Introducing the ultimate sweet treat that has been a favorite for generations – the Hello Dolly Bars! These scrumptious dessert bars are a heavenly blend of butterscotch, chocolate, coconut, and pecans, guaranteed to delight your taste buds. Whether you’re treating yourself to an indulgent snack or impressing your guests, these homemade bars are deliciously nutritious, packed with healthy ingredients like honey, bananas, oats, and dark chocolate chips. All the elements harmoniously blend to create a perfect balance of sweetness and warmth that’s simply irresistible. Try the legendary Hello Dolly Bars for yourself and taste the magic!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe!
This recipe is perfect for kid-friendly cooking sessions with your little chefs at home. It offers a fun and interactive experience, allowing them to sample the ingredients along the way.
Not only is this recipe an easy win, but it also features widely loved and popular ingredients. When combined, they create a truly delightful treat that will surely be appreciated.
What makes this recipe even more special is its unique and tasty twist. Butterscotch, a rare gem among desserts, adds a touch of unforgettable flavor.
Why are they called Hello Dolly bars?
The story behind the name is a bit of a mystery, but one theory is that it was named after the popular Broadway musical Hello Dolly! Another suggests it was inspired by Hollywood actress Dolly Parton. Either way, these delectable bars have been around for decades, and their alluring flavor has kept them on everyone’s minds.
Why are they called 7-layer bars?
Hello, Dolly bars are often referred to as “7 layer bars” due to the seven layers of ingredients that make up the dessert. The bottom layer consists of a graham cracker crust, followed by a luscious layer of butterscotch chips. Then comes a sprinkling of semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, and shredded coconut flakes. Finally, a layer of creamy sweetened condensed milk binds everything together and tops it off with another layer of chocolate chips.
What Layers Are In 7-Layer Bars?
At the base, we have a thick layer of buttered crushed graham crackers – crumbly, buttery, and delicious. While the classic honey-flavored crackers are fantastic, don’t hesitate to try cinnamon for an extra kick of flavor.
Next up, we have sweetened condensed milk: It’s what makes these bars irresistibly sweet, sticky, and chewy. And let’s be clear, there’s no substitute for this magic milk. It’s generously drizzled over the crust and toppings, ensuring maximum ooey-gooey goodness.
Chocolate chips: Because let’s face it, chocolate makes everything better. In this recipe, we’ve combined semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. However, feel free to experiment with dark and milk chocolate varieties. Just always remember to choose top-quality brands like Ghirardelli and Hershey’s.
Now, let’s introduce some nuttiness and crunch with walnuts. For an extra burst of flavor, toast the walnuts beforehand.
Shredded coconut: With its unique crunchy texture and nutty, toasty flavor, it perfectly complements the chocolate chips and walnuts. It also adds a delightful tropical flair to these bars. To balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients, opt for unsweetened coconut flakes.
So there you have it – an enticing array of layers that make up these delectable 7-Layer Bars.
What Can You Substitute for Coconut in 7-Layer Bars?
If you don’t have coconut on hand, Quick-cooking oats can be used as a substitute. Alternatively, you can choose to skip it altogether. Without the toasted nutty flavor, the bars will still be delicious nonetheless.
- Calories: 220kcal (11%)
- Carbohydrates: 25g (8%)
- Protein: 3g (6%)
- Fat: 13g (20%)
- Saturated Fat: 8g (50%)
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 3g
- Trans Fat: 1g
- Cholesterol: 17mg (6%)
- Sodium: 86mg (4%)
- Potassium: 144mg (4%)
- Fiber: 2g (8%)
- Sugar: 19g (21%)
- Vitamin A: 174IU (3%)
- Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)
- Calcium: 60mg (6%)
- Iron: 1mg (6%)
Ingredients For Hello Dolly Bars
Here’s what you’ll need for this delectable treat:
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: Opt for honey or cinnamon-sugar graham crackers to create the perfect base. For a thicker crust, increase the amounts to 16 graham crackers and 12 tablespoons of butter.
- Unsalted Butter: Choose unsalted butter to better control the saltiness in your dessert and let the creamy butter flavor take center stage.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: If you don’t have chocolate chips, simply break up a semi-sweet chocolate bar into delicious chunks.
- Butterscotch Chips: Although not as popular as before, butterscotch brings a unique and delightful twist to this recipe.
- Shredded Sweetened Coconut: Transport yourself to a tropical paradise with the addition of shredded coconut, reminiscent of a Mounds bar.
- Pecans: These nuts add a delightful crunch to the mix. However, feel free to swap them out for almonds, walnuts, or any other favorite nut variety you prefer.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: Any brand of sweetened condensed milk will work wonders for this recipe. Choose your favorite or go with a reliable generic brand for equally fantastic results.
For exact ingredient amounts, detailed instructions, and helpful tips, make sure to check out the printable recipe card below.
How To Make Hello Dolly Bars
Follow these simple steps to create a decadent delight that will leave you craving for more:
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350℉ (176℃).
- Prepare your pan: lightly grease or line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Melt ½ cup (one stick, or 8 tablespoons) of butter over low heat or in the microwave at 50% power for 30 to 60 seconds until warm. Use a lid to prevent splashes.
- Crush approximately 12 sheets of graham crackers in a plastic baggie using a mallet or bowl. You should have approximately 1 ½ cups of crumbs after crushing.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers and melted butter thoroughly with a fork. It will look mealy, but it will solidify as you proceed. Alternatively, you can layer the crushed graham crackers at the bottom of your baking dish over the melted butter.
