posted in Cookies and Bars

Hello Dolly Bars

I’m happy to introduce to you, Hello Dolly Bars!

Hello Dolly Bars

This recipe (typically a 7-layer sort of bar) has been given a Southwestern touch.  The crust is chocolatey, and the body of the bar is full of nuts and coconut and butterscotch chips.  It reminds me of a “Kitchen Sink” bar, utilizing bits and pieces of what you have in your pantry.  And it’s unlike any recipe I’ve made before!

Hello Dolly Bars Prep 1

The Crust:  It’s made up of graham crackers, Mexican chocolate, butter and ancho chile powder.  I looked all over the place for Mexican chocolate, and I couldn’t find any.  So I opted for a 3.5-ounce bar of Belgian Dark Chocolate that I found at Whole Foods.  Because… you know, Belgium is right next to Mexico, isn’t it?  haha   — It turned out totally fine with my substitution, by the way.  Ancho Chile Powder can be found in your regular spice aisle.

Hello Dolly Bars Prep 2

The body of the bar is a mass mixture of pecans, pepitas (you can usually grab a few of those from a bulk bin at Whole Foods or other health-focused stores), butterscotch chips, coconut and sweetened condensed milk.  I must admit… that sounded like a big, hot mess to me.  And I’m not super into coconut.  But trust me… it works!

Hello Dolly Bars Prep 3

It bakes up all golden and pretty like this.

Hello Dolly Bars #recipe

If you’re a serious dessert-person, you’re gonna want to cut this into 9-pieces.  Those’ll be 9 very generous pieces of dessert.  If you’re more inclined to eat a smaller portion, these generous pieces can be cut in half.

Hello Dolly Bars #recipe -

Here’s what a Southwestern Hello Dolly Bar looks like up close.  It’s sweet and chocolatey and butterscotchy and full of crunchy texture.  I loved it!  And YES… I did actually eat one of those generous cuts… the whole thing… all by myself.  It was tasty, and it was worth every…single… calorie.  But then I put the rest in the freezer, I promise.  And it’s a good thing I did because I can now tell you that they freeze well!  Just keep them in a covered container and take them out when you’re craving one.  I might have done that the next day. 🙂

The New Southwest CookbookThis recipe comes directly from this cookbook:  The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi.  Meagan is the author of Scarletta Bakes, a blog devoted to recipes with Southwestern flavors.  Since I lived in San Diego for 28 years, this is totally my kind of food!  Her cookbook includes more than 80 recipes, and there is a photo for every single recipe!!  What makes it different is that Micozzi gives Southwestern cuisine a modern twist.

I can’t wait to try these recipes:  Navajo Fry Bread, Homemade Chorizo, Roasted Garlic Guacamole, Sweet Glazed Avocado Doughnuts, Skillet-Baked Corn Pudding, Fried Sage Smashed Potatoes, Drunken Black Beans, Fancified Frito Pie, Pomegranate and Lime Chicken Thighs, Peanut Butter and Jelly Empanadas and Grilled Apple Pie.  But the recipe I’m MOST EXCITED to try is the Sage & Honey Skillet Biscuits.  They sound sooooooo good.

This is a great cookbook for anyone who loves the flavors of the American Southwest!

Yield: 9 large pieces

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 40min

Hello Dolly Bars


1 sleeve graham crackers (9 whole crackers), broken into pieces
1 disk (3.15-ounces) Mexican chocolate, chopped
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground ancho chile (powder)
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas) hulled
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup butterscotch chips
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a large food processor, place the graham crackers, chocolate and butter. Process until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. Coarsely chop the pecans, pepitas and coconut and place in a large bowl. Add the chips and the condensed milk, stirring all ingredients to coat evenly. Spread the mixture in an even layer over the crust. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Finished bars will be deep golden brown and crisp at the edges. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.


Note: If you are unable to find pepitas, just increase pecans to 1 1/2 cups. And yes, you can always leave out the Ancho Chile Powder if you don't want that.

Source: (reprinted with permission from The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi- Copyright 2013, Hippocrene Books, Inc.

30 Responses to “Hello Dolly Bars”

  1. postedMar 7, 2014 3:10 AM

    Love Meagan and her book! And I love Hello Dolly Bars. I seriously have so many recreations of them and could re-make them every week if I didn’t have to, you know, make new stuff 🙂 Your bars look great and congrats again to Meagan on her awesome book. The photography is just stunning 🙂

  2. postedMar 7, 2014 3:49 AM

    Oh man, these look incredible! I have never even heard of a Hello Dolly bar but I am SO glad you introduced me to them! All those layers? I could just curly up between them and eat my way out. Pinned!

  3. postedMar 7, 2014 3:56 AM

    Looove Hello Dolly bars!

  4. postedMar 7, 2014 5:30 AM

    I’m glad to see these Hello Dolly Bars–I grew up eating the magic layer bars with sweetened condensed milk with this name, and love it when other folks use the same name. I think Meagan’s Southwest twist is a brilliant one–thanks!

