Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bar Week
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Seven Layer Bars

Out of every sweet or treat I’ve ever made for the holidays, one item remains my most favorite ever…

The Magic Cookie Bar.  Or Seven Layer Bar.  Call it whatever you want, it really is magic in a pan.   And not only are they insanely delicious they are SO easy to make.  You don’t even need a bowl (though for this version I used one bowl, but minimal clean up – I promise).   Hello, how great is that???    And I love bar cookies because you can whip up a batch quickly, much more so than traditional cookies.  So to celebrate my favorite holiday treat, I will be sharing a week of different magic cookie bar recipes with you.  So are you ready to get this party started?

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Magic Cookie Bars.   You are welcome!   The feedback from the taste testers on these were all extremely positive.  I think my husband was both sad and thankful that most of them had been shared with friends before he got home from work, because “Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Magic Cookie Bars” and “Portion Control” are probably not found together in nature.

Okay, let me show you how simple these are to make, and the printable recipe will follow at the end of the post.   Start by gathering your ingredients and getting a 13″ x 9″ pan.

A few weeks ago I came across this can of Nestle La Lechera Dulce De Leche next to the sweetened condensed milk at my store.  I really had no idea what I would use it for, but I had to use it.  Since sweetened condensed milk is a big part of the magic in these bars, I figured this would be a great place to try it out.   I’ve read that it can be REALLY sweet, so I decided to use half Dulce De Leche and half regular sweetened condensed milk in this recipe.

Most recipes will tell you to melt your butter and then combine with graham cracker crumbs, then press into a pan.  Well given that I’m pretty much always in a hurry, I found a shortcut.  I put my stick of butter in my pan, and then stick it in the oven while the oven preheats.   Usually the butter is melted just before the oven comes to temperature, and while this is going on I get everything else ready.

You can buy graham cracker crumbs or make your own, I usually just make my own in the food processor.  I package (not the whole box, but the individually wrapped ones inside the box) of graham crackers came out to about 1 1/4 cups for me.

Because I wanted to create a sweet and salty thing with these bars, I added in crushed pretzels to my crust.  One cup of pretzels prior to crushing…

Worked out to be a little less than 1/2 a cup once crushed.

They don’t crush as finely as the graham crackers, but I think that’s fine, I like the added crunch.

Butter is still melting in the oven.  On to mixing up the sweetened condensed milks.   The dulce de leche is pretty darn thick, so I put half of the can into a glass measuring cup, along with half a can of regular sweetened condensed milk and microwaved and stirred until it reached a pourable consistency (probably about 30 seconds, but in 10 second bursts, stirring in between).

Our friend butter is ready!

Okay, so I did end up using one bowl – I used it to combine the graham cracker crumbs and pretzel crumbs.   The one thing if you do the “melt the butter in the oven” thing is that you have to remember to be careful, the pan is HOT.   It’s sort of second nature to grab a pan when you are preparing something like this, and it’s very easy to burn yourself.  Don’t do that.  It’ll hurt.   Sprinkle the crumbs over your butter.

Next you pour on the sweetened condensed milk.

Than I add my nuts, followed by some of the chocolate chips, caramel bits, pretzel chunks, coconut and then a few more chocolate chips on top.

Into the oven for approx 25 minutes.

I drizzled a little extra caramel on top.

Need a fork?

I used my square Ateco cutters to cut them out.


Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars


  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 7 oz (1/2 can) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 7 oz (1/2 can) La Lechera Dulce De Leche (if you can't find this, just use all regular sweetened condensed milk)
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup crushed pretzel crumbs (about 2 heaping cups prior to crushing)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (divided into 1/2 cup portions)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 cup Kraft Caramel Bits (divided into 1/2 cup portions)
  • 1 cup broken up (but not completely crushed) pretzel pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • Approx 1-2 TBSP of water (to be used with Kraft Caramel Bits to create a caramel drizzle)


Unwrap butter and place in 13" x 9" pan. Place pan, with butter, in the oven and turn the oven on to 350*F. Butter can melt in pan while preheating. Keep an eye on it, checking every few minutes and pulling out of the oven when butter is melted. Please be careful while preparing recipe as pan will be very hot.

