed them with my good old rolling pin.
Combine the graham crackers with the melted butter.
Combine the butter and the crushed graham crackers until mixed through.
Spread the mixture evenly onto the parchment paper. Press down as needed.
Spread the chocolate chips and then the butterscotch chips evenly over the graham cracker crust.
The next layer is coconut. Oh, I wish you could smell how yummy this is right now!
Now spread the pecans all over this coconut layer. This is where we can remove the clothespins that are holding the parchment in place.
Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top of the different layers. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. After baking, remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely.
The Best 7 Layer Bars Recipe
- 1-1/2 cups graham crackers finely crumbled
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 cup shredded sweet coconut
- 1/2-1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 -14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grab a 9 by 13 -inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Set the pan aside. I processed my graham crackers in a food processor but you can place them in a bag and use a rolling pin to crush them as well. Combine the graham crackers with the melted butter. Spread the mixture evenly onto the parchment paper. Press down as needed. Spread the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, and pecans evenly on top of the graham cracker crust, one layer at a time. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. After baking, remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely.
Is it okay to use different flavored chips?
I have made these with Reeses’ peanut butter chips. Then I used chopped peanuts in place of pecans, they were delicious!
Can I substitute different nuts?
I think my mother-in-law used walnuts in hers and they were tasty. I would add whatever kind of nuts you have on hand.
How do I store these after they are baked?
I store mine in a Tupperware-type container, or sometimes just a freezer bag. I leave them on the counter for about 3 days. If there are any left, I store them in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Can I store these in the refrigerator?
Yes, you can, just keep them tightly covered so they don’t dry out. I actually like mine stored in the refrigerator, they seem to be less crumbly.
Can I freeze these 7 layer bars after baking them?
You can freeze them for sure. I like to cut them into serving sizes and tightly wrap them in plastic wrap before placing them in a freezer bag. They will store for up to 3 months in your freezer. Thaw them on your countertop overnight, they will be perfect for that morning snack.
It’s so fun to drag out old recipes and make them once again. These 7 layer bars are so easy to make and we usually always have the ingredients in our pantry. Of course, the butter would be in the refrigerator. I love making easy recipes.
I try to make meals and desserts that include ingredients that have a healthy touch. It’s how I justify these delicious foods when sharing the recipe. Today it’s the nuts that not only add flavor and a special texture, but hopefully add to our daily requirements for healthy foods with a touch of fiber.
As with so many of the other desserts I’m made and shared as I write these posts, Mark is taking these bars to a church youth activity tonight. The kids look forward to him attending since he tries to bring treats almost every time they meet. Could be that’s why he seems so popular with them. LOL
Let me know if you have made this recipe or something similar. It’s all about cooking from scratch, desserts count, too! May God Bless this world, Linda