Classic Magic Cookie Bars are the ultimate sweet treat, and so easy to make!
Also called 5 or 7 layer bars, depending on the variations, magic bars have been around for decades and it’s no wonder because everyone loves them. This simple recipe bakes chocolate chips, coconut, and chopped pecans in sweetened condensed milk over a buttery, graham cracker crust. The result is a decadent, gooey, hand held dessert treat that is hard to resist, and takes mere minutes to make. Portable and delicious, these Magic Cookie Bars are perfect for potlucks, bbq’s or as a quick grab and go sweet snack.
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Easy Cookie Bars
- Bar cookies are the easiest because they’re baked in one pan and can be cut into any size. Plus, they’re perfectly portable and can be cut and served right at the party or the potluck.
- Freeze magic bars and add one to a lunchbox or briefcase for a sweet surprise that will be ready by lunchtime.
- Always a favorite at the cookie exchange, Magic Cookie Bars can be made in so many ways.
Magic Cookie Bar Ingredients & Variations
CRUST: Graham cracker crusts make the best base for this recipe. Short on time? Use a pre-made graham cracker pie crust and press it into the bottom of the baking dish. Crushed Nilla or chocolate wafer cookies can be used instead.
TOPPINGS: Chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans are the basics to get a perfectly chewy bar. Any combination of candy chips like butterscotch, white chocolate, or peanut butter will work. Chopped peanuts, walnuts, almonds, or dried fruit like cherries, cranberries, or mango will add a little color and chewy flavor.
How to Make Magic Cookie Bars
Ask a mini-chef to help you make magic cookie bars!
- Press graham cracker mixture into a pan.
- Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top of the crust.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans over the top.
- Bake as per the recipe below.
Tips & Tricks
- Line the casserole dish with parchment paper that overhangs on the horizontal sides so the entire dessert is easy to lift out. Place on a cutting board and cut into desired sizes. This also makes cleanup a breeze!
- Melt the butter directly in the casserole dish while the oven is preheating.
- Cool magic cookie bars completely before cutting so they stay firm.
- Store them in a sealed container at room temperature or in the refrigerator up to a week. Or freeze portions and add to a zip top bag with the date written on the outside for up to 4 weeks.
- Lightly toast coconut and pecans in a dry saute pan to make them extra crunchy and flavorful!
- Save time and use pre-chopped nuts.
Other Tasty Dessert Bars!
- Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars – decadent!
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars – easy and delicious.
- Rhubarb Bars – for any occasion.
- Easy Pumpkin Bars – just 5 minute prep!
- Easter Edible Cookie Dough with Mini Eggs – perfect for the holidays.
Magic Cookie Bars
- ½ cup butter
- 1 ½ cups graham wafer crumbs
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk 1 can
- 1 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet preferred)
- 1 ⅓ cups coconut shredded or flaked
- 1 cup chopped pecans or other chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F*. Line baking pan with parchment paper (or foil) if desired**. (If using foil, spray with oil or non-stick spray.)
- Add butter to a 9x13 baking pan and pop into the oven to melt butter. If using parchment paper, add butter to a medium bowl and melt in the microwave on high for 90 seconds.
- Add crumbs to the pan (or bowl) and mix with butter. Press evenly on the bottom of the pan (using bottom of a measuring cup or other flat surface).
- Evenly pour the sweetened condensed milk over the crust. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, coconut, then nuts. Press down firmly using a measuring cup or spoon.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove pan from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan (if not lined). Cool completely before cutting.
- *Preheat to 325°F if using a glass dish.
- **Lining the pan with parchment paper allows for easy removal and cutting the squares. This is an optional step.
- Store bars for 1 week in a sealed container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
- For 7 layer Magic Cookie Bars add 1 cup butterscotch chips.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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How much coconut??
The recipe calls for 1 1/3 cup coconut. Enjoy!
I made magic bars with a pre made toll house chocolate chip cookie dough, for the crust. WoW! they were yummy and not crumb left. Everyone loved them.
What a great idea! Thank you for sharing!
I recall making these by just melted butter on the bottom of the pan/ cookie sheet then Graham crackers on top then layering all the toppings, with coconut last and drizzling the sweetened condensed milk evenly on top then baking… but can’t find the recipe. Turned out fine. Just going to go for it again.
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I still have a very old label from the sweetened condensed milk can from long ago! I made these once again last week for a special occasion, and was most certainly not disappointed!
They’re an old favorite of mine too Kathy!