Easy 7-Layer Cookie Bars Recipe

If you're craving a cookie bar that's reminiscent of childhood (can anyone ever forget the first time they tried a cookie bar?), this 7-layer cookie bar recipe totally delivers, and is impossible to mess up.

This cookie bar recipe is courtesy of blogger Angela Latimer from Bake It With Love. Latimer tells us, "It is super easy and a classic version of the recipe, however, there are a ton of changes that could be made with the ingredients!" While this recipe is the standard go-to when you think of this type of dessert, as Latimer points out, there are possible variations, especially for the bottom layer or crust of the bars. "Use chocolate graham crackers, cinnamon graham crackers, crushed Honey Nut Cheerios, or even a shortcrust pastry as the base," she says. So if there is a particular ingredient that doesn't suit your taste, rest assured you can mix and match according to your own preferences. 

Continue reading for detailed instructions on making the perfect 7-layer cookie bars, a decadent and satisfying dessert (or snack, who's judging?) for any occasion. They freeze well too!

Gather your ingredients

The ingredients for this 7-layer cookie bar recipe are pretty much classics in the cookie bar world. You'll need graham cracker crumbs (which you can buy pre-crushed or crush yourself), melted butter (Latimer prefers salted since there are so many "sweet elements" in the rest of the recipe), semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels, shredded coconut (sweetened), crushed pecans, and condensed milk. 

You will also need a 9x13-inch baking pan along with some parchment paper, two staples every baker should have in their kitchen. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line the baking pan with parchment paper. Crumple the parchment paper prior to lining the pan for easier usage. 

Create the bottom graham cracker layer

The bottom layer of these 7-layer cookie bars is the graham cracker crust, which is comprised of graham crackers and butter (yum). Measure out 11/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs or, alternatively, crush 12 full graham crackers yourself. You can either crush the graham crackers in a traditional food processor, or you can put them in a plastic gallon storage bag and pummel them with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. 

Once you've got the graham cracker crumbs ready, put them in a bowl and pour the melted butter into the bowl. 

Press graham cracker mixture into the pan

Combine the butter and graham cracker crumbs using a fork. You should have a nice, crumbled graham cracker mixture when you're done. This mixture is going to serve as the bottom layer of the 7-layer cookie bars, and also as a crust of sorts. 

Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of your lined baking pan and press it down so you create an even layer that spreads completely across the bottom of the pan, all the way to the edges. Take the time to make sure the layer is evenly distributed, since no body wants a cookie bar that doesn't have an equal ratio of all the delicious ingredients in every bite.

Layer the chocolate, butterscotch, coconut, and pecans over the graham crackers

After you've pressed the graham cracker and butter mixture into the bottom of the pan, you've got your base ready for the other layers of the cookie bars. Spread the chocolate chips, butterscotch, shredded coconut, and crushed pecans over the graham cracker crust in an evenly distributed smattering.

Again, if any of these top layering ingredients don't appeal to you, feel free to improvise with different ingredients. Latimer claims, "You can sub in marshmallows, white chocolate chips, your favorite nuts, dried fruit, [or] caramel bits" in order to make these bars to your liking.

Cover the pan's ingredients with condensed milk

You're almost done. The final step before baking the 7-layer cookie bars is adding that sweet, sweet liquid milk topping. Pour the 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk over the top of the layered ingredients in the pan. 

Make sure you aim to cover as much of the ingredients as possible in this step but don't use more than the allotted 14-ounce can. Use a small spatula or the back of a spoon to gently spread liquid to the corners and sides of the pan if you aren't able to reach all of the ingredients in the initial pour. 

Bake the 7-layer cookie bars

Bake the 7-layer cookie cars for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven. You'll know the cookie bars are done when the coconut on the top is toasted and the entire surface is golden brown. Remove the cookie bars from oven and allow them to cool completely in the pan before cutting them. Thanks to the parchment paper, you should be able to easily lift them from the pan when they're cooled then you can transfer to a cutting board.

The recipe yields 16 to 24 bars, depending on how big your slices are.

In terms of storage, according to Latimer, "These bars store exceptionally well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week." She also instructs, "Use parchment paper between layers if stacking (I keep mine in a lidded 9x13-inch baking pan so they're still in a single layer). You can also freeze the bars (airtight container with parchment paper between layers) for up to 3 months. Set the frozen [cookie] bars out at room temperature and serve once thawed."

Easy 7-Layer Cookie Bars Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
If you're craving an ooey, gooey cookie bar that's reminiscent of your childhood, this 7-layer cookie bar recipe totally delivers. It's also super easy to make!
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
24
Bars
stack of 7 layer cookie bars
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups graham crackers (12 full crackers)
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch morsels
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • ½ cup crushed pecans
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place the graham crackers in a plastic storage bag and crush them using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or process them into crumbs in a food processor.
  3. Place the crumbs in a bowl and add in the melted butter, using a fork to combine them.
  4. Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of your lined baking pan and press down into an even layer, spreading all the way to the pan edges.
  5. Layer the chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels, coconut, and pecans over the graham cracker crust.
  6. Pour the condensed milk over all of the ingredients so that the top is entirely (or almost entirely) covered.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the coconut is toasted and the top is golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 276
Total Fat 14.4 g
Saturated Fat 8.0 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 15.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 35.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 24.2 g
Sodium 127.1 mg
Protein 3.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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