Layered Christmas Bars are basically Hello Dolly Bars and I changed the ingredients to make them more festive for Christmas. They have that sweetness you expect from Hello Dolly Bars, along with the crunch with a festive flavour for Christmas.
These bars are extremely easy to make.
Also known as 7 Layer Bars or Magic Bars, Hello Dolly bars are very easy to make. And this recipe for Christmas Layered Bars is no exception.
You need one bowl, one pan and one measuring cup. That’s it! I don’t even use a spoon because there is no mixing. Well, there sort of is, but that is done with your hands.
The Ingredients for Layered Christmas Bars
When it comes to the ingredients, there are graham crackers and butter as the base or crust. This is the usual crust of Hello Dolly Bars.
Then the toppings are similar. Shredded coconut, chopped pecans and sweetened condensed milk.
Cranberries, dark chocolate and white chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate and butterscotch chips.
These ingredients change up the flavour just enough to make these bars different from the original recipe and the combination of cranberries and white chocolate makes these bars festive for Christmas.
Ingredients For Layered Christmas Bars
- Graham cracker crumbs. This is what the base is made of.
- Butter. Softened butter is what binds the graham crumbs to form the base.
- Dark Chocolate Chunks. Dark Chocolate balances the sweetness of the other ingredients.
- Shredded coconut. This adds flavour and texture to these bars.
- Dried Cranberries. If you can find unsweetened cranberries, they would be best because there is already a lot of sweetness in the other ingredients. This is also the red for Christmas.
- Pecans. Nuts add crunch.
- White Chocolate Chips. Adds sweetness and it is white for Christmas.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk. This is the final ingredient added to the bars and it is the glue that holds all the other toppings together.
Warning: These layered Christmas Bars are very sweet. Although there is no added sugar in the recipe, the ingredients alone are sweetened.
Variations and Substitutions
One of the substitutions that I make for the kids especially is the cranberries. Not everyone likes cranberries, so another option is chopped maraschino cherries. This still adds to the festiveness of Christmas and colour. Usually, I will halve or quarter the cherries.
Dark chocolate is also not everyone’s favourite. So sometimes I replace it with semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate.
The pecans can be swapped for any other nut. We use pecans because one of our children has allergies to peanuts, cashews and pistachios, but not pecans.
Storing Layered Christmas Bars
These bars keep well at room temperature in an air-tight container. They will stay fresh for up to 3 days on your counter.
Alternatively, you can store them in the fridge for up to one week. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving. Slicing them before freezing is recommended because they thaw faster.
Layered Christmas Bars
- 2¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
- ¾ cup shredded coconut
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup white chocolate chips
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper
- In a bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with butter until combined and crumbly.
- Press graham cracker mixture into bottom of prepared pan. making sure it is evenly spread and pressed to form a crust
- Evenly spread remaining ingredients, except the condensed milk, over the crust
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk over toppings
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool before cutting into 9 squares.