Hands up how many of you have eaten 7-layer bars, aka Magic bars, aka Treasure bars, aka Hello Dollys. We used to get them with school lunches sometimes–all the way through to high school. I also remember my mother making these, very rarely, as most of the rest of us in the family were not huge fans of coconut (one of the 7 layers).
Ahh…the 7 layers. As far as the bar type is concerned–6 out of the 7 layers are the same in every recipe I’ve seen. You got your graham cracker (or in my case, digestive biscuit) base, butter, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, and sweetened condensed milk. The 7th layer…well, that’s a bit more subjective. Some recipes call for butterscotch chips. Others call for water to be added. Others, like my mother’s recipe, adds another type of nut. The 7-layer cookies, however, take a bold step forward and add…flour. AND a cheeky 8th ingredient–baking powder. But…I suppose you could mix the 2 and call it self-raising flour, and no one would be the wiser.
These cookies are VERY easy to make, and VERY more-ish. I think they’d be great to make with kids, because measuring is a breeze, and most of the ingredients come out of a packet. AND they would LOVE busting up the graham crackers/biscuits. On the flip-side, you could easily make these a bit more suited to an adult palette by adding some chopped candied ginger, darker chocolate, or many other delectables the kiddies make gross faces at. I’d also recommend them as a nice addition to anyone’s Christmas-cookie pantheon!
Here’s the slightly modified recipe (originally from Kelly at No Empty Chairs):
- 1 1/2 Cups of graham cracker or digestive biscuit crumbs
- 3/4 Cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk (I used ‘light’)
- 1/2 Cup of butter, softened (I used margarine)
- 1 Cup of shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 cups of dark (semi-sweet) chocolate chips (I only had a tiny bag of chips, so I cut up some dark chocolate from a bar)
- 1 Cup of chopped nuts (I used chopped toasted hazelnuts, but try pecans as well–walnuts are nice too, but would be very overpowering. I thought the hazelnuts worked really well with the coconut)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (my oven is fan assisted and so I put it to 175 degrees C).
- Mix the cracker/biscuit crumbs with the flour and baking powder. In another bowl, mix the butter and the condensed milk. Stir the dry mix into the wet mix.
- Stir in the coconut, nuts, and chocolate.
- Grease a few cookie sheets and dollop on the cookie mixture. The original recipe says this makes around 3 dozen cookies, but I think I made mine a bit bitter, so I only got about 2 and a half dozen. The batter doesn’t spread very much. Make them whatever size you like.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute before removing from the cookie sheet.
These turned out really well for me. The only drawback was that mine turned out really cake-y…if that’s a drawback. I might use real butter next time, and possibly a bit less baking powder, just to experiment. However, even as they were, they went like hot-cakes at my house and at my office, so there can’t be too much wrong with them!