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Best Hello Dolly Bars

Hello Dolly Bars are a deliciously sweet and easily made dessert, which are perfect to top off any meal! Most people like a classic recipe for dessert and this one fits the description! It is perfect for any occasion, and it’s simple enough that the kids can help!

dessert bars cut into squares on parchment paper

These bars are great as a festive holiday treat, a popular graduation party goody, a fun summer picnic surprise, or even a bridal shower dessert! It’s a blessing to serve others from our kitchens!

Neighbors or new mothers who have just had a baby would also love a batch of dessert bars delivered to their door! Your kids’ teachers and coaches would enjoy them as a thank you gift!

The varied textures, mixed with the sweetness of each bite, make it a bar to remember and you will want to share it with others!

Be sure to try my peanut butter oatmeal cookies, French apple pie, and pear galette for a few more dessert ideas!

hello dolly bars cut in squares

What are Hello Dolly Bars?

Hello Dolly Bars share the same name as the Broadway Musical, Hello Dolly from the mid-1960s!

Like the musical, these bars are just as fun!

The original recipe for these magic cookie bars require only 3 ingredients for the graham cracker crust, and 5 ingredients to layer on top of the crust.

They are really yummy warmed up the next day too!

dessert bars with coconut and chocolate chips

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • These Magic Bars literally take only 15 minutes to assemble, once you have all of your ingredients and supplies on hand.
  • The buttery graham cracker crust is the perfect chewy base for the tasty toppings.
  • These dessert bars are an easy recipe that mostly involve just layering the ingredients once the crust is made.
  • Also known as 7-layer bars, they fill your home with a heavenly scent as they are baking and will remind you of your mama’s kitchen.
  • There will be plenty of dessert to go around since it is made in a 9×13 baking dish, and can be shared with all of your family and dinner guests.
  • If this is your first time making these, you will be thrilled with how simple this easy dessert really is!
dessert bars cut into squares on parchment paper

Tell me about Hello Dolly Bars

  • Taste– The buttery crust combined with the sweetness of the white chocolate and semi-chocolate chips remind me of the most delicious chocolate chip cookie, yet the pecans and coconut flakes add an extra subtle nutty flavor!
  • Texture– The graham cracker crust, along with the melted chips, bring a chewy texture, but the pecans and coconut give it a slight crunch.
  • Ease– Most of the recipe involves just layering ingredients in the pan once the crust is made!
  • Time– This recipe takes 15 minutes to assemble and only about 25-30 minutes to bake.
ingredients for hello dolly bars

Ingredients for Hello Dolly Bars

  • Graham Crackers– These crunchy sweet crackers are a very popular crust option for sweet desserts and they work beautifully for these seven-layer bars.
  • White Sugar– This ingredient adds an extra sweetness to the crust.
  • Butter– When melted and mixed with the graham cracker crumbs, it adds delicious flavor and holds the crust together. I use unsalted butter, but use what you have on hand.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk– This creamy sweetener is often added to baked desserts. You will use an entire can for this sweet treat.
  • White Chocolate Chips– These chips do not contain chocolate but are similar in size and uniformity to chocolate chips. Feel free to change this up by adding peanut butter chips or even toffee chips!
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips– These chips are made of a mixture of milk chocolate and dark chocolate and do not contain any milk. If you would like more depth of flavor, toss in dark chocolate chips instead.
  • Shredded Sweetened Coconut– Unsweetened coconut flakes has added sugar and contributes to the moistness of this recipe.
  • Chopped pecans– Pecans add a mildly sweet taste to baked goods. Macadamia nuts are a great alternative for this dolly bars recipe.
graham cracker crust with creamy filling on top

Make these Magic Bars in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Make the graham cracker crust- Using a food processor, blend the graham crackers with the melted butter and sugar until combined. Once the ingredients are well mixed, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  2. Layer the Toppings- Begin by pouring the sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker crust first. Then layer the rest of the ingredients. Press the layers into the graham cracker and milk layers so that they are secure.
  3. Bake the Bars- Bake until the coconut is a golden brown and the bars are bubbly around the edges. While it is cooling, cover the dessert with aluminum foil. After the dessert has cooled sufficiently, cut them into bars and enjoy!
chunks of chocolate and pecans on a table

Substitutions for these Magic Bars

  • Vanilla wafers- If you don’t have graham crackers, you can use vanilla wafers with no problem!
  • Shortbread Cookies- This is another great option for this classic dessert bar for your graham cracker layer.
  • Milk chocolate chips- These chips may be substituted for the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Butterscotch Chips- You can use butterscotch chips instead of white chocolate chips.
  • Walnuts- These nuts can be substituted for pecans.

Tips for Making the Best Dolly Bars

  • When I don’t have parchment paper available, I just make sure to grease the baking pan so that the dessert does not stick to the pan.
  • If you do not have a food processor to blend the ingredients for the graham cracker crust, you can place the graham crackers in a large baggie and crush them with a rolling pin. Then pour the fine crumbs into a bowl, add your melted butter and sugar, and mix it all together with a blender! Easy peasy!
  • Make sure you spread the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the graham cracker crust with a spoon or spatula so that it covers the entire crust.

How do you store Hello Dolly Bars?

Hello Dolly Bars may be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days, or up to a week if refrigerated.

magic bars cut and stacked

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Hello Dolly Bars need to be kept in the refrigerator? 

No, however, if you would like to make them last longer, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Otherwise, keep them at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can Hello Dolly Bars be frozen? 

Yes, they can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container. If you want to layer the bars on top of each other, make sure you put waxed paper between the layers so that they do not stick together.

Can you make Hello Dolly Bars ahead of time? 

Yes, they will last 3-5 days unrefrigerated in an airtight container, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Hello Dolly Bar Recipe

dessert bars cut into squares on parchment paper

Hello Dolly Bars

Liz Quick
Hello Dolly Bars are a deliciously sweet and easily made dessert, which are perfect to top off any meal! Most people like a classic recipe for dessert and this one fits the description! It is perfect for any occasion, and it’s simple enough that the kids can help!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
0 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 bars
Calories 100 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 food processor
  • 1 9×13 baking dish

Ingredients
  

  • 18 sheets graham crackers, approximately 3 cups
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Instructions
 

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13 baking dish. Line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal.
  • With a food processor, blend the graham crackers until fine. Add the melted butter and sugar and pulse the food processor until combined.
  • Dump the graham cracker mixture into the prepared pan and press it down into a layer that covers the baking dish.

Layer the Dessert

  • Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the crust.
  • Layer the toppings over the crust and milk in this order: white chocolate chips, 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, coconut, pecans, and the remaining chocolate chips.
  • Press the layers into the graham cracker and milk layer so they are secured in the dessert. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • The coconut will be golden brown and slightly burnt in some areas that aren't soaked in the milk.
  • While the bars cool, cover them with aluminum foil so the layers marry together.
  • To serve, lift them by pulling the parchment paper and cut them into squares.

Notes

Substitutions for these Magic Bars

  • Vanilla wafers- If you don’t have graham crackers, you can use vanilla wafers with no problem!
  • Shortbread Cookies- This is another great option for this classic dessert bar for your graham cracker layer.
  • Milk chocolate chips- These chips may be substituted for the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Butterscotch Chips- You can use butterscotch chips instead of white chocolate chips.
  • Walnuts- These nuts can be substituted for pecans.
Keyword hello dolly bar recipe, hello dolly bars, seven layer bars

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