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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

Source: Everyday Food, June 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 Notes

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 Add a comment

  • RazorbackGuy
    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....
  • Jonesfamilyof8
    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 %
  • MS112584657
    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.
  • VGFBaker
    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.
  • Ann Steiger Lampen
    7 DEC, 2012
    Can't wait to try this one.
  • Heather Blackburn
    26 NOV, 2012
    also you should use a 13 x 9 inch pan for these
  • Heather Blackburn
    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!!!!