There are a lot of things I love about the holidays. The family time, the decorations, the lights, the sounds, the foods and the traditions. Baking is one of my favorite holiday traditions, creating delicious sweets and treats to share with family and friends. Out of all the baking that I do, I have one recipe that I look forward to more than all of the rest. Hello magic cookie bars!
Magic cookie bars, or Seven Layer Bars, are a long time favorite in my family. My mom used to make them for my brother and I, and they hold a special place in my holiday memories.
This year I upped my magic cookie bar game by adding caramel. Caramel Magic Cookie Bars. Glorious, delicious, messy, caramel. You still get the delicious, original magic cookie bar taste, but with the additional kick of ooey, gooey, caramel. It certainly is the most wonderful time of the year!
These bars can be a
bit lot messy. But then again, most of my holiday baking is messy, the whole kitchen can become a bit of a disaster in a flurry of sweets and treats creation. But sometimes those messes are totally worth it to create delicious foods, traditions, and memories for my family.
Don’t you just want to grab a fork and dig in? Here you go.
While I like to bake and decorate during the holidays, I also like to keep things simple. I want to devote my time to friends, family and festivities, not elaborate recipes or fancy entertaining. Don’t get me wrong, I love a complex recipe and a beautifully set fancy table, but for us keeping things as simple as possible during the holidays helps reduce some stress and add some enjoyment. And this recipe, like many of my holiday dessert recipes, is about as simple as it gets. You don’t even have to use a mixing bowl, you just layer it all into your pan.
Magic Cookie Bar Tips
One of my holiday cleaning tips is to line your baking pans with foil.
This allows you to pull your baked goods right now. Not only does this help with clean up, but if you are like me and baking a lot at once, it frees up that pan quickly and easily to be filled with another batch! To make these magic cookie bars you crush up your graham crackers (or just buy the crumbs), mix them with some butter, and create your crust, which gets pressed into the pan.
Then you start layering your ingredients which include sweetened condensed milk, coconut, chocolate chips, nuts (I went with dry roasted salted pecans to compliment the caramel) and some caramel. That’s it, this one definitely falls into the easy holiday recipes category!
I layered in half of my ingredients, then added my caramel, then finished with the remaining ingredients. And into the oven it goes. SO simple.
I will say, you might want to put off making these until the very last minute, as they are VERY hard to resist. Just trust me on that one. Serve them up to family and friends and enjoy your holiday time together. Your friend and family will love these caramel magic cookie bars!
More Delicious Recipes To Try
- Caramel Blondies
- Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars
- Caramel Pretzel Dessert Nachos
- Caramel Apple Crumble
- Caramel Pecan Rolls
- Cinnamon Caramel Swirl Bars
- Chocolate Caramel Cake
- Carmelitas Recipe
- Caramel Apple Chocolate Bark
Caramel Magic Cookie Bar Recipe
Caramel Magic Cookies Bars
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 cups and 1/2 graham cracker crumbs
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups chocolate chips (I prefer dark or semi-sweet but milk works as well)
- 1 cups and 1/3 flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans (dry roasted and salted or ideal walnuts also work)
- 1 14 oz pkg Kraft Caramels
- 2 TBSP cream heavy cream or even half and half will work
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for glass dish). Coat 13x9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray or line with foil and then coat with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour half of sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer with half of the chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a fork.
- In a heavy sauce pan cook caramels and cream over medium heat until completely melted, stirring constantly. Once melted, carefully (it's hot!) pour over magic cookie bars. Follow with remaining sweetened condensed milk, coconut, chocolate chips and nuts.
- Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
If you love coconut, make sure to try my MACAROONS recipe as well! Looking for more Magic Cookie Bar recipes? I’ve got them! Here are 10 of my favorites…
And here are some great magic cookie bar recipes made by other bakers and bloggers around the web…
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Bounty. All opinions however are mine and mine alone.
This sounds delicious, but can you just use caramel chips? I would think it’d be a lot easier and less messy. I also add butterscotch chips as well.
Christi Johnstone says
Absolutely you can, but it’s not quite the same. If you want a layer of caramel, the chips won’t provide the same thing. But they’d be delicious!
Can you substitute quick oats for the coconut??
Christi Johnstone says
I’ve never tried. If you do let us know how it turns out!
Is there anything that can be substituted for the coconut in this recipe?
pheonix dancer says
I love this recipe except for 1 thing: i’m not a fan of Graham cracker crust. What else could I use for the crust?
Christi Johnstone says
You could try Oreo crumbs, though it will be VERY sweet. The graham cracker crust isn’t as sweet, which balances well with how sweet the bars are.
Could you use abtin of caramel condensed milk instead of melting caramel sweets?
Christi Johnstone says
I haven’t tried it so I can’t speak to the results.
I didnt think you could make a Magic Bar any better …but I was wrong! These Caramel Magic Bars are great. I did add butterscotch and white chocolate chips!! They are my new favorite!!
Suzy, so glad you enjoyed them!
I’m confused as to what the #14 means after the following 2 ingredients?
1 oz can sweetened condensed milk 14
1 oz pkg Kraft Caramels 14
Does that indicate 14 individually wrapped caramels or 14 oz? The same confusion exists for the sweetened condensed milk. Can someone clear this up for me? I would like to make this for a party in just a couple days. THANKS!
Those are both 14oz sizes, so 1 14oz can, 1 14oz bag. Unfortunately it appears our recipe card plugin must have a glitch and placed those numbers at the wrong spot.
I’m seeing the same thing. It looks like I need a 1 oz can of condensedd milk which of course does not exist and same for the caramels…is it 14 pieces?
Hi JGolden, it’s 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk and 1 14oz package of caramels. Hope that helps!
These turned out great! I don’t think you can screw it up! LOL They were fabulous!
Cara @ The Little Blonde Baker says
These magic bars look great! I can’t wait to try them. I think the chocolate is great but my fiance also loves butterscotch chips so I may use them as well! I will be pinning this! 🙂
I love your site but the pop up ads every where have got to go! It slows everything down not mention extremely annoying.
Kayla, thanks for letting me know. There should not be ads popping up – can you tell me where you are seeing them by chance so I can track down where they are coming from. I hate pop ups as well!