These “magic” cookie bars made with a graham cracker crust, baking chips, nuts, and coconut are always a hit!
A friend recently asked me if I had a recipe for 7 layer “magic” bars on my blog, and I confessed that I had no idea what they even were. But you can bet that I googled it immediately! And then made sure to purchase all of the ingredients the next time I went to the grocery store.
For those of you unaware like me, these bars are made up of 7 ingredients— graham crackers, butter, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, coconut and sweetened condensed milk. All that’s required is to layer these ingredients in a baking dish and pop into the oven, and they magically bake up into these irresistible bars! They’re so simple, and dangerously addictive. The perfect make-ahead treat for parties, picnics, potlucks and more.
Just 7 ingredients!
Yep, it’s true, you only need 7 ingredients:
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Melted butter
- Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- Butterscotch chips (could also use white, caramel, or cinnamon chips, etc.)
- Chopped nuts (I prefer walnuts or pecans)
- Flaked coconut
- Can of sweetened condensed milk
Updating a classic recipe
7 layer “magic” bars have been around for decades, and the recipe has largely remained the same. It’s pretty straightforward! But after reading through dozens of reviews on all recipes and doing some testing of my own, I made a few minor alterations to make these bars even better than the original:
- The original recipe instructs you to melt the butter in the pan as the oven preheats, then take it out and add graham crackers and press it into the pan. But that requires working with a hot pan! So I’ve taken others’ advice and mix the butter and graham crackers in a bowl first, and then press into the pan.
- I reduced the butter amount slightly. I found that a full stick of butter makes these bars greasy.
- I also highly recommend parchment paper! It prevents these sticky bars from being glued to the pan, and you can use the edges of the parchment to lift the cooled bars out for easy slicing.
- These bars can be incredibly sweet, so I suggest using darker chocolate chips (semi-sweet or bittersweet) and unsweetened shredded coconut if this is a concern.
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7 Layer Magic Bars
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed)
- 1 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper or grease well with nonstick spray.
- In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press evenly into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Layer the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and nuts into the dish.
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over all of the ingredients in the baking dish.
- Sprinkle with flaked coconut.
- Bake until coconut is toasted and bars are golden brown, 25 minutes.
- Let cool completely to room temperature before slicing.
- You can substitute the butterscotch chips for white chocolate chips, caramel chips, cinnamon chips, etc.
- You can use either unsweetened or sweetened shredded coconut.
- If the sweetened condensed milk is too thick to pour evenly over the baking dish, warm it briefly in the microwave in a heatproof dish to thin it out.