June 30, 2020

Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars

A true spin on the original classic recipe for Seven Layer Hello Dolly Magic Cookie Bars (or whatever your family calls them!) with almonds, chocolate chips, coconut and chocolate graham cracker crumbs that Almond Joy fans will love!


The most memorable sweet treat of my childhood was Magic Cookie Bars (aka Hello Dollies and 7-Layer Bars – I’m pretty sure they’re all the same thing or dang near close).

The combo of coconut, chocolate and butterscotch was literally the best thing my childhood self had ever eaten. I can still remember the first time Mama made them and I made myself sick sneaking into the kitchen to swipe just one more taste!

Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars! A true spin on the original classic recipe for Seven Layer Hello Dolly Magic Cookie Bars (or whatever your family calls them!) with almonds, chocolate chips, coconut and chocolate graham cracker crumbs that Almond Joy fans will love! #almondjoy #magiccookie #7layer #sevenlayer

The original Magic Cookie Bars (a recipe from Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk) are made of seven layers of the following:
  1. Melted butter
  2. Graham cracker crumbs
  3. Sweetened condensed milk
  4. Butterscotch morsels
  5. Chopped pecans or walnuts
  6. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  7. Coconut
Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars! A true spin on the original classic recipe for Seven Layer Hello Dolly Magic Cookie Bars (or whatever your family calls them!) with almonds, chocolate chips, coconut and chocolate graham cracker crumbs that Almond Joy fans will love! #almondjoy #magiccookie #7layer #sevenlayer

This recipe has morphed over the years into many variations. Many folks sub peanut butter morsels for the butterscotch (though I could never because I looooooove butterscotch!), some use all chocolate chips (and no other flavor morsels), some omit the coconut, etc.

I’d seen a few recipes for what looked like (what I assumed was) a variation of the original recipe to make Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars but upon closer inspection discovered that they weren't Magic Cookie Bars at all. The bottom layer was actually a cookie crust recipe with a lot of ingredients that has to be cooked separately before adding the other layers.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars! A true spin on the original classic recipe for Seven Layer Hello Dolly Magic Cookie Bars (or whatever your family calls them!) with almonds, chocolate chips, coconut and chocolate graham cracker crumbs that Almond Joy fans will love! #almondjoy #magiccookie #7layer #sevenlayer

I didn’t want to do that at all because a) part of the magic of these bars is how quick and easy they are to make and b) magic cookie bars are all about the original seven layers. Soooo… while they look mouth-wateringly delicious, they’re not actually Magic Cookie Bars (Hello Dollies or 7-Layer Bars).

SO! I decided to make my own version of Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars using the original recipe architecture with these changes:
  1. Melted butter
  2. CHOCOLATE Graham cracker crumbs
  3. Sweetened condensed milk
  4. Butterscotch morsels MILK CHOCOLATE CHIPS
  5. Chopped pecans or walnuts SLICED ALMONDS
  6. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  7. Coconut
Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars! A true spin on the original classic recipe for Seven Layer Hello Dolly Magic Cookie Bars (or whatever your family calls them!) with almonds, chocolate chips, coconut and chocolate graham cracker crumbs that Almond Joy fans will love! #almondjoy #magiccookie #7layer #sevenlayer

My Lord, these were good! They were even better the next day and I wish I’d waiting until then to take the pictures so the chocolate chips would have looked better for you. They stayed amazing all week, come to think of it! They never dried out or got that stale taste.

Note to self: these have a long shelf-life and will be great for Christmas baking and to make when company’s coming to town.

If you can’t find chocolate graham crackers it’s OK! You can totally use regular graham crackers. You could also add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to your regular graham cracker crumbs or you could use chocolate wafers (like Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers). Don’t use Oreos or another cream-filled chocolate cookie.

Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars! A true spin on the original classic recipe for Seven Layer Hello Dolly Magic Cookie Bars (or whatever your family calls them!) with almonds, chocolate chips, coconut and chocolate graham cracker crumbs that Almond Joy fans will love! #almondjoy #magiccookie #7layer #sevenlayer

You don’t have to use both milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips. I just did to keep with the 7-layer formula and because I couldn’t decide if all milk chocolate would be too sweet (with the sweetened condensed milk). If you choose to just use one type, I suggest using all semi-sweet.

You’ll want to use sweetened flaked coconut (most commonly available and used in baking recipes), which is different than plain shredded or desiccated coconut. Sweetened flaked coconut is, well, sweetened obviously, but also much moister.

And yep, spellcheck is telling me moister is a word… still not convinced but I’m sticking with it.

Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars! A true spin on the original classic recipe for Seven Layer Hello Dolly Magic Cookie Bars (or whatever your family calls them!) with almonds, chocolate chips, coconut and chocolate graham cracker crumbs that Almond Joy fans will love! #almondjoy #magiccookie #7layer #sevenlayer


Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars

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Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars
Yield: 24 Servings
Author:
Prep time: 5 MCook time: 25 MTotal time: 30 M
A true spin on the original classic recipe for Seven Layer Hello Dolly Magic Cookie Bars (or whatever your family calls them!) with almonds, chocolate chips, coconut and chocolate graham cracker crumbs that Almond Joy fans will love!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sliced almonds

Instructions:

  1. Spray the sides of a 13x9 pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour melted butter into prepared pan then swirl to spread butter evenly over the bottom.
  3. Sprinkle chocolate graham cracker crumbs evenly over butter then flatten evenly over the bottom of the pan to make a bottom crust.
  4. Sprinkle milk chocolate chips over bottom crust. This isn’t the traditional order of things but this makes the bottom layer extra chocolatey.
  5. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over milk chocolate chips. 
  6. Sprinkle coconut over sweetened condensed milk. Reserve a small handful to sprinkle on top of chocolate chips and almonds if desired. 
  7. Sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate chips and sliced almonds evenly over coconut.
  8. Cover pan with aluminum foil then bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil then continue baking for 5-10 minutes or just until coconut starts to brown.
  9. Cool in the pan then cut into squares. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature up to one week.

Notes:

As with all my recipes, use real salted butter. If using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon salt.
One traditional-size sleeve of graham crackers yields 1 1/2 cups crumbs.
It is perfectly fine to use all semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of half milk chocolate (or vice versa).
One 12-oz package chocolate chips yields 2 cups.
Don’t pack the coconut when measuring – we’re just looking for 2 loose-ish cups.
I have heard that fat-free sweetened condensed milk can be used in Magic Cookie Bar recipes but I’ve never tried it myself.
If you can’t find chocolate graham crackers it’s OK! You can totally use regular graham crackers. You could also add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to your regular graham cracker crumbs or you could use chocolate wafers (like Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers).
We're covering this to prevent the coconut from browning but it's totally optional.
Use sweetened flaked coconut (most commonly available and used in baking recipes), which is different than plain shredded or desiccated coconut.
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desserts, brownies, bars, cookie bars
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Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars! A true spin on the original classic recipe for Seven Layer Hello Dolly Magic Cookie Bars (or whatever your family calls them!) with almonds, chocolate chips, coconut and chocolate graham cracker crumbs that Almond Joy fans will love! #almondjoy #magiccookie #7layer #sevenlayer

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2 comments:

  1. Made these Almond Joy Magic Cookie Bars. The first day, after cooling, I tried one. I thought meh...I probably won't make them again. I did read where you said that they were better the second day which is why I made them the day before having friends of ours over (social distancing of course) on the 4th. BOY! are you right. The second day they were delicious. I don't know what happens to them overnight, but they loved them and so did we. I'm making another batch today :)
    Thank you for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's weird, right?! I seriously wish I'd waited to take pics because they're prettier the next day too! Glad y'all enjoyed them!

      Delete

Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy