Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie Bars: Hello Dolly Bars (My BFF Nikki's Favorite)

Seriously, what could be easier than making cookie bars where you literally just pour one ingredient on top of the other in a glass baking dish and then bake? Nothing! These are the ultimate best and SO easy to make. I guarantee rave reviews every time. 

Now these are nothing new. Sometimes called Hello Dolly bars, sometimes called Magic Bars, some people call them cookies - but no, they're really cookie bars, since you cut them after they bake and cool, as you would with a pan of brownies. 

My best friend Nikki introduced me to these many years ago, and the recipe that I use comes from her mom. I just made a batch for Nikki's New Years Eve party and figured while I was making them, I'd take some action shots so I could share the recipe here with you. 

They are simple to make, use only six ingredients, take only a few minutes to assemble, and 20 to 30 minutes to bake. Easy! 

You will need:
Glass baking dish (I use my 13" by 9" glass baking dish that I make my brownies in)

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk 



Here's how you do it:

1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Unwrap your butter and place it in the baking dish and place in oven while it is preheating to melt the butter, about 4 or 5  minutes, and be sure to keep an eye on it! 

3. While butter is melting and oven is preheating, assemble your other ingredients. Measure 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs. You can buy them in a box as crumbs or you can make your own by simply putting a few graham crackers into a food storage bag and then crushing them with a rolling pin on top of a cutting board as shown below.

4. Once butter is melted, use pot holders to carefully remove hot pan with melted butter from oven and set on stove top or other heat-proof surface. 

5. Make sure butter has coated the entire bottom of the pan, and then add your 1 cup of gram cracker crumbs to the butter. Mix if needed to saturate all of the cracker crumbs with butter. Gently press the butter/crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan, creating a crust. 

6. Top with the chopped nuts. I use walnuts. Some folks like to use pecans. Use whichever you prefer.

Now your pan will look something like this. I added a few extra chopped nuts for a little more coverage. 

7. Now cover the nuts with the chocolate chips. Do not pack the chocolate chips down into the pan, just sprinkle them on top!

8. Next, cover the chocolate chips with your 1 cup of coconut. Yum. Once again, do not pack the coconut down into the pan, just sprinkle on top of the chocolate chips, creating a nice even layer of coconut. You do not want to pack it down tightly because then in the next step, the sweetened condensed milk will not be able to soak down into the layers. And yes, I put extra coconut on it because OMG YES.

9. Open the can of sweetened condensed milk and give it a gentle stir with a spoon. I've found that the mixture gets kind of dense and settles from sitting in the can so it's best to give it a mix before you use it to break up any lumps or thickness. 

10. Once you've given it a stir, pour the sweetened condensed milk atop the coconut. It should soak down into the coconut and layers below. It should look like this:

11. Bake in preheated 350° oven, for about 20 to 30 minutes, watching carefully so that the coconut does not burn, but instead turns a nice golden brown color. The one shown below is perfectly toasted! 

12. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once completely cool, cut into bars or squares. 

How easy is that?

What do you think?
What are your favorite cookie bars?

Have a great week!

Article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved


  1. In my neck of the woods, these are called 7 layer bars -- that's how many ingredients as we also use butterscotch chips - I didn't go look at my recipe, but I bet the choc chips are 1/2 as much with butterscotch chips as the other half.

    1. Those sound yummy too. I'd like to try them with chopped almonds.