Seven Layer Bars, Magic Bars, Hello Dolly Bars.
Whatever you call them… layering butterscotch, chocolate, coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and nuts atop a buttery graham cracker crust will take you far in life. I recently learned that they are called Seven Layer Bars if all of the seven layers are present. Take something away and you’ve got yourself a Magic Bar. And Hello Dollies were the original name of the layered dessert.
But today, I’m adding a layer or two. Tart, juicy apples and sweetly spiced ground cinnamon.
Today’s dollies are all dressed up for the fall!
The recipe could not be any easier. No mixing equipment or multiple bowls are needed – just a bowl or two and a simple hand tossed layering technique to put it all together.
I made a small batch in an 8×8 baking pan – the recipe can easily be doubled if you’re making them for a big family, get together, or party. Or if you are extra hungry! With no where to go but my tummy, a small batch of these not-so-diet-friendly bars was plenty.
Start by making your bottom layer. Simply grind up some graham crackers and mix with melted butter – you could always use boxed graham cracker crumbs but I was feeling extra Sally-Homemaker today so I ground the crackers up myself. This will be your crust for all the good stuff!
Traditional Seven Layer Bars have equal parts chocolate and butterscotch chips. I scaled back on the chocolate chips because I didn’t want the chocolate to overpower the apples or cinnamon. You could easily leave the out the chocolate altogether but… let’s not be silly.
Next comes the butterscotch. I doubled up on the butterscotch because I am a complete butterscotch fool.
You are too? Good. You’re going to LOVE these bars!
Top the chocolate & butterscotch with shredded coconut, diced apples, cinnamon, and crunchy walnuts. I use Granny Smith apples because of their tart flavor – a perfect balance for all the sugar in the other layers. Honey Crisp apples would be a wonderful variety to use as well.
Binding all of this glory together, the final and most crucial layer is the sweetened condensed milk. You’ll want to completely drench the layers with a nice pour of the good stuff.
As the bars are baking, the juices from the apples and the moisture from the sweetened condensed milk seep down into each layer, completely infusing each corner of the pan with a sticky sweet goo. Each bite is completely rich and decadent.
The bars take about 35 minutes in the oven and will need to cool completely before you cut into them or else you’ll left with a crumbly sticky mess all over your counter. Since I have the patience of a 3 year old, I chilled the bars in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before slicing into squares.
Get your tall glass of milk ready.
The flavor and texture contrast of each layer will make your head spin. Crunchy, creamy, buttery, juicy, and chewy – you’ve got it all. Each bite is something different, which is just what the doctor ordered for those of us with texture A.D.D.
I’m practically drooling as I type this. (!!!)
The chocolate & butterscotch chips hold their shape, the walnuts & coconut obtain a toasty flavor, and the apples & cinnamon give this traditional dessert an unexpected festive flair.
Having made this dessert twice in two weeks, let’s just say I’ve found my new favorite way to trash up some apples.
makes 12 squares
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 6 full graham crackers ground up)
- 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup peeled apples, diced (1 small apple)
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (or any nut)
- 8 oz sweetened condensed milk (a little more than half of a standard 14 oz can)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Spray generously with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Stir together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Mixture will be relatively crumbly. Press onto the bottom of the prepared dish and slightly up the sides.
- Layer chocolate chips and next 5 ingredients (in that order) into prepared baking pan. Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.
- Bake for 35-38 minutes or until center is set. Allow to cool completely and lift the bars out of the pan using the ends of the parchment. Cut into 12 squares. Bars stay fresh at room temperature for 1 week.
RECIPE SOURCE: sallysbakingaddiction.com
© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.
I prefer my goodies with lots of textures of chunks, just like today’s magic bars.
Here are some of my favorite recipes overloaded with lots of stuff:
Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownies - I want to eat these everyday for the rest of my life.
Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Oatmeal Scotchies - for the love of peanut butter & butterscotch
Cinnamon Toffee Cheesecake Dip For Apples - with lots of chunks!