Magic Bars

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Desserts | 2 Comments

Magic Bars from Some Kitchen Stories

“What are you doing now, Aunt Janet?”

“Making a snack for us.”

“Ooooh, what is it? Is it chips and salsa?!”

“No, it’s something Grandmommy used to make for us.”

“Can I help? Can I pour the stuff in the bowl? Mom lets me pour the stuff into the bowl if I wash my hands and blow my nose. Well, I have to blow my nose and then wash my hands. And she makes me put my hair in a ponytail, should I put my hair in a ponytail?”

“Um. You don’t have to…”

“Okay, I’ll leave it down. This is so fun! I feel so dangerous. What’s that, what are you doing now?”

“Chopping some chocolate.”

“Cool, that’s cool. What else do you have? I see peanut butter, is that the natural unsalted peanut butter with the gunk on the top?”


“Mom makes me stir it before she uses it. It tastes like paste. But good paste, I mean, I like it. And what’s that?”

“This is sweetened condensed milk. Listen, don’t- don’t tell your mom I used it, okay?”

“Why? Is it bad? Does it have gluten in it? You said sweetened, is there sugar in it? Can I see it? Can I see the label? I just want to see it for a second. I just want to see it for a second! I’ll give it back. I’m just going to stand over here for a second and look at it.”

“Lucy, what are you doing? Are you taking a picture of the condensed milk with your phone? Are you sending that to your mother?!”



We tackled this recipe (well, Nicole did. I have yet to make it but I will this weekend. I will, I promise!) when we were discussing recipes that Nicole was familiar with from growing up in Pennsylvania. These “Amish Seven Layer Bars” were on her list, though Nicole’s mother called them Magic Bars. The recipe we chose is nearly identical to a popular version from Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk and the same in name.

Basically those magic layers we’re talking about? Those would be graham crackers, chocolate, peanut butter, coconut, almonds, butter and sweetened condensed milk. (Why isn’t this more of a thing? Everyone’s made those saltine crack things by now, why are we resisting an entity that is basically a jacked-up graham cracker crust turned into a salty sweet crunchy gooey slab cookie?)

Also in case you want to spin this into a whole Amish meal, there is apparently a Six Layer Dinner too, I’m just saying.


Magic Bars

Adapted from Eagle Brand | Makes One 13×9 Pan |Print Recipe


1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 and 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped almonds


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs and cooled, melted butter in small bowl and then press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumb mixture.
  3. Layer with chocolate, peanut butter chips, coconut flakes and nuts. Use a fork and press down firmly.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars or diamonds and serve.



  1. Katrina
    May 20, 2016

    Definitely one of my favourite treats growing up! They remind me of home!

  2. Jill Palumbo
    May 23, 2016

    I usually make these at Christmas, but seeing your version, I might have to run to the grocery for ingredients. I could eat these until I’m sick (tmi, I know, but it’s true).


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