The Year Of Magic(al Bar) Thinking

December 10 , 2017 by: Amber Trudeau Bars, Brownies, Candy, Cookies

I totally haven’t even read this book, and its topic seems a little too serious-sauce for my usual attempts at whimsy, but I loved how much the name fit, so deal with it 😉  (my alternative name was “Magic (Bar) Mike” Thoughts? Feel free to vote on a preference, being sure to indicate how awesome you think they both are because I’m such a genius 😉 ).

Anywho, on with the post! I knew them as Magic Bars, Kevin calls them Hello Dollies and a quick internet search reveals that they are known by various other names as well (7-Layer bars, 5-layer bars and I found a few people who called them Space Bars? (which I thought was super awesome, because Googling that would create so much confusion 🙂 )). Whatever you call them, unless you’re crazy, we can all agree that their real name is Delicious with a capital D.

I actually kind of wish I called them Hello Dolly Bars myself because in trying to look up where that version of their name originated, I came across this info:

“The recipe became famous during the 60′s when Hello Dolly was on Broadway. During the show, there is a restaurant scene. Clementine Paddleford’s (our countries first food journalist, the original foodie!) food column in “The Week “ magazine on September 19, 1965 featured a “Hello Dolly Cake” which an 11 year old girl borrowed from her grandmother. The recipe included graham crack crumbs, flaked coconut, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and condensed milk.”

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love musicals (and if you ever drive past me in my car by myself, I will most likely be singing along to some kind of musical tune. Possibly this is also the case when I’m not alone in the car. Who can say? Hey, I’m driving, so you’ll just have to suffer through my Tony award winning renditions of various musical tunes. I take requests, I’m not a total monster 😉 ).

If you have never had or heard of these before, first of all, are you living under a rock?! And second of all, you are in for a super easy and delectable square of ooey gooey goodness. Just imagine combining all of the things that are delicious and really bad for you, and this is probably what you’d come up with 😉 . I think to make them more unhealthy, you could always make doughnuts and fill them with the ingredients from these bars, and then top that crazy doughnut with coconut whipped cream (apparently I’m trying to come up with the next craze in insanity carnival food). This might have to be the next thing I do, ’cause that sounds amazing.

There are probably about a billion recipes for these available online with uncountable variations and riffs on the “original” recipe. So I too of course had to put my own spin on things, pulling ideas from multiple web sources as well as my own brain (which is also web-like….cobweb-like, but still 😉 ). In the interest of still wanting to have 7 layers, and not currently having access to vegan butterscotch chips (which seem to be a fairly typically included topping), I opted to add an extra sweet and crunchy element by caramelizing up some Rice Krispies (so they’d keep they’re crispness amidst all the liquids and baking). I swear this was completely unrelated to the fact that I still had a half box of Rice Krispies in my cupboard from a previous baking extravaganza 😉 . Side note – the caramelized rice cereal was AMAZING!!!! I had extra, and I was happy to just eat handfuls of it, although you could be slightly more in control of yourself than me, and use it to top some vegan ice cream, or your morning oatmeal, or vegan yogurt, whatever floats your boat.

These are dangerously addictive, so I recommend making them and consuming them with other people so you don’t fall into my trap of “evening out the edges” when cutting these into bars (because you don’t want any extra bits to go to waste, so you might as well eat them right? Hmmm..that one doesn’t look quite square enough – and I am going for perfection here, so I guess I better just slice off another 1/8 of an inch. Damn, now the other side is uneven…..(10 minutes later) – “What happened to my pan of Magic bars, I swear it used to be here. They’ve obviously magically disappeared 😉 ”

These bars lead a charmed life, one that is most definitely magically delicious and I can bar-ly exhibit a soupçon of self-control around them. But with all these toppings, and Christmas just around the corner, why not quickly whip up something that’s this all (Hello) Dollied up? 😉 .

Magic Hello Dolly Bars

Yield: 16 bars


Cookie Base:

  • 6 Golden Oreos, crushed up
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons cookie butter
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I have a cinnamon addiction, so feel free to omit this)
  • 1/4 cup vegan white chocolate chips


  • 1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk (I used this brand – the can is 250ml or about 1 cup. There are also many recipes online for making your own if you can’t find this anywhere, but they happen to sell it at my local Bulk food store).
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 cup vegan white chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans*
  • 1 cup flaked coconut*
  • 1 cup carmelized Rice Krispies*
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

*It’s good to end up with about 3-4 cups of “toppings” in total, so feel free to play around with the amount to your liking


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease (or line with parchment for easier removal after) an 8×8 baking dish.
  2. Make caramelized Rice Krispies – in a small saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat melt the maple syrup and brown sugar together. Bring to a boil. Boil, without stirring for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour in the cereal and salt, stirring until cereal is all coated in caramel.
  3. Transfer cereal mixture to a wax or parchment lined baking sheet to cool while you prepare the rest of your bars.
  4. In a food processor , whir your Oreos until they’re crumbs. Add in the graham cracker crumbs, butter, cookie butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Move to a bowl and stir in white chocolate chips.
  5. Press firmly into prepared baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes to help firm up the base a bit before soggifying the top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes (it’ll still look pretty soft, but that’s totally fine).
  6. Pour entire can of sweetened condensed coconut milk over the base and evenly sprinkle over chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, pecans, coconut and caramalized cereal.
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes or until it looks set and delicious (or you can’t wait any longer 😉 ).
  8. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate before cutting into bars.


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About Amber

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Hi, I'm Amber Trudeau.  I bake.... a lot.

I'm also vegan, and found that whenever I went out to a restaurant my dessert choices were limited to sorbet, sorbet, and sorbet.  So I started making my own desserts. I wanted them to taste good though - so my ultimatum was to make delicious desserts that also happen to be dairy-free and egg-free. Every week or so, I challenge myself to try something new.  To recreate some kind of traditional dessert that tastes amazing without using animal products.

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