Ooey Gooey Magic Cookie Bars

My mom used to make these yummy treats when I was a kid. I don’t remember them being quite as ooey and gooey as when I make them, but they do taste like magic. This is an adaptation of the recipe you will find on Eagle Brand’s website. Eagle Brand makes sweetened condensed milk, although I like the organic that I get at Trader Joe’s.

These bars are messy. They are sticky. They are not the most beautiful cookie I make and they are easier to eat with a fork than with your hands, but they are delicious! I have made them for the office and was told, “you are never to bring those in again” by our COO, who is watching his girlish figure. I didn’t listen. I brought them in again (trying to make a batch that was photo-worthy) and I still have a job, so I have that going for me.

I gave up on trying to make a beautiful batch, because you know what? Food isn’t always perfect. Food isn’t always pretty and neither am I and neither is life. There is something endearing about these little imperfect cookies. It’s the taste that matters, not how they look. Am I right? Am I right?

This is a super easy, super affordable and super quick recipe that is perfect to whip up for a potluck or last minute invitation to game night at a friend’s house. I love to have recipes on hand that I can make last minute because I never want to go to a friend’s house empty handed but sometimes I don’t have time to make something elaborate and I like to use ingredients I usually have on hand anyway.

I have seen a version of this recipe online using evaporated milk, but I like using the sweetened condensed milk. It gets a little crisp on the edges and it’s almost like candy when it cooks. It’s incredible! It’s the ingredient that makes these cookies so sticky, but it’s also the ingredient that makes them so delicious. Well, that and the chocolate chips….and the walnuts…..and the graham crackers….and the butter. Ok, everything about them is good, let’s face it.

I like to toast any nuts I use whether in baking or cooking. Lightly toasting the nuts in a dry pan brings out their flavor and makes them very fragrant. You can definitely tell the difference if you use toasted nuts. It’s a small step that packs a big punch. I just lightly toast them over medium heat in a dry pan until they just start to turn golden. You can tell when they are ready, because you can smell them.

Toasted Walnuts

The “crust” for these cookies is simply graham cracker crumbs mixed with melted butter. Just melt some butter in a bowl and add graham cracker crumbs (I just use a food processor for this step) and mix well and cover the bottom of a glass pan that is coated in non-stick cooking spray.

 

Graham Crackers in Food Processor

Graham Cracker Crumbs

Next, add the sweetened condensed milk and the chopped, toasted walnuts.

Magic Cookie Bar Crust

Finally, add the chocolate chips and coconut and bake for 25-30 minutes. I only add coconut to half of the cookies when I make them, because not everyone likes it and I think they are just as good with or without.

Uncooked Magic Cookie Bars

You can use boring, old chocolate chips but why would you when it’s nearly October and you can use festive orange and brown chocolate chips? Are they not the cutest? Don’t worry, they taste like chocolate – no orange funny business is going on here.

Make them for your next potluck and you will be very popular. Take them to Bunco. Take them to the office. Heck, just make them for your family. We don’t need an excuse for a fun treat! Enjoy my little pumpkins.

Ooey Gooey Magic Cookie Bars

Yield: 24 cookies

Ooey Gooey Magic Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (toast them first for the best results)
  • 1 can sweetened, condensed milk
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup flaky coconut (or half if you only want to bake half the bars with coconut)
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a small, dry skillet on medium heat, toast the walnut pieces until lightly toasted.
  • In a bowl, melt the butter in the microwave until just melted
  • Meanwhile, place graham crackers in the food processor and blend until crumbs develop. Add the graham crackers to the melted butter and stir until combined.
  • Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray and evenly coat the bottom with the graham cracker crumbs. Pour over the entire can of sweetened, condensed milk. Add the chopped, toasted walnuts - spread evenly. Follow the nuts by the chocolate chips and finally the coconut.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes and let cool before serving.
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