Friday, November 14, 2014

Salty Sweet Magic Cookie Bars with Pretzel Crust

Growing up cookies were chocolate chip and at the holidays spritz and rolled out sugar cookies. I only really discovered bar cookies once I started blogging and have to say, I likey! These Salty Sweet Magic Cookie Bars with Pretzel Crust couldn't be easier so if you're new to cookie baking or have had a few, um, bloopers in the kitchen... I think you'll like giving any of the "magic" cookies a try.
There are two very similar recipes out there, Magic Bars (or Seven Layer Magic Bars) and Hello Dollies. It seems the difference between the two is the Magic ones get the sweetened condensed milk poured over the crust and the Dollies call for pouring the milk over all the toppings. I poured it over everything, baked them and then pushed colored candy into the top. When you bake the candy (M&M's or Sixlets) it tends to crack, I think it's just prettier adding it at the end.
There's no limit to what you could add to these cookies folks. Let's see, salty... What else is salty... 
Oh yea, bacon:@) 
Since we were a house divided...
I didn't add it but did see where others have and that would make the cookies true football food- 
just add candy in your team colors!

Salty Sweet Magic Cookie Bars with Pretzel Crust
3 C mini pretzels-I didn't have graham crackers
2 Tblsp sugar
1/2 C butter, melted
1 C chocolate chips-I mixed chocolate and white chocolate, colored chips would be good too
1 C shredded coconut
1 C nuts: peanuts, walnuts or pecans-I used roasted salted peanuts
14oz can sweetened condensed milk
candy toppers in holiday or team colors
  1. Crush pretzels (I used a food processor). 
  2. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spritz with spray (I used Reynolds Release). Pour pretzel crumbs, sugar and melted butter on top of foil. Mix well and press down firmly to create the bottom crust. Fingers work well:@)
  3. Layer topping ingredients, all recipes seem to start with the chocolate chips though... 
  4. Slowly pour sweetened condensed milk over everything, cover the whole pan with milk and make sure some gets drizzled into the sides of the pan too.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees (325 if using a glass baking dish) for about 25 minutes. You'll begin to smell the nuts and the sides get nice and golden brown.
  6. As soon as it's out of the oven push seasonal/holiday colored candies into the top. 
  7. Completely cool in the pan, pull the cookies out of the pan by the foil, cut and enjoy!
Let's do some holiday baking (Reese's Pieces are good for Thanksgiving) and have a happy day:@)

I'm Joining:
Foodie Friday
Full Plate Thursday


  1. oh my goodness! those look soo good! I hadnt even thought about Christmas baking yet.. but you just sparked that thought. now I might be obsessing today! lol
    have a great weekend

  2. Those look absolutely amazing! I think I need to try these with the girls! Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. This is my favorite kind of cookie Lynn, sweet, salty and easy! I have never tried them with a pretzel crust, YUM, and thank you for the tip on the m&ms, I always wondered how to keep that from happening. I think I'll whip these up for our game tomorrow in red and white~ it's going to be a nail biter, so might as well have these cookies instead!!

  4. Sounds very tasty! With bacon it will be good too, but not EARL bacon I hope :-).

  5. Sounds good! The pretzels are a nice twist. Good idea to place the candies at the end so they look prettier. :)

  6. Wow Lynn, the pretzels certainly give a new spin to the Magic Cookie Bars. I love that you subbed them for the graham crackers and now they have that salty twist. They look so pretty and festive with the candy on top. What a good tip about pushing the candy on after they bake.

  7. They look good! I have made them the original way, but this is interesting! Have a great weekend, L!

  8. Those are very pretty - almost too pretty to eat - never thought about pushing in the candy afterwards - good idea. Thanks.

  9. Wowzers, those ARE easy & they look scrumptious! Thanks Lynn...I was trying to think of something easy to take to quilt guild on Tuesday. You've provided just the recipe. Now to go pick out all the orange & brown M&Ms...for Turkey Day, NOT the Cleveland Browns Turkeys! LOL

  10. These sound amazing! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  11. You had me at Sweet and Salty.. my favorite combination!! These look amazing Lynn!!

  12. Bet these are good and I wouldn't add bacon...i'd do bacon in another dish like cheese ball to go along with all the snacks.
    Have a great weekend.

  13. These look delicious. I probably wouldn't add bacon either, but then again I just might :)

  14. Great idea using pretzels instead of graham crackers. Sweetened condensed milk is awesome isn't it? Looks so good!

  15. Sweet and salty is a great combination Lynn! I love your version with the pretzel crust for the graham crackers!

  16. I never bake these, because they are WAY too tempting...but maybe for the holidays??? Big game tonight, right??? May the best team win.

  17. Ooo, yum! I've made 7 layer cookies lots of times, but never thought of pretzels! how genius! Totally trying this version next time, thank you!
    (visiting from Foodie Friday)

  18. I love the idea of using pretzels! They look soooo good.

  19. Love magic bars and these are the best additions!

  20. Love this recipe but the best thing is adding the green and red candy at the end so they don't crack. If I am invited to a cookie swap this Christmas this is my recipe. Thanks for a good reminder of an old but tried and true recipe with Christmas colors.


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