Magic Cookie Bars

by Sarah Franzen

by Sarah Franzen

Looking for an easy dessert that would incorporate my husband’s request for “something with coconut” I decided to see what it would take to make the well-known Magic Cookie Bars. We have enjoyed these mainly as a sweet snack after a light sandwich at local delis, and it wasn’t until I looked up the recipe that I realized how simple they are to make at home. When searching online most of the recipes default to the Eagle Brand site for their tried and true method.  Since it has such great reviews and has been used by families for years now, I figured sticking with the classic was the best way to go.  Here is what I did with the recipe and the original can be found at Eagle Brand’s site.


Ingredients for Magic Bars

  • ½ cup melted butter or margarine
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups flaked coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for a glass dish) and grease a 9×13 pan to prep for baking

Crush graham crackers in zipper-sealed bag using a rolling pin

Crushing Graham Crackers

Combine graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon with melted butter

Mixing Graham Crackers and Butter

Press mixture into bottom of greased 9×13 baking pan

Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over graham cracker crumb layer, making sure to coat entire area

Adding Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sprinkle on chocolate chips and coconut, press down firmly with a fork

Pressing Magic Bars with Fork

Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned, cool, and cut into bars

Baked Magic Bars

Store covered at room temperature

I only ended up needing to bake my bars for 22 minutes in the dark, non-stick pan.  The main variations between the original recipe and this one are that I added cinnamon to the crumb mixture; it’s also a nice to add some crushed vanilla wafers to make up the 1 1/2 cups with the graham cracker crumbs for a little extra flavor.  To satisfy my husband’s craving, I also upped the coconut from 1 1/3 cups to a little over 1 1/2 cups.  I omitted the nuts altogether, and substituted 1 cup of dark chocolate chips rather than having 2 cups of just the semi-sweet.  You could also incorporate butterscotch, white chocolate, or almost any other type of baking chips to give this favorite your own flare.  I love this recipe because it is simple to prepare and is ready in under 30 minutes.  Pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy some Magic Cookie Bars for your next dessert.

What special ingredients do you add to your Magic Bars?  I think next time I will throw in some butterscotch chips or do a caramel drizzle to up the ante a little bit.

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  1. I make this every year at Christmas and it is such a big hit, not one bar left. Really delicious. I buy the round graham cracker pie pan in the baking section of any grocery store. They also have the chocolate pie pan and you can use butterscotch chips and caramel instead of chocolate.

    1. This is one of my favorites; and like you said, Loretta, they are so popular we never have any leftovers. Using the ready-made graham cracker pie crust is a wonderful idea. Do you just add the ingredients into the pie shell and bake it that way? Sounds like a great time saver. I love the suggestions of using the chocolate graham crackers, butterscotch chips, and caramel too! Thank you.

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