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Chocolate-Coconut Bars

These decadent bars are inspired by Hello Dollies, a popular Southern dessert.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 20
Chocolate-Coconut Bars

Source: Everyday Food, 2005


  • 3 cups finely ground cookies (12 ounces), such as graham crackers or chocolate wafers, or a combination
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly splash a 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking sheet evenly with water, then line with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter until combined. Evenly press onto bottom and up sides of prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating halfway through, until firm, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool, about 20 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle cooled crust evenly with pecans and chocolate. Pour condensed milk over the top, spreading to cover completely (do not let it drip over the edges). Sprinkle with coconut.

  4. Bake until coconut is toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely. Trim edges, if desired, and cut into equal-size bars.

Cook's Note

Sweetened condensed milk is made by heating whole milk and sugar until much of the liquid has evaporated. Do not substitute evaporated milk, which is unsweetened.

Reviews (29)

  • jrbales 24 Jun, 2014

    For at least 30 years I've made a similar bar called a "Five-Layer Bar". The only difference? After the layer of chocolate chips, layer 1 cup of butterscotch chips. Then continue with the coconut and sweetened condensed milk and bake as directed. Super decadent! I always say you need a bowl of vanilla ice cream to act as a chaser after eating one of these bars! Super easy to make, it takes longer for them to cool than to actually whip them up!

  • Linda_kan2 14 Feb, 2014

    I didn't have certain ingredients so I improvised for crust I used vanilla wafers and I didn't have chocolate so it used half butterscotch morsels and half white chocolate. I used almonds and pecans. It was delicious.. Thanks on my next attempt I will definitely use what it ask for....

  • jonesfamilyof7 14 Jul, 2013

    This was amazing! So simple, I just love Martha's stuff! I didn't have graham crackers so I used Ritz crackers and added an 1/8 C sugar to the crust, the buttery crisp cracker was a perfect substitute. I also didn't have enough nuts so I combined chopped almonds and chopped walnuts together. Again, I didn't have enough (1/2 C) so I added 1/2 C extra chocolate chips. With a few dashes of cinnamon to this recipe, it was Amazing!

  • jnokleby 8 Jun, 2013

    I 'cheat' when I find recipes like this that have a crust that give trouble. I take a pre-made pie crust. Roll it out thinner, put into pan for bars. Pre-bake 10 minutes so they don't get soggy. Gives a pastry light crust and cuts very well.

  • jessielee6285 22 Apr, 2013

    These were AMAZING. My boyfriend and I could not stop eating them! not only are they delicious but they are super easy to make! I recommend these 100 %

  • amyturim 20 Mar, 2013

    To make this a PERFECT Passover dessert, replace the cookie crumbs (strictly forbidden on this holiday) with the following: re-create a crust by breaking down pre-made or packaged macaroons in the food processor until they are chunky-crumbly, toasting them lightly, and combining them w/the sugar (a little less) and butter per the recipe. Fabulous.

  • dianeklein66 28 Jan, 2013

    This is NOT the "Magic Cookie Bars" from the Eagle Brand Condensed Milk can -- it uses the same ingredients, but the proportions and directions are significantly different. Not everything made with the same ingredients is the same thing, as every baker knows.

  • avlampen5742 7 Dec, 2012

    Can't wait to try this one.

  • blackburn3559 26 Nov, 2012

    also you should use a 13 x 9 inch pan for these

  • blackburn3559 26 Nov, 2012

    Ok people....these are magic cookie bars.....the recipe is compliments of borden brand sweetened condensed milk....this recipe has been a holiday staple in my family for 28 years!!!!

  • sdavis442 21 Nov, 2012

    I am baking these early tomorrow morning for Thanksgiving. I was wondering, what size pan did you have to use since 10x15 made the crust too thin?

  • uyen_lu 18 Nov, 2012

    I had problems the first time I made so I made adjustments. First, I've used smaller pans. A 10 x 15 sheet spreads the crust too thin and I had issues with overbaking and cracking/crumbling. I use bittersweet chocolate to counter the sweetness of everything else and only 1/2 the condensed milk. Add Heath chips and drizzle caramel on top of everything -- Deelish!