- Line your pan by pressing the mixture firmly into the bottom of the 9×13-inch pan using your fingers. Make sure to cover the entire bottom and create a solid layer.
- Now, it’s time to add the other ingredients. Sprinkle 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips over the graham cracker layer, followed by 1 cup of butterscotch chips, 1 cup of shredded sweetened coconut, ½ cup of chopped pecans, and finally, pour on 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk (1-14oz. can). It should look and smell divine by now.
- Bake the bars at 350℉ (176℃) for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown perfection.
- Once baked, remove the dessert bars from the oven and allow them to cool completely before indulging or storing them for later enjoyment.
They can be easily transported and make great additions to kids’ lunches, parties, or picnics.
Hello, Dolly Bars can be stored in various ways to maintain their freshness and taste. Let’s explore the options:
Room Temperature: If you plan to enjoy the bars within three to four days, storing them at room temperature in a well-sealed, airtight container is ideal. This prevents moisture loss and potential staleness.
Refrigeration: For a longer shelf life, it is recommended to refrigerate Hello Dolly Bars. Simply place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This method guarantees their freshness and minimizes the risk of spoilage. They can last for about a week when stored this way.
Freezing: If you want to store Hello Dolly Bars for an extended period, freezing is a great option. Here’s how to do it right:
- Wrap each bar tightly in foil to prevent freezer burn.
- Place the individually wrapped bars in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag.
- Consider layering parchment or wax paper between each bar to prevent sticking.
When properly stored in the freezer, Hello Dolly Bars can last for two to three months.
Now, let’s talk about enjoying the frozen bars:
Frozen Treat: If you’re in the mood for a chilled delight, you can enjoy the Hello Dolly Bars straight from the freezer. They have a biteable texture without freezing solid, ensuring a tooth-friendly experience.
Thawing Option: If you prefer the bars at room temperature or slightly chilled, you can thaw them by following these steps:
- Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.
- Alternatively, you can set them out on the counter until they reach the desired bite-ready temperature.
To maintain the texture of Hello Dolly Bars and prevent any moisture loss or absorption of surrounding odors, always store them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly.
Tips And Tricks For Hello Dolly Bars
Here are some handy tips to simplify the process:
Use Parchment Paper
Line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal and cutting of the bars once they’ve cooled.
Press Graham Cracker and Butter Mixture Firmly
Ensure a firm and solid base for the bars by firmly pressing the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the dish. You can use the bottom of a cup or any hard object for this.
Keep a close eye on the Hello Dolly Bars to achieve the perfect balance. They should sport a lovely golden brown around the edges while maintaining a slightly gooey center.
Allow Ample Cooling Time
Patience is key! Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting them into squares. This step guarantees their structural integrity and prevents any mishaps.
FAQs of hello dolly bars
Can You Make Hello Dolly Bars Without Coconut?
Yes, you can make Hello Dolly Bars without coconut. Simply omit the shredded coconut from the recipe and continue as directed.
When were Hello dollies invented?
Hello dollies were invented in the 1980s by a baker in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
How many calories are in Hello Dolly bars?
A typical Hello Dolly bar contains about 180 calories per serving.
What can I substitute for semi-sweet chocolate chips?
If you don’t have semi-sweet chocolate chips, you can use bittersweet or milk chocolate chips. You could also substitute with chopped dark or white chocolate, but the flavor and texture may be slightly different. Caramel chips are sometimes used as a substitute for semi-sweet chocolate chips in Hello Dolly bars.
Can I use a food processor to crush the graham crackers?
Yes, you can use a food processor to crush the graham crackers. Alternatively, you can place the graham crackers in a large zip-top bag and use a rolling pin to mash them into small pieces.
Do Hello Dolly Bars have to be refrigerated?
No, Hello Dolly bars don’t need to be refrigerated. They will keep fresh at room temperature for up to a week. They should be stored in an airtight container or tightly covered with plastic wrap.
Where did the original recipe for Hello Dolly Bars (Magic Bars, 7 Layer Bars) come from?
The original recipe for Hello Dolly Bars originated in the 1980s and is credited to a Winnipeg, Manitoba baker. It has since become a popular dessert bar recipe that can be found all over North America.
Do seven-layer bars freeze well?
Yes, seven-layer bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. Do not freeze them with the topping on as this will affect the texture and flavor of the bar.
Should seven-layer bars be refrigerated?
No, seven-layer bars do not necessarily need to be refrigerated. They can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week. Refrigerating the bars will help keep them fresh longer, but it may also affect the texture and flavor of the bars. If storing in the fridge, make sure to tightly cover it with plastic wrap to keep air out. This will help prevent the bars from drying out.
How long do magic bars keep?
Magic bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. Do not freeze them with the topping on as this will affect the texture and flavor of the bar.
Conclusion: hello dolly bars
In conclusion, hello dolly bars are a perfect treat for any occasion! Not only are these gooey, sweet bars easy to make with only a few simple ingredients, but they are also sure to be a hit with all of your friends and family. What’s more, with the wide variety of add-ins available, you can customize each batch to fit everyone’s taste buds exactly how you’d like! Whether you’re bringing them as a dessert at your next social gathering or simply snacking on them throughout the week, hello dolly bars are truly a timeless classic.