Recipe: Seven-Layer Bars


seven layer bars, 7 layer bars, magic bars, easy dessertsI broke my streak and did not host a cookie exchange this year. I am disappointed but I just couldn’t get it together with a busy few weeks at work and my in-laws in town for Thanksgiving. Because it’s not just about baking cookies, but preparing tasty savory dishes, decorating and one-upping myself when it comes to the previous year’s party favors. This year I really wanted to make cookies-in-a-jar. but the thought of assembling a dozen or so on top of baking and cooking was too much. I know. I’m a little intense.Also, I think Kail and I exhausted our cooking-baking quota a little early this year with Halloween (I said I was intense!). Anywho, off topic. Instead of going all Martha-Stewart-on-steroids, I opted for the opposite: the easiest possible dessert, seven-layer layer bars, 7 layer bars, magic bars, easy dessertsEvery year, each Marine at the embassy has a Christmas stocking in the cafeteria in which people can put small gifts. Since I couldn’t muster up the energy to make sugar and gingerbread cookies en masse, I decided I would make seven-layer bars. Also, bars tend to have a longer shelf life than layer bars, 7 layer bars, magic bars, easy dessertsSeven ingredients, seven layers.My friend Kathleen introduced me to seven-layer bars in college. We thought it was hilarious (and I still do) that of the seven layers, one is butter and one is condensed milk. I said this is the easiest possible dessert, not the layer bars, 7 layer bars, magic bars, easy dessertsThey didn’t hold together as well as I would have liked, and were not as pretty as decorated cookies shaped like Christmas trees or little gingerbread men, but if they’re going to get smushed in a stocking, does it matter? They taste good. Because CHOCOLATE AND BUTTERSCOTCH AND layer bars, 7 layer bars, magic bars, easy dessertsI was actually planning to toss the entire batch (OK, two batches) because they really did not look appetizing. However, after taking them into the office for a test run, and after they were devoured, post-office-holiday-lunch — at which we had a five-course meal including dessert — I decided they would be acceptable. Also, there will be lots of other desserts in their stockings from which to choose, and no one will have known that I made these bars (except readers of this blog = not the Marines).What’s your favorite bar/brownie recipe?Seven-Layer BarsPrep Time: 5 minutesCook Time: 25-30 MinutseYield: About 15 barsIngredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 cups coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter; press crumb mixture into bottom of pan.
  • Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture.
  • Layer evenly with remaining ingredients, pressing down firmly with a spatula.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cool completely in pan on wire rack; to expedite/increase firmness, cool in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  • Cut into bars and serve.

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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