You might call them seven-layer bars. Or magic bars. My family calls them Hello Dollys, but “Goodbye Dollys” might be more apt, because they tend to disappear quickly.
We have no problem with traditional holiday desserts. Cherry pie, sure. Apple pie, fine. Pumpkin, if you insist. But special occasions would not be special without Hello Dollys.
You can buy these delights in small doses at local bakeries, but they’re relatively pricey — $1.85 for a triangle at one local purveyor. For about $7 you can make a batch that makes 20 hefty square bars in a 10-by-8-inch baking dish or 36 smaller (thinner) squares in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
This is a recipe perfect for kids to help with. An adult should crush the graham crackers and melt the butter for the crust but little ones can layer on the nuts, chocolate chips and coconut. A grown-up should also take on the final step of pouring on the sweetened condensed milk because it needs to be doled out carefully and evenly.
Hate coconut? Leave it out. And though we always use chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or a combination of both works great too.
How easy is this recipe? My sister once drained a can of peas before putting them in a saucepan to cook. The result: Burned peas; scorched pan. But she can make these treats in her sleep.
Little can go wrong making this goody, except leaving it in the oven too long, and you’re not apt to do that. They’re so delicious you’ll be hanging around the kitchen waiting for them to achieve that perfect golden-brown top before pulling them out, letting them cool and cutting them into big ol’ squares — hey, it’s the holidays. We’re allowed to overdo it a bit.