Classic Magic Cookie Bars

Magic cookie bars
Claire Cohen
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 24 Servings
Ratings (22)

Magic cookie bars have long been one of my family's favorite treats, and I make them at least once every holiday season.

The cookies are made with butter, graham cracker crumbs, and layers of chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. Take a pan of these fabulous cookies along to a potluck or office party.

You can easily vary this recipe. Add 1 cup of butterscotch chips or toffee chips to the chocolate chip layer, replace the pecans with walnuts, or add colorful sprinkles to the top for a special occasion.

I like a thicker base layer, so I make these with 1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 tablespoons/3/4 cup) and 2 1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs (pictured).

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened​ condensed milk
  • 1 pkg (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, 2 cups
  • 1 can (3 1/2 ounces) flaked coconut, about 1 1/3 cups
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Melt the butter in a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.
  3. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over melted butter; pat the crumbs down to form the crust.
  4. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumb crust.
  5. Top the condensed milk layer evenly with the chocolate chips, coconut, and chopped pecans; press down firmly.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  1. Cool the bars completely before cutting.


Tips and Variations

Add colorful sprinkles for special occasions: pastel for Easter, red and green for Christmas, red, white, and blue for the Fourth, Autumn colors for Thanksgiving, and orange and black for Halloween. 

Add color to the coconut on the bars. Put about half of the coconut in a zip close bag. Drop two drops of liquid food coloring on the coconut. Add the remaining coconut and another 2 drops. Press the air out of the bag and seal it. Mix until the color is evenly blended. Adjust the amount of food coloring for more vivid color. 

Use 1 cup of butterscotch chips and 1 cup of semisweet or milk chocolate chips.

Make them with part or all peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips.

Add 1/2 cup of brickle chips along with the chocolate chips.

Not a fan of nuts? Leave them out or replace them with more chocolate chips or some toffee or brickle chips.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
240 Calories
16g Fat
21g Carbs
3g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)