Not your traditional seven layer bar recipe but a gooey bar with Rice Krispies and two types of chocolate for an even better dessert bar. A great after-school snack or bake-sale treat.
Last week we sent the girls back to college and of course I had to send some goodies with them and what could be better than seven layer bars. Since I didn’t have to put them in the mail, I had a little more flexibility so I made a new version of my favorite college treat, magic bars or seven layer bars. A graham cracker based bar with layers of your favorite add ons covered with sweetened condensed milk. Can’t get more magical than that!
The new ingredient in this recipe is Rice Krispies hidden among the layers along with two types of chocolate which make them more gooey if that’s possible. With the added ingredients, they also have more sweetened condensed milk which puts them over the top.
Other than the Rice Krispies, I added all the standard toppings, but toasted the pecans. I used two different types of chocolate, melting the milk chocolate on the crust and just letting the semi-sweet chips mix together with the other ingredients while it akes in the oven. Of course they’re finished off with sweetened condensed milk, with a little vanilla added.
I don’t make a lot of desserts with sweetened condensed milk so if I do, it needs to be worth it like in caramel heath bar cake or toffee shortbread. It’s hard to reproduce the flavor of a seven layer bar without it, and sometimes you just need to splurge a little.
If you’ve never heard of an old fashioned 7 layer bar, you may have called them magic bars which is what we called them in college, for a college student, these were like gold.
While these are heavenly just after they’ve cooled to room temperature, I prefer them refrigerated with more defined layers. You’ll need to let them cool completely before cutting or else you’ll have a gooey mess. If you’re in a hurry, refrigerate the pan as soon as it’s cooled.
What you’ll need
- Graham crackers – you need two cups of crumbs which is about 12 crackers or you can use graham cracker crumbs.
- Butter– a stick to hold the graham cracker crumbs together
- Milk chocolate – this will easily melt on top of the graham cracker crumbs and give you a nice chocolate later before the toppings are added.
- Rice Krispies – these add a nice krispy texture.
- Pecans – toasting them gives it more flavor but you can put them in raw.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips – they tend to hold their shape so you don’t have just a chocolate bar.
- Sweetened coconut – you can toast it or put it in raw, I like it both ways.
- Sweetened condensed milk – two cans – I know it seems like a lot but it makes them fabulous.
- Vanilla– this is added to the condensed milk.
How do you make seven layer bars
Step 1: Crush the graham crackers, mix with melted butter and place on the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Remove from the oven and sprinkle the milk chocolate over the crust and let it sit for a couple of minutes until it has melted then spread it over the crust.
Step 3: Add add a layer of Rice Krispies, then nuts, then chocolate chips and coconut pressing down after each addition.
Step 4: Combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and pour it over the top.
Step 4: Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
There are a couple of reasons that seven layer bars have been around so long. The combination of ingredients makes an addictive bar that everyone seems to love. It’s adaptable so that if you don’t like nuts, or coconut, you can leave them out. You can add whatever type of chocolate you prefer or throw in peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips. They always turn out wonderful no matter what you do to them and you don’t need a lot of equipment to make these amazing bars.
FAQ’s and tips
The quickest way to crush whole graham crackers is to place them in a ziplock and pound with a rolling pin. Once the pieces are small roll it over the bag so that it crushes them. You can use any hard object like a wine bottle or a hardback book.
You can add any type of nuts or leave them out. Walnuts are great. Try mixing in butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, or dried cranberries.
A sleeve of graham crackers only has 9 crackers and you need 12, so 2 sleeves. Or you can use graham cracker crumbs.
Looking for more dessert bar recipes
- With the left over Rice Krispies, make some s’more bars or peanut butter Rice Krispie treats
- In a citrus mood, try pistachio lemon bars
- Apricot bars are a fabulous shortbread bar with dried apricots
- If you feel like chocolate, you’ll love chocolate raspberry bars
- Having friends over, try pistachio lemon bars or raspberry cream cheese brownies
Seven Layer Bars with Rice Krispies
- 12 graham crackers 2 cups
- 8 tablespoons butter melted
- 8 ounces milk chocolate
- 1 cup Rice Krispies
- 1 cup pecans toasted and chopped
- 1 cup semisweet choc
- 1 cup sweetened coconut toasted
- 28 ounces cans sweetened condensed milk 2 cans
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 9 X 13 pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Place graham crackers in a ziplock and crush until you have fine crumbs.
- In a microwave bowl melt butter. With a fork stir in graham cracker crumbs. Spread firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes until it begins to brown.
- Remove pan from oven and add milk chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes until slightly melted, spread out over crust. Next, layer cereal, pecans, chocolate chips, and coconut, pressing down after each layer. Combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and pour over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for about 2 hours before lifting out of the pan.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- It’s optional to toast the pecans and or coconut, it will be good either way.
- If you don’t want to wait 2 hours for them to cool, you can refrigerate after the pan is warm to the touch.
- To crush graham crackers, place them in a ziplock and roll the crackers with a rolling pin or wine bottle, or even try a hard back book.
- You can use any chocolate that you like but milk chocolate will be the easiest to spread on the graham cracker crust.
- Make sure you line the pan with parchment to a make it easier to remove.