Hello Dolly Bars Recipe – How to Make it in 12 Simple Steps

Consisting of layers of chocolate, nuts, and coconut in a graham cracker crust with a gooey base, this recipe for Hello Dolly Bars is rich, decadent, and delicious. With just a handful of ingredients, you can throw this recipe together in just a few minutes.

These bars are known by several names in culinary circles. Sometimes they are called Magic Bars, and other times they are called Seven Layer Bars. The name Hello Dolly Bars came from the musical “Hello Dolly” that was popular in the mid-1960s. Not long after the release of this musical, this recipe was released in several publications with the title of Hello Dolly Bars, Hello Dolly Cookies, or Hello Dolly Cake.

A plate of Hello Dolly Bars on a wooden table.

Hello Dolly Bars Recipe

April Freeman
Rich and sweet, featuring layers of coconut, chocolate, and pecans, this recipe for Hello Dolly Bars seems like it should take hours of effort to prepare. This recipe will likely become your secret dessert for potlucks or fancy dinners. Despite the fact that it only takes a few minutes to prepare, your friends and family will enjoy every scrumptious, decadent bite.
Prep Time 10 mins
Baking Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 20 Squares

Equipment

  • 9-Inch Baking Pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Zip-Top Plastic Bag
  • Rolling Pin
  • Medium-Sized Bowl
  • Spatula
  • Sharp knife

Ingredients
  

  • 8 pcs Graham Crackers
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1 cup Sweetened Coconut
  • 14 ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk from a can

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Take a nine by nine pan and turn it upside down on the counter. Press the aluminum foil around the bottom of the pan, creating a mold of the pan with the foil. Gently ease the foil off of the pan, keeping it in shape.
  • Flip the pan over and press the foil shape into the pan to line the pan with foil. Use cooking spray to grease the pan. Hello Dolly Bars have a tendency to stick badly when baked, so make sure that you grease it well, including the sides of the pan.
  • Place the graham crackers in a zip-top plastic baggie and crush them into crumbs using a meat mallet or rolling pin. If you don’t want to crush them this way and you’d rather use a food processor, feel free to do so.
  • Put the butter into a medium-sized bowl and place it in the microwave. Microwave the butter for about thirty seconds, or until the butter is completely melted. Stir the butter to remove any lumps and then add the crushed graham crackers to the butter, stirring them to combine.
  • When the graham crackers are fully coated in butter, pour the mixture into the foil-lined pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan with the back of a spoon in an even layer.
  • Scatter the chocolate chips over the graham crackers in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top of the chocolate chips.
  • Sprinkle the coconut over the top of the pecans in an even layer.
    The coconut is then sprinkled on top of the two layers.
  • Open the can of sweetened condensed milk, and pour it over the layers of chocolate, nuts, and coconut, making sure that you drizzle it evenly all over the top of the pan.
    The layers are then topped with condensed milk.
  • Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake it for 20 to 30 minutes or until the coconut on the top is slightly browned and the edges are golden brown in color.
    The layers are then baked to perfection.
  • Cool the bars in the pan for at least an hour before using the aluminum foil to lift the dessert from the baking pan. Use a sharp knife to cut the bars into squares and serve. Store leftovers in a container with an airtight lid in the refrigerator for up to a week.
    A plate of hello dolly bars with multiple layers.
  • This recipe freezes well. You can freeze the whole batch by wrapping the entire uncut block of Hello Dolly Bars in two layers of aluminum foil and placing it in the freezer for up to three months. Allow the bars to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cutting and serving them.

Notes

The magic of this recipe is due to the use of sweetened, condensed milk. This ingredient cooks along with the other ingredients to create a gooey, sweet base for the whole dessert. Be sure to choose the correct ingredient when you are shopping.
Often, sweetened condensed milk is found near the evaporated milk and the two ingredients are not interchangeable. Sweetened condensed milk is milk in which much of the water is cooked away and sugar is added. Evaporated milk is simply milk that has had much of the water removed, but it is not sweetened. If you use evaporated milk, this recipe will not turn out the way that you want it to.
This recipe can easily be adapted for your own tastes. If you are less of a chocolate fan and prefer peanut butter, swap out the chocolate chips for peanut butter chips and switch the pecans for chopped peanuts. If you want to try something a little more unusual, you may want to experiment with using butterscotch chips in place of the chocolate chips.
Even white chocolate chips could be a great substitution in this recipe. If you use white chocolate chips, you can try to exchange macadamia nuts instead of pecans. When you begin to play around with this recipe, you should feel free to use whatever nuts that you have on hand as well.
Keyword Hello Dolly Bars, Recipe, Snack

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