Seven Layer Bars aka Magic Bars are a simple yet indeed decadent combination of graham cracker crust, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, sweetened condensed milk, & nuts. The sweetened condensed milk caramelizes on the top and is the glue that melds the flavors and pulls all the layers together!
When I was in High School, only seniors could leave campus during the day. But, as soon as I got my driver’s license, my friend Blair and I would sneak out. Of course, for the most part, to buy Seven Layer Bars from a local bakery. Yes, we risked getting detention for that reason because these bars are THAT addicting. I still have zero self-control, so for this reason these are not treats that I want sitting around the house. My best friend from High School and her fiance came into town last weekend! Now was the perfect opportunity in particular to make them!
Some people call 7-Layer Bars “Magic Bars.” It is my firm belief that these bars got this nondescript name because the only reason such a simple recipe could taste so amazing is by magic. I actually found my great-grandmother’s recipe for this magical treat in my Mom’s recipe box. Had I known it was there in High School, I could have saved Blair and me several hours of detention!
I made Magic Bars as the petit fours at the restaurant for a while a few years back. Let me tell you, folks highly coveted the edges. Elbows were thrown. People made promises.
The bite-sized version also disappeared way faster than they should have, which prompted us to start keeping most of them in the kitchen so servers had to come back and ask for more. When there are only 100 guests in the restaurant, yet 300 seven layer bars are disappearing, it calls for questions!
Seven Layer Bars are a simple yet decadent combination of graham cracker crust, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, sweetened condensed milk, & nuts. The sweetened condensed milk caramelizes on the top and is the glue that melds the flavors and pulls all the layers together!
½ cup unsalted butter
2 cup graham cracker crumbs (~16 graham cracker sheets)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 package (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips or 1 package (10 oz) mini chips
6 oz (1 cup) butterscotch chips
1 15 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but some recipes call for a mixture of chopped nuts)
Preheat oven to 325°. Line a 13”x9”x2” baking dish with parchment paper that overlaps the sides. If you don’t have parchment, that’s ok! It’s just an optional trick.
Melt butter in a microwavable bowl and mix with graham cracker crumbs and salt. Press buttered crumbs into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the coconut on top of the graham cracker crust. Sprinkle chocolate chips followed by the butterscotch chips and the chopped nuts.
Pour sweetened condensed milk over the entire surface. My only advice here is to keep the can moving, so the milk doesn’t pool. Create a pattern like a sine wave and then go back across in the same pattern but filling in the gaps. Sorry for the math analogy…I just couldn’t refrain.
Bake at 325° for 20-30 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to brown. Immediately after removing the 7- layer bars from the oven, loosen the sides of the bars from the pan, or they will be impossible to remove. Cool on a rack.
Once they are completely cooled, cut them into bars with a knife and store them in a sealed container.