Peanut Butter Seven Layer Bars

I’m a huge fan of seven layer bars. Also called hello dolly or magic bars depending on where you live.

Whatever you call them, they’re fabulous and generally follow the same easy, no-mixer recipe outline.

A buttery graham cracker crust, topped with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. The melted butter and graham cracker crumbs each count as one layer in the classic recipe.

I mixed things up and swapped peanut butter chips for butterscotch chips, mini peanut butter cups instead of nuts, and added peanut butter to the sweetened condensed milk. Triple the peanut butter always makes me happy. There are so many flavors and textures in every bite. Soft, chewy, creamy, crunchy, and so good.

Peanut Butter Seven Layer Bars - There's peanut butter, peanut butter chips AND peanut butter cups in this fun twist on the classic recipe!! EASY no-mixer recipe that peanut butter fans will LOVE!!

You must line your baking pan with aluminum foil when you’re making seven layer bars because the sweetened condensed milk caramelizes while baking and will stick like crazy to an unlined pan. I shudder to think of the dishes.

I always, always, always line my baking pans no matter what I’m making with Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Aluminum Foil for many reasons. It’s heartier and stronger than other foil and doesn’t tear or rip like others often do.

It makes doing dishes a million times faster because I can simply toss the sheet of foil away. To differentiate between the two sides of the foil, an imprint reads “NON-STICK Side” on the matte, or flat-finish, side.

Peanut Butter Seven Layer Bars - There's peanut butter, peanut butter chips AND peanut butter cups in this fun twist on the classic recipe!! EASY no-mixer recipe that peanut butter fans will LOVE!!

Foil enables me to lift the entire recipe out of the pan and place it on a cutting board for precise slicing. People frequently write to me (Item #30) asking how I get such clean cuts and perfectly sliced bars and foil that I can lift out of the pan is my secret.

It’s a great to wrap up leftovers and as a tool for grillin. After preheating your grill at medium/medium-high heat, simply place the foil on the grill (non-stick side up) and add food immediately.

Print Recipe

Peanut Butter Seven Layer Bars

I adapted the classic recipe for seven layer (or hello dolly or magic) bars and swapped peanut butter chips for butterscotch chips, mini peanut butter cups instead of nuts, and added peanut butter to the sweetened condensed milk. Triple the peanut butter always makes me happy.There are so many flavors and textures in every bite and you'll love these.

Yield: one 8x8 pan, 9 to 12 generous squares

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: about 25 to 30 minutes

Total Time: 2+ hours, for cooling

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (I use unsalted, but salted tames some of the sweetness)
  • scant 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes, measured loosely and not packed
  • 1 cup minis peanut butter cups (I prefer minis rather than miniature)
  • two-thirds of one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (eyeball it)
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Aluminum Foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To a large, microwave-safe bowl add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the graham crackers crumbs and toss lightly with a fork to coat crumbs evenly.
  4. Turn mixture out into prepared pan, forming an even, smooth, flat crust layer by tapping crumbs into place with a spatula or your fingertips. The amount of crust is skimpy and barely covers the pan, but it's okay.
  5. Evenly sprinkle with the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, coconut, and peanut butter cups; set aside.
  6. To a small bowl add the sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, and stir to incorporate the peanut butter.
  7. Evenly drizzle the sweetened condensed milk-peanut butter mixture over the pan.
  8. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around edges and the center is mostly set. Keep an extremely close eye on bars in the final minutes of baking because coconut can go from raw-looking to burnt in one minute. I've baked the bars in different ovens and have baked for as long as 30 minutes and as short as 23 minutes; watch your bars and not the clock.
  9. Place pan on a wire rack and allow bars to cool in pan for at least 2 hours, or overnight, before slicing and serving. Bars firm up as they cool. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Adapted from Seven Layer Bars

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Post is brought to you by Reynolds. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own.

9 comments

  1. I got super excited by the title and photos – I’ve finally found peanut butter cups (not common in the Netherlands!) and I can’t wait to use them in recipes! This looks like the ultimate sweet treat, and I love the sound of those seven layers ;) Thanks for sharing!!

  2. This is a peanut butter lover’s dream bar!! I love coconut about as much as I do chocolate and peanut butter so having all those together in one pan really sounds fantastic!

  3. I was literally JUST thinking to myself…Magic Bars have’t been around in awhile I should make some. LOVE this PB version!

  4. hey girl- these look so good!

  5. I have been making magic bars for years (to me it means christmas). So the past few years I have moved around a lot and no one, I mean NO ONE knows what magic bars or 7 layer bars are. I introduced them to my work place this past Christmas. Guess who has to make them every year now? I have always switched the butterscotch chips out for peanut butter chips, but I believe I will be using your recipe next.

    • I hope you enjoy my recipe and I too encounter plenty of people who’ve never heard of the classic bar…whereas for me, it was a childhood staple at every potluck, bbq, church function, etc.

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