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Food & Recipes

These Dessert Bars Have Three Names Because They’re Simply too Delicious for Words

At bakeries, restaurants, and even your friends’ kitchens, you’ll hear them go by hello Dolly bars, 7-layer bars, or–we think the most accurate name–magic bars. Although this might seem confusion, the crave-worthy confection is worth it, 100 percent.

The premise is simple, and scrumptious. A shortbread cookie base gets a generous pour-over of sweetened condensed milk that acts as the sweet, delicious glue that holds the classic toppings–shredded coconut, pecans, semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips–to the buttery crust. But that’s only the tasty beginning.

A common twist on the classic bar cookie is using graham crackers as a crust in place of buttery shortbread. Combined with the luscious creaminess of sweetened condensed milk, it’s easy to see the appeal: the flavor combo is akin to that part of the cheesecake right where the creamy filling meets the crust and creates a small layer of its own uniquely delicious texture.

These Ultimate Magic Bars opt for the graham cracker base–a decision we fully support–but also take the treats to another level by adding caramel to the mix in addition to the sweetened condensed milk. What you get is a superior level of ooey-gooeyness holding your tasty toppings onto these cookie bars.

Get the full recipe and directions for the Ultimate Magic Bars from Brown Eyed Baker.

You shouldn’t feel like the caramel is required at all, though. Plenty of blogger and bakers use the standard sweetened condensed milk alone in all its sweet, sticky glory. These classic bars go with that method, but use the graham cracker crust instead of shortbread for a toasted flavor that pairs remarkably well with coconut.

Get the full recipe and directions for Classic 7-Layer Bars from Katie at the Kitchen Door.

Ok, chocolate lovers. We know what you’ve been thinking this whole time: Chocolate chips? Is that supposed to satisfy my cocoa cravings? Absolutely not! We have a version for you, too.

This absolute knockout combines your love for all things chocolate with the textural complexity and gooeyness of the classic bars. Translation: You don’t have to compromise. You really can have it all.

Silence your chocoholic sweet tooth with these bars that pack not only two types of chocolate chips but also a chocolate cookie base and a thick layer of silky Nutella. Now that should do the trick.

Get the full recipe and directions for Death by Chocolate 7-Layer Bars from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

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