Crush graham cracker and pretzels in food processor to crush into a fine crumb. Set aside.

Mix sweetened condensed milk and dulce de leche in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for ten seconds, remove, stir and microwave for another 10 seconds if needed. You'll want the two to combine and be a pourable consistency.

When butter is melted, remove from oven and carefully sprinkle the graham cracker and pretzel crumbs over the melted butter. Press in lightly with fork or back of spoon.

Pour sweetened condensed milk & dulce de leche mixture over crumb layer.

Sprinkle 1/2 of the chocolate chips, nuts, 1/2 of the Kraft caramel bits and broken up pretzels over sweetened condensed milk layer.

Sprinkle coconut on top, followed by remaining chocolate chips.

Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven.

Following the directions of the back of the Kraft Caramel Bits, melt bits with small amount of water then drizzle over top of bars. Allow bars to cool completely.

Cut, serve, share, enjoy!

Enjoy and stop by tomorrow for another decadent and delicious Magic Cookie Bar recipe!    Make sure to check out my new book, SMART COOKIE, which is available on Amazon!

Smart Cookie Cookbook - Transform Store Bought Cookies Into Amazing Treats by Christi Johnstone of Love From The Oven


  1. says

    Seven layer bars are my favorite! Of all the sweet things I make… the seven layer bars my sister always makes for the hoidays are my favorite treat! This looks like an amazing variation! Can’t wait to see the rest!

  2. danielle says

    These sound amazing. I just saw that dulce due leche in my store too. I may be making these. I grew up pouring the condensed milk over everything else though. It probably doesn’t make a difference at all, but it looks cool/gross- we called them barf bars.

  3. fernanda says

    Magic cookie bars ar my signature holiday cookies I try to make some every year and give to my love ones. Sinc I live in Mexico sometimes i replace the graham cookies with Galletas Maria.But i try to buy almost everythinh (but the condensed milk) in USA. I’m traveling to Tucson please let me know if the caramel bits are easy to find in the supermarket and in wich ile.
    I almost forgot, dulce de leche is commonly used in cakes when you are layering it its spread in the middle. It goes GREAT! With any kind of cake muy fave. Is yellow and chocolate germ
    and its easy to make at home directly from the can if someone wants to kno let me kno.

  4. says

    Holy moly, do these bad boys look gooood! For real? I’m loving the each layer photos and each layer had me salivating more and more and now I’m ‘this’ close to licking the screen. I can’t find the Dulce De Leache in a can from any of the stores, they just have the standard caramel in a can at the stores which will do just fine.

  5. Mirtha says

    this looks amazingly yummy! I used to make a different layered bar, and every single time I took the first layer out of the oven, put the rest on top and then grabbed the (extremely hot) pan with my bare hands! never failed! ugh.

  6. teresa says

    The sweetened condensed milk we have at the store looks nothing like what this picture shows its off white. Have you cooked yours in the can for I think its (1-4 hours) to make caramel?

    • says

      Hi Teresa, the photos shows a combo of the sweetened condensed milk and dulce de leche. “Mix sweetened condensed milk and dulce de leche in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for ten seconds, remove, stir and microwave for another 10 seconds if needed. You’ll want the two to combine and be a pourable consistency.” Hope that helps!


  1. […] Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bar WeekChocolate Caramel Pretzel … Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Magic Cookie Bars. You are welcome! The feedback from the taste testers on these were all extremely positive. I think my husband was both sad and thankful that most of them had been shared with . […]

  2. […] very little measuring, toss things into the pan, bake it and there you go.    Last year I even devoted an entire week to them here on the blog.   I have yet to make a Halloween version of a magic cookie bar, and when I saw these Halloween […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>