This Hello Dolly Cookie Recipe is not an original recipe. In fact, it's one that goes back many many years and is well-loved. That's why I think there are so many different names and ways to make these dessert bars. Although this is not a version I created, it is the one my family made and is one I hope you will love.
This cookie is one that goes by many names - 7 Layer Bars, Magic Cookie Bars, Coconut Dream Bars, among others. In all honesty, it is my favorite cookie and one of the first recipes I remember having at Christmas time.
If this is your first time making the Hello Dolly Cookie Recipe, it won't be your last! No matter what everyone calls them, I call these magic bars irresistible. I could single-handedly eat the entire pan of these delicious bar cookies, so I only make them around the holidays.
Why Are They Called Seven-Layer Bars or Hello Dolly Bars?
It is a classic recipe that has graced many cookbook pages and recipe cards. This cookie became popular in the 1960s, around the time that the "Hello Dolly" broadway musical was popular. The cookie with the dolly name was born!
Many people call them 7-layer bars because there are 7 decadent layers of ingredients - unsalted butter, graham crackers, 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup of butterscotch chips, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, and an all-important can of sweetened condensed milk that holds everything together.
If you are a fan of loaded cookie recipes, try this Kitchen Sink Cookie Recipe.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Buttery Graham Cracker Crust - It adds a salty and sweet factor to this sweet treat.
- Easy Recipe - Just add all the ingredients in the order they're listed and pop the entire pan in the oven! It makes quite a few cookies, so it's a great recipe to make for a cookie exchange.
- Simple Ingredients - Most of these items are ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
- Large Rimmed Baking Sheet with Sides
- Rolling Pin or Mallet
- Large Ziploc Bag
- Graham Crackers - You can buy the ready-made crumbs as a time saver. I usually have graham crackers on hand, so that's what I like to use.
- Unsalted Butter
- Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
- Butterscotch Chips
- Sweetened Shredded Coconut
- Chopped Walnuts
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - This is essential for topping the cookies and creating a chewy texture.
*Please scroll down to the recipe card for the specific ingredient amounts.
Step 1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
Step 2. Melt butter and pour it into a rimmed baking sheet, spreading it evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Step 3. Put graham crackers in a ziploc bag and crush them into fine crumbs using a rolling pin or mallet.
Step 4. Add graham cracker crumbs to the baking sheet, and spread them into an even layer with a fork.
Step 4. Add semisweet chocolate chips spreading them in an even layer over the crumbs. In the same manner, add the rest of the ingredients, pouring the entire can of sweetened condensed milk for the final layer. Make sure to drizzle it evenly, covering the top of the coconut and chopped nut layer.
Step 5: Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are bubbling and golden brown.
Step 6: Cool completely and cut into squares.
Instead of melting the butter in the microwave and pouring it into the pan, place the stick of butter on the baking sheet and place it in the oven while it's preheating. This will melt the butter quickly and easily. Keep a watchful eye on the butter, as it can burn easily. When the entire stick is almost completely melted, remove the pan from the oven and let the residual heat finish melting the stick.
This recipe works in either a 10"x15" or an 11"x17" shallow pan. Some people call this type of pan a jelly roll pan. The baking time is the same. With the larger pan, the recipe will make a few more bars, but they will be thinner.
Storage and Freezing
Store at room temperature in an airtight container or bag for up to a week.
Freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
- Many other versions of this famous recipe use parchment or foil or parchment paper to line the baking sheet. I don't usually have trouble getting the bars out of the pan. However, if you'd like to use one of these to help lift the bars out of the pan, you are certainly welcome to do that.
- Use your food processor to make crushing the graham crackers into crumbs easier.
Peanut Butter Morsels - I happen to love butterscotch chips, but if you don't care for them, consider switching them out for something else like peanut butter chips.
Pecans or Almonds - Walnuts are my favorite pick for this recipe. But chopped pecans or sliced almonds would be tasty too.
Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, or White Chocolate Chips - Swap out the semisweet chips for a different kind of mix or a couple of different varieties.
More Holiday Recipes You'll Enjoy
Hello Dolly Cookie Recipe
- Large rimmed baking sheet
- Rolling pin or kitchen mallet
- Ziploc Bag
- ½ cup butter
- 1⅓ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 full sleeve or 9 full graham cracker sheets)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1½ cups sweetened, shredded coconut
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Melt the butter and pour it into a rimmed baking sheet, spreading it evenly over the bottom of the pan.
- Put graham crackers in a ziploc bag and crush them into fine crumbs using a rolling pin or mallet.
- Add graham cracker crumbs to the baking sheet, and spread them into an even layer with a fork.
- Add semisweet chocolate chips spreading them in an even layer over the crumbs.
- In the same manner, add the rest of the ingredients, pouring the entire can of sweetened condensed milk for the final layer. Make sure to drizzle it evenly, covering the top of the coconut and chopped nut layer.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are bubbling and golden brown.
- Cool completely and cut into squares.