7-Layer Bars

Katherine Gillen

Whether you know them as 7-layer bars, magic bars or Hello Dolly bars (or, as we always confuse them, Dolly Parton bars), there’s no denying the deliciousness of this cookie-like 1960s recipe. Graham cracker crumbs are blanketed in gooey sweetened condensed milk, which holds together ample amounts of coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chips and nuts. Even better, there’s no scooping or portioning, and the whole thing comes together in about 35 minutes. Be still our grade-school heart.

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1½ cups graham cracker crumbs

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1½ cups sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup chopped pecans

Flaky salt, to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. (For ease of slicing, you can also line the baking dish with parchment paper before spraying, leaving some overhang, but this is optional.)

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs and salt. Add the butter and stir until well-combined—the mixture should look and feel like wet sand. Pour into the prepared baking dish, and pat into an even layer.

3. Pour the sweetened condensed milk on top of the graham cracker base, tilting the pan as needed to get an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with the coconut, followed by the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and pecans. Garnish with flaky salt. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Cool the bars in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then loosen from the pan while still warm. Cool completely before slicing into squares. The bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 5 days.