SMiLes by Meg

Magic Bars

I had a really hard time deciding what to bake this weekend.  I was home in Massachusetts with my parents, who are currently in the the process of selling the house I grew up in, and when I have the whole kitchen at my disposal I always feel like I need to make something extra special.  Also, when I bake at their house, I know that I won’t have to bring the treats home with me, so there is little danger that I will eat them all.  This also makes me want to bake more extravagant things.

However, at the same time, I was running into the problem of not wanting to spend my whole weekend baking when I only see my parents once every couple of months.  So I finally settled on something that is both extravagant and fast: Magic Bars.

For those of you reading from my Yale past, these are the same magic bars they served in the dining hall – you know, the ones that people would horde in napkins to smuggle back to their rooms and save for late night studying.  They’re also called seven layer bars due to the seven different layers of deliciousness that go into them.

First step, melt the butter.  I need to find a butter cup like the one my mom has – it’s my favorite way to melt butter. (I’m sure not many people have a favorite way to melt butter, now that I think about it.)

Magic Bars - 1Magic Bars - 2Then, mix the butter with the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl with a fork.  If you’re lazy like me, you can use the pre-crushed graham crackers.

Magic Bars - 3Magic Bars - 4Press the graham cracker into the bottom of a greased 13×9 inch pan.  You probably don’t actually have to grease the pan with the amount of butter that goes in, but better safe than stuck in the pan forever.

Magic Bars - 5Next, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the crust.

Magic Bars - 6Then sprinkle the butterscotch chips on next.  You can substitute peanut butter chips here and end up with an equally delicious result.

Magic Bars - 7Then, sprinkle the coconut on top of the chips.  Remember to always pack coconut when you’re measuring it.  At least, that’s what I do since my mom is a coconut addict.

Magic Bars - 8Then, add the chopped nuts.  I used walnuts, but you could also use pecans or some combination of nuts if you like that better.

Magic Bars - 9Finally, drizzle the can of sweetened condensed milk over you other layers to cement it all together.

Magic Bars - 10Now, those of you that are counting layers are having a moment of panic.  Wait! Meg! You said SEVEN layer bars!  I only count six!  That, my friends, is because you are forgetting the butter.

Magic Bars - 11When you use a whole stick of butter and it doesn’t totally fit in the butter cup, that warrants being considered a layer of its own.

Anyways, bake the bars at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until milk is bubbling and edges are slightly browned.

Magic Bars - 12Allow to cool in the pan completely before cutting into bars.

Magic Bars - 13Magic Bars - 14Magic bars can be stored covered at room temperature.  If you want to try something a little different, though, I did discover in college that if you keep them in the fridge they turn into a really awesome texture as well.  Definitely worth a try.


Magic Bars - 15

Magic Bars


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 1/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk


  1. Combine melted butter and graham cracker crumbs with a fork.
  2. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 13×9 inch pan.
  3. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top of crust.
  4. Sprinkle butterscotch chips evenly on top.
  5. Sprinkle coconut for the next layer.
  6. Add the chopped nuts.
  7. Drizzle condensed milk over the top of the layers.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbling and lightly browned.
  9. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.