Saturday, May 14, 2011

9 Layer Magic Bar Cookie

There is something to be said about tradition and history, particularly when it comes to favorite childhood memories. How many of you remember the Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bar? I would have to imagine that many of you have favorable memories of this nostalgic bar cookie which is still extremely popular today.

Last weekend I visited my 94 year old Aunt Mary who lives about an hour and half away. You are probably thinking “wow she is 94 years old”. Though she is the age she is, you would almost never know it. She is one sharp lady and quite spunky. At one point, she let me know that she just got her drivers license renewed for another five years. Normally, that would make me nervous, but she is an independent woman and quite capable.

She wanted to take me out to lunch. Although it was my intention to take her, she insisted and I wasn’t going to deprive her of her desire and independence. Aunt Mary use to have vivid red hair that was purely natural until just recently when she decided to go grey. I love her spirit, sense of humor and zest for life. We pulled up to the restaurant and no handicap spots were available – quite unbelievable that all three were occupied.

She was amenable to letting me drop her at the front door where there was a bench next to the front door and I would park near by. By the time that I parked and briskly walked back to grab her hand, a very nice man was already escorting her to the front door. I thanked him. My Aunt Mary and I promptly got seated. Once we had our drinks, she said to me – “Hey I still got it”. She of course was referring to the man who escorted her to the door. Love her spirit!

Each time Aunt Mary would cook something for us when we were kids she would exclaim that “it is supreme”. In honor of my independent 94 year old Aunt Mary, I have made my version of the seven layer magic cookie bar – only with nine layers. Thank you Aunt Mary for a wonderful day - love you!

Supreme Nine Layer Magic Cookie Bars

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
¾ C. butter or margarine, melted
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 C. flaked coconut
1 C. chopped pecans
1 ½ C. Mini Marshmallows
¼ C. Chopped Heath bar
Caramel (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F for glass baking pan). In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan.

Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly in this order: coconut, pecans, then chocolate chips; press down firmly with fork.

Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Sprinkle marshmallows over the top and under the broiler, leave until golden brown – just a minute or so. Remove and sprinkle with heath bits and drizzle with caramel.

Chill if desired. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature.

Caramel Sauce

1 ½ C. sugar
¼ C. water
½ t. lemon juice
1 C. heavy cream

Stir sugar, water and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat; boil without stirring until the mixture turns deep amber brown. This should take about 9 minutes. Take off the stove and hold over the sink before pouring the cream mixture into the sugar mixture. It will boil and bubble. Once calmed down, add to back to the burner and reduce slightly over medium low heat for about 8 minutes. Chill until thickened. Put into another container and slightly heat when ready to use.


  1. Wow! These look fantastic! Kudos to your grandmother for her spunk! I hope if I make it to 94 I still got it too lol.

    I am also passing along a few awards to you for your blog! Love it! Can be picked up here:

  2. Lisa, what a fantastic post and lovely tribute to your aunt! I ♥ Magic Bars and that you added two layers. Been too long since I have made them!

  3. Wonderful post. I love the extra two layers in this classic. They call to me.

  4. Way to go, Aunt Mary!! And way to go, Lisa! Your nine-layer magic bar looks incredible. Love, love the different layers of texture and flavor. Hope you're enjoying your weekend and thank you, by the way, for your note in my blog about Saveur. Have a great week ahead!

  5. That is so sweet Lisa, I have an Aunt Mary too. I bet she has still got it, what a great attitude. I've never had this bars, but I would love to correct that. Hope you had a great weekend.

  6. Aunt Mary is such a hoot, love her! And I am droooooling. I have been craving seven layer bars for a while, these nine layers of deliciousness are calling my name.

  7. Love your aunt. These are delicious...

  8. Yum, yum...and yum again! These look so good with your additional layers of fun stuff...I'd likely eat the entire pan and end up with a stomach ache.

  9. My grandmother made bar cookies similar to these, she called them 'low calorie bar cookies', I have no idea maybe she thought it was a funny! Your cookies look beautiful;-)
    I was out in your neck of the woods yesterday, playing golf in the rain, aren't you ready for some sunshine? It feels like Ireland here, at least it's beautiful and green;-)

  10. Oh may do those look good! I have always been a huge fan of 7 layer bars. Now you give us nine:)! Yum.

  11. Your Aunt sounds like an amazing lady and sounds like you both had a great time. I have actually never tried these bars but they look fantastic :)

  12. Hi, I am your new friend on foodbuzz. Very nice recipe. So glad to meet you!

  13. When I was a kid I made these for a girl scout bake sale. They were such a hit. I haven't really made them in a long time. We called them hello dolly bars, but I have some of the other names too. I'd be excited to try this with some addition layers!


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