Seven Layer Bars
Marrying two of my favorites was an excellent decision.
I’m sure everyone has had Seven Layer Bars, Hello Dolly Bars, or Magic Bars. The name changes but the basic recipe is always the same.
A buttery graham cracker crust, topped with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. Optional nuts is how you get the seventh layer, and the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs each count as one layer in the classic recipe.
I think whoever named them was stretching things a bit, but I’m not complaining and am all about getting creative. Seven Layer Bar Cookies anyone?
The bars have everything going. The slightly crunchy graham cracker crust, the perfect amount of semi-sweet chocolate to cut through the sweetness of the butterscotch chips, coconut, and creamy sweetened condensed milk.
I couldn’t help but add Rolos. I love baking with Rolos because unlike caramel squares, Rolos soften just enough to get a little gooey without melting completely.
Other gooey or softer candy like Milky Way, Snickers, Mounds, or peanut butter cups would work. This is not a time to use rock hard Butterfingers.
I had to re-home most of the bars with my daughter’s friends because I loved them way too much. All the layers, flavors, and textures work in perfect harmony together. There’s a reason they’re a beloved classic.
And the melted caramely Rolo bites are the best of all.
Seven Layer Bars
Most everyone has had Seven Layer Bars, Hello Dolly Bars, or Magic Bars. This recipe adds Rolo candies to the classic. There’s a slightly crunchy graham cracker crust, a perfect amount of semi-sweet chocolate to cut through the sweetness of the butterscotch chips, coconut, creamy sweetened condensed milk, and melted caramely Rolos. Other gooey or softer candy like Milky Way, Snickers, Mounds, or peanut butter cups would work. Line your pan to save on cleanup, watch the bars like a hawk in the last 10 minutes of baking, and tent the pan with foil as necessary in final baking moments.
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 butterscotch chips
20 Rolo candies, unwrapped
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes, measured loosely not packed
about two-thirds can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk (eyeball it)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside. Do not skip lining your pan because clean-up will be a beast.
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
- Add the graham crackers crumbs and toss lightly with a fork to coat crumbs evenly.
- 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.
- Evenly sprinkle with the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, Rolos (I made five rows of four with Rolos but sprinkling randomly is okay), and coconut.
- Evenly drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the top.
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes (I baked 27), or until lightly golden brown around edges and barely bubbling in the center, and the center is mostly set. Keep an extremely close eye on bars in the final 10 minutes of baking because coconut can go from raw-looking to burnt in one minute. I recommend tenting pan (cover pan with a sheet of foil) in the last 5 minutes of baking to help prevent coconut from burning.
- 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 and will look less ‘juicy’ as they cool. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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