This Grandma’s Magic Cookie Bars Will Blow Your Mind!

You know you’re in for a treat when a dessert has “magic” in the name. With Magic Cookie Bars, you’re basically guaranteed it every time. The throwback dessert has been around for many years, and its popularity has endured.

What Are Magic Cookie Bars?

Magic Cookie Bars first appeared in magazines and newspapers in the mid-1960s. The gooey bars aren’t only known as magic cookie bars, though. You may have heard them called Hello Dolly Bars or Seven Layer Bars. 

These names are essentially the same treat: a decadent but incredibly easy-to-make dessert bar with a graham-cracker crust and layers of nuts, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and sweetened condensed milk.

How to Make Magic Cookie Bars

A large part of the bars’ perpetual appeal is how simple they are to make, particularly this version. Besides measuring cups, you’ll only need a 9×13-inch baking dish for baking the bars. You build the dessert right in the pan—no mixing bowls required.

Start by pouring melted margarine into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Then, sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly over the melted margarine. Top with chopped nuts, chocolate chips, and flaked coconut. Pour a 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk over all the layered ingredients and pop it in the oven.

When baked, the graham cracker crumbs and margarine create a graham cracker crust as a base for the bar. The condensed milk seeps through the remaining layers to glue everything together and form a cohesive bar. After baking, chill the bars for 15 minutes; they should be set enough to slice into individual bars.

Sarah Qadir Emad/Allrecipes

Magic Cookie Bar Reviews

Based on Allrecipes user feedback, the recipe is a home run with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Commenter J VB said, “Had to cut them into 9 pieces and freeze 7 of them or they would be gone by tonight!!!” Commenter Marita White Schappert said, “I made these and some friends stopped by. I quickly offered them a piece. I emailed this recipe to 4 people since. They are easy and a win win!”

Other Allrecipes readers recommended combining the graham crackers and margarine before putting them in your baking dish and pressing them into the pan to form a more cohesive crust. And if you can resist eating the bars right away, a longer rest time to allow the bars to set up may be worth your time. According to one reviewer, putting the bars in the freezer and eating them frozen is the way to go. And, of course, this simple recipe is flexible. You can use different nuts, add butterscotch chips, or even add a sprinkle of crushed pretzels to the top for a salty twist.