  5. postedMar 7, 2014 5:30 AM

    Look yummy! I do love the originals. Mexican chocolate is easy here…it the pepitas that are difficult! lol

  6. postedMar 7, 2014 5:36 AM

    Coconut and butterscotch are my childhood favourites. These take me back.

  7. postedMar 7, 2014 5:37 AM

    “Belgium is right next to Mexico, isn’t it?” Hahaha! That’s totally my type of thinking! These look amazing!

  8. postedMar 7, 2014 6:54 AM
    Debbie Caraballo

    Hi Lori I’m in agreement with other commenters about these bars. When I was growing up, the “Magic” or seven layer bars went by Hello Dolly Bars. Very neat to see this name being used! Thanks for a nice memory!


  9. postedMar 7, 2014 7:00 AM

    Forgot all about these. Brings back great memories. Will have to check out this book, looks great.

  10. postedMar 7, 2014 10:04 AM

    Yeah, I pretty much love this! I’ve always adored Hello Dolly Bars! The southwest twist is spectacular! Looks like a cookbook to try!

  11. postedMar 7, 2014 10:35 AM

    You can usually find the Mexican chocolate in the Hispanic section of the grocery store. It comes in a tall round box with several discs inside. It’s a mixture of chocolate, cinnamon and sugar and it’s usually used to make Mexican hot chocolate.

  12. postedMar 7, 2014 11:40 AM

    I’m so, so glad that you gave these Hello, Dolly! Bars a try, Lori! They do sort of start out looking like a big, fat hot mess, but the end result is pretty irresistible. I have to take my finished bars and either give them away or store them away like you did, otherwise, Hello, Dolly! quickly becomes Bye Bye, Dolly! Thanks so much for the lovely words on the book and blog, Lori!

    • postedMar 7, 2014 9:08 PM

      You’re totally welcome!

  13. postedMar 7, 2014 11:52 AM

    Love the southwest touch to the bars. They look absolutely amazing.

  14. postedMar 7, 2014 12:37 PM

    Amazing, just the other day in the early evening, I was watching one of our local French program, “Un dîner presque parfait,” on M6. and one of the contestants made these and even said… “an American dessert.” I have never even heard of this before, and I’m American… But, OF course I know “7 layer bars/Magic Bars.” How funny that you posted this just after I watched this recipe appear on French tv… By the way… out of the 4 other diners, 2 liked it a lot the others weren’t so crazy.. But one of them commented.. “Oh it’s pretty good for an American dessert.” I had to laugh because cupcakes, donuts, and muffins are all the rage now in France, esp. Paris.. and even whoopie pies!
    Cheers, Leesa

  15. postedMar 7, 2014 8:41 PM

    Oh I need this book. Sound like my kind of book!! And these bars! Yes, please!

  16. postedMar 8, 2014 3:06 AM

    Where can I find the nutritional value of the Hello Dolly bars??? The recipe ingredients…all sound like this bar will be awesome! !
    Thank you…

    • postedMar 8, 2014 6:14 AM

      I don’t have nutritional info for these bars, but you can look up any kind of recipe calculator online- like Spark People- and figure out the details there, if you’d like.

  17. postedMar 8, 2014 4:02 PM

    Hello Dolly Bars are going to be a must try! Yummy!

  18. postedMar 9, 2014 6:39 AM

    And to think I thought 7-layer bars were the best…but these are going to give them a run for their money!

  19. postedMar 9, 2014 9:31 AM
    Lori S

    This is definitely not my mother’s “Hello Dolly bars”.

  20. postedMar 10, 2014 11:40 AM

    I am loving these bars 🙂 so full of amazing textures and flavors! I’m dying to make these.

  21. postedMar 13, 2014 4:45 AM

    I love that these bars have a southern flair to them. Love Meagan and her site! Pinned.

  22. postedMar 13, 2014 10:53 PM

    Hi, I’m a long-time lover of Hello Dolly bars. And I live in the Southwest, so I was very excited to try these. I did, they are good—but so very different from the traditional HD bars. More of a nut bar, actually. As I am also a life-time chocoholic, I thought they needed more chocolate too. I added a chocolate ganache flavored with more ancho chili and a touch of cinnamon, which gave them another spicy kick. Interesting twist on the traditional version.

  23. postedMar 15, 2014 3:58 AM

    mmmn.. they look like they will be devine..
    also look like they will be a winner with the kids..
    where does the name come from?

  24. postedMar 15, 2014 3:31 PM

    well according to wikipedia.. they dont know where it comes from as well.. 1950’s US magazine.. possible french reference from 1903

    either way.. yum

  25. postedAug 18, 2014 9:23 PM
    Pat Steedly

    like your site n love your recipes, thank you

  26. postedJul 5, 2015 7:31 PM

    First: yum!
    Second:  How could you not call these ‘Hola Dolly Bars’?

    :  )

Leave a Comment