When I bake, I usually want nothing short of extravagance, high praise and admiration for my extreme baking prowess (like macarons, see my tutorial simplifying them here, I promise they are easy!). But sometimes you want a dessert recipe that is fast, easy, simple, foolproof and crowd pleasing without the headache of particularly whipped egg whites or fancy baking dishes or rare ingredients. Enter the Hello Dolly, aka the Magic Bar, aka the Seven Layer Bar, aka the Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bar. These things will knock your socks off, they are ah-mazing: so sweet, so delicious, so easy, and oh so so good.
Hello Dollies are perfect for Easter. They are rich and insanely sweet and even though the ingredients are not perfectly arranged, they are still very pretty. Easter is a busy holiday. The oven is full of savory foods, there are several church masses to attend, there are chocolate egg scavenger hunts to set up, and it’s in the middle of spring—a busy time of year with spring cleaning and finals and just getting out of the house to enjoy the weather! So without a lot of free time for baking, these bars are the perfect Easter treat.
I followed the recipe I saw on Steven and Chris. Sigh, does anybody else still ache in their hearts thinking about the tragic death of our beloved, wonderful Chris? I miss him. I feel like he was a part of my family, I have watched him and Steven since I was in grade school. I hope his family is healing.
This recipe has all sorts of delightful ingredients: chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, toffee, and cashews. I used Oreo cookies as the base and it was to die for. But man-oh-man there are so many things you could do to these bars to make them more Eastery: sweetened coconut flakes, chopped Cadbury Mini-Eggs, pistachios, butterscotch chips, crumbled pretzels…the list goes on and on! Use what you have (ie leftover Easter egg chocolates!) and these will be a hit no matter what.
Chocolate Toffee Hello Dollies (recipe from Steven and Chris)
1.5 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (I used Oreo cookies, divine!)
1/3 cup melted butter
1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips (something I have been craving this pregnancy!)
0.5 cup toffee bits
0.5 cup salted cashews
1 can sweetened condensed milk
one: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the cookie crumbs with the butter until they are moistened. Press them into the bottom of a 9 inch square cake pan lined with parchment paper.
two: sprinkle the sweet ingredients in layers on top: the chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, toffee bits, and cashews. Feel free to be creative with these ingredients—for Easter I suggest sweetened coconut flakes, chopped Cadbury Mini-Eggs, pistachios, butterscotch chips, or crumbled pretzels!
three: pour the sweetened condensed milk over top and use a butter knife to spread it into the cracks. It will be very full to the top of the pan! Feel free to *carefully* lick the can, that’s by far my favourite part of making these!
four: bake until the centre is set and the edges are golden, about 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 45 minutes then cover and cool in the fridge for 1 hour. Lift the whole thing out of the pan by the parchment onto a cutting board and cut into squares. Make these squares pretty small, they are super sweet and you don’t need a lot to feel completely satisfied!
Wrap in foil and keep in the fridge for 5 days or the freezer for 1 month.
I’m totally ready to make these again, with Cadbury Mini-Eggs for sure! If you have any creative ideas for sweet layers let me know in the comments below!