  • uyen_lu 18 Nov, 2012

    I had problems the first time I made so I made adjustments. First, I've used smaller pans. A 10 x 15 sheet spreads the crust too thin and I had issues with overbaking and cracking/crumbling. I use bittersweet chocolate to counter the sweetness of everything else and only 1/2 the condensed milk. Add Heath chips and drizzle caramel on top of everything -- Deelish!

  • crashdsray 28 Jun, 2012

    This is delicious! My grandmother used to make it all the time for my sister and I. I hadn't made it for years and then when I saw this recipe it reminded me of gram and I just had to make them.

  • MariahL 8 Jan, 2012

    This recipe is a hit! I left out the nuts because I knew my dinner guests would not eat the bars if I included them. I was a little unsure how it would taste without the nuts because there are few ingredients, but it was amazing. We did not feel like anything was missing.

  • KatieMichela 12 Oct, 2011

    These are also know as Magic Bars the recipe is on the back of the Eagle sweetened condensed milk. I have loved them for years. I usually make them with butterscotch chips too. I tried 2 cups of chocolate cookie & 1 cup of graham crackers for the crust & it turned out great.

  • jengl 17 Aug, 2011

    Tried these bars yesterday. I added 1/2 cup vanilla chips and 1/2 cup butterscotch chips because 1 cup of semi-sweet did not seem like enough. I, too, had the disappointment of the crust not holding together. When I tried cutting into bars, the crust broke. Was impossible to eat with a fork, and when you picked it up to try to take a bite, it just crumbled. Despite the problems with the crust, everyone said it was delicious. Next time will try a smaller pan and more butter in the crust.

  • wpg_foodie 16 Jun, 2010

    These candy bars are delicious. I've made them with graham crumbs and with oreo crumbs, and I must say I prefer the oreo crumb base better. I think I was a little shy on crumbs for the base (used a 400g box of crumbs) but kept the butter and sugar quantities the same and it turned out fabulous. Super easy to make!

  • SweetK2 3 Aug, 2009

    My friends found them sweet but very scrumptious. However, I found that the graham wafer crust did not hold together and that was a disappointment. If I make them again I will add more butter.

  • szahlmann 15 Jul, 2009

    Just click on "PRINT" and it comes up nice and clean - then you can copy it down, or print it out from there!

  • cherylgreen 15 Jul, 2009

    If you click on print recipe, the recipe will come up clean without the add.

  • Caron 15 Jul, 2009

    I too can not see the recipe because the ad is over the ingredient list.....unforunate.

  • Linda-cbs 15 Jul, 2009

    This sounds just like the Eagle Brand "Magic Cookie Bar" recipe. Still, a wonderful delicious treat!


  • JLKLadybug 9 Feb, 2009

    Very good! I used a well greased 9 x 13 pyrex dish, and the bars are perfect!

  • stephanie wedeking 6 Dec, 2008

    Mine turned out perfectly and was a big crowd pleaser! Next time I think I'll omit adding sugar to the crumbs. The cookies are sweet enough and this is a very sweet recipe.

  • Souljurney 20 Oct, 2008

    I used a 9x5 pan and they were thick so you didn't need as big a piece...I substituted butterscotch chips as well...very tasty....

  • jandafrog 25 Sep, 2008

    Excellent! My family loved them. I do second the suggestion to use a smaller pan. I had trouble getting the toppings (especially the sweetened condensed milk) to cover the 15" x 10" pan. Additionally, I think it works better to put the sweetened condensed milk on and THEN the chocolate and pecans vs. the reverse. Will definitely make again (in a small, well greased pan!).

  • mcaffee 17 Sep, 2008

    I use cornflake crumbs for these. You can also add butterscotch chips and unsweetened coconut so they're not too sweet(because of the butterscotch chips.

  • mlkim42 14 Sep, 2008

    This is a great recipe but I do have a couple of comments. I used a 11x9 inch pan and sprayed it with cooking spray before lining it with parchment paper (foil works too but don't forget to spray the foil as well if using foil instead of parchment.) Chopped chocolate works really nicely instead of chips (more interesting texture.) I found that toasting pecans makes them a little crunchier (pecans can get soggy without toasting.)

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