Perfectly blended crust of traditional graham crackers and Oreos topped with butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans. Sweetened condensed milk is the finisher that brings it all together. So simple and so satisfying!
I grew up with a wide variety of Hello Dolly bars. Everyone in our community had their own special version. Some were extremely delicious and some were tough and gummy.
The origin of these little treats supposedly came about as a result of the “Hello Dolly” musical in the 1960’s. However, since we lived in Northeast Georgia and only a stone’s throw from Sevierville, TN, our hello dollies were always associated with Dolly Parton.
The best part about these bar cookies is that they are so easy to make and take only about 30 minutes from beginning to end. I have experimented with several options and found a few tasty alternatives. But, you have to lay the foundation properly. Without a good crust, they will just not hold together nor taste quite right.
Like many bar cookie recipes, they are typically better the next day. I don’t like to cut all of my batch into squares unless I am taking them somewhere. They stay much more moist as a whole. In our house, we just cut off what size we would like to taste depending on the mood.
Here are a few recipe variations that I approve:
- For chocolate lovers: Add dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet and add 1/2 cup more than recipe indicates. Then, reduce the amount of butterscotch chips to 1/2 cup. This will enhance the chocolate flavors in the crust.
- For those who love peanut butter: Replace the butterscotch chips with peanut butter chips. Also, change out the pecans for crushed peanuts.
- Make it minty! If you are looking for something a little “green”, mix it up with mint. Replace the butterscotch chips with Andes candies pieces. Tint the sweetened condensed milk with a little green food coloring before pouring over the bars. If you REALLY like mint, add 2 drops of peppermint extract to the sweetened condensed milk as well.
Decadent Hello Dolly Magic Bars
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup crushed oreos
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1 14 (oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray glass baking pan (13×9) with cooking spray.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter. Turn off the heat and add graham cracker crumbs and crushed oreos. Stir until well combined and then press evenly into the bottom of the baking pan.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, pecans, and coconut in even layers over the crust. (You should have about 3 layers.) Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top. Make sure that you add it slowly to ensure it is spread evenly.
- Take a small rubber spatula to even out any condensed milk that may have pooled. Be careful not to disrupt the layers. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until cookies have set and coconut looks toasted. Do not overbake or they will be extremely hard.
- Allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Store in airtight container or covered with plastic wrap at room temperature. Enjoy!