Forget keto cheesecake and paleo gingerbread cookies. When the holiday season hits, we all feel the nostalgic pull to recreate beloved recipes from our childhood, using the same ingredients and steps from the treats in our memories. Nothing warms your heart and makes you feel closer to your loved ones quite like preparing beloved family recipes for your own children and grandchildren.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder Hello Dollies are having a moment. Also known as Seven-Layer Bars or Magic Cookie Bars, these vintage treats first became popular in the 1960s.
The most famous early recipe appeared in The Week magazine in 1965, sent in by an 11-year-old named Alecia who said she got it from her grandmother. While we still don’t know for certain how these bars got dubbed Hello Dollies, it’s believed that the girl may have chosen the name in honor of the popular Broadway musical, which had premiered a year earlier.
So, whether your family calls them Hello Dollies, Magic Cookie Bars, Seven-Layer Bars or something else entirely, just know that this is a classic recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation throughout countless American families. And, no matter what name you choose to call them, they are going to be devoured from your holiday dessert table before you know it.
The recipe we’re loving this season is from Food52 and it’s simple and straightforward, with just 10 minutes of prep time and a few easy steps. To make these bars, you’ll need condensed milk, chocolate chips, graham crackers, coconut flakes, chocolate chips and toasted nuts. Click to Food52 to see the entire breakdown on how to make them.
There are many recipes for Hello Dollies online, and many variations based on taste. Some people choose to omit nuts, others skip the coconut and sub other fruits like dried cranberries into the mix, which could be great for a Thanksgiving dessert.
You can get creative and add pretty much whatever you like to your bars, like butterscotch chips, mini marshmallows or even a Nutella swirl on the top.