(recipe provided for Milo)
Magic Bars, Dream Bars, Seven Layer, Six Layer, Hello Dolly, everyone has a name for these bake sale classics. In my bakery, I called the Hello HOLLY Bars after my sister. The magic part is that the sweetened condensed milk caramelizes giving a rich, nutty taste, much like actual caramel, and acts as the glue to hold the ingredients together. I’ve been known to convert coconut haters with this version because I use unsweetened coconut flakes, not the shredded sticky stuff. I also ditch the graham crust, instead, using a brown sugar cookie crust. It’s a total game changer and I highly recommend giving it a try for a fresh take.
NOTE: this recipe is written to be used with a Milo 10” enameled skillet. If you use an un-enameled 10” cast-iron or other pan (cake pan, square baking dish, whatever you may have on hand), be sure to grease or line with parchment paper.
½ c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ c brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
¼ c granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c all purpose flour
1 ½ c pecans, whole (walnuts or cashews are also great)
1 ½ c dark chocolate chunks or chips
1 ½ c unsweetened flaked coconut
1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (homemade is not best used here)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line Milo skillet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or large mixing bowl with hand mixer, place all dough ingredients. Over medium-high speed mix until the dough starts to clump together. It may not combine completely, that’s okay, just be sure to make sure the butter is creamed in completely, about 5 minutes.
- With your hands, press the dough into the parchment lined skillet/pan flattening with your hands or a measuring cup. Feel free to press a bit along the sides if you like a lot of edges on your bars, but not too high like a pie crust.
- Layer in the filling ingredients in the following order, being sure to spread evenly across the crust: Pecans, chocolate, coconut.
- In a thin stream straight from the can, drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the entire bar.
TIP: when pouring a liquid over bars, I like to start along the outer edges and work my way toward the middle, like a spiral, to ensure full coverage.
- Place skillet in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown with no sign of liquid condensed milk.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely on a trivet. This allows airflow under the pan, allowing it to cool evenly which is important when using a cast iron pan.
- Using the corners of the parchment, pull the entire bar out and cut into desired size pieces. Warmed with a scoop of ice cream is a true delight!