Cookie Swap! Midsummer Night’s Dream Bars

As promised, here is one recipe from Cookie Swap! by Lauren Chattman. I was given permission to type it up almost verbatim, but I did make some changes while making the recipe which is my bars look a little different than the ones on the previous post. The Cookie Swap! recipe, which is better than the typical Hello Dolly or Magic Cookie Bar thanks to the almonds, also includes copious amounts of coconut. Okay, maybe not “copious” but a lot – -a full 3 cups. It’s the top layer of coconut, which you press down into the chips before drizzling with condensed milk, that gives the bars and almost macaroon like top. Because I held back on the coconut, my bars appear more like Magic Cookie bars with almonds. Either way, the recipe makes a great cookie.

Lauren includes a few tips with the recipe. One tip is that you can crush the graham crackers in a sealed ziplock bag with a rolling pin. This is always a good way to crush graham crackers, but in this recipe you use the food processor to chop the almonds, so you might as well use the food processor for the graham crackers. I crushed my graham crackers in the food processor and mixed the butter in with the graham crackers in the bowl of the food processor.

About freezing, Lauren says you can freeze these for up to two weeks. Freeze before slicing. Defrost on the countertop for several hours and then cut.

Cookie Bar

Midsummer Night’s Dream Bars

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
16 whole graham crackers, crushed
2 cups whole almonds (I used roasted, unsalted)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
14 ounces condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil making sure the foil is tucked into all the corners and that there is at least 1 inch overhanging the top of the pan on all sides.

Combine the melted butter and graham crackers in a medium bowl and stir until all the crumbs are moistened. Sprinkle the mixture across the bottom of the pan and press with your fingertips into and even layer.

Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse 3-5 times to coarsely chop.

Scatter the almonds evenly over the crumbs. Layer both kinds of chocolate chips over the almonds. Sprinkle the coconut over the chocolate chips and press with the back of a large spoon to compact the ingredients. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the coconut.

Bake until the coconut is golden, 25-30 minutes. Let the bars cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Bars can also be frozen at this point.

Makes 36 Bars

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  1. says

    You know, I have never made a Magic or 7 layer bar. What’s wrong with me? 😉
    My name is Katrina and I’m a cookbook-aholic.

  2. Ram says

    Is this too sweet w/o any salt in it? Do you think I can add a little salt, about how much? Thanks.

  3. Louise says

    I’ve never made Magic Bars because I tasted them once or twice and never tried them again. Just not my thing. 🙂 But I have in excess of 600 cook books, so I’m sure I’ve made up for them.

  4. says

    Sue, this version has all your favorite things!

    Katrina, I’m stunned.

    Ram, believe it or not I didn’t miss the salt. I think they’d be good with salted butter, though….maybe even better.

    Louise, maybe the ones you tried were just not made very well.

  5. Louise says

    Anna, I don’t care for the taste of condensed milk in cookies or fudge. Just a personal preference.

  6. says

    I used to love Magic Bars, one of my all time favorite treats, but when I tried them again recently they were a bit too sweet for me. I’ll bet that could be remedied by using unsweetened coconut and bittersweet chocolate. 🙂

  7. says

    They look caloric and delicious! 😉 haha, but I would totally make them! I don’t have sweetened coconut thought, do you think I can use unsweetened and be okay? I don’t like overy sweet treats either :S

  8. KAnn says

    I LOVED these as a child and still do! This is an interseting version; love the extra coconut…I am not fond of milk chocolate so I would use all semi-sweet chips. I remember when a neighbor first brought over a pan of 7 Layer bars-they were all the rage in 1971 when I was 10! As a child I liked the butterscoth chips but that is too sweet for me as an adult-I usually do butterscotch chpis on just half the pan as I have two sisters who still really like the version with the butterscotch chips. This version seem tailor made for me!

  9. charmy says

    For me this was a recipe fail!!! You must have big graham crackers in the US? Definitely not enough graham cracker to butter ratio with Canadian graham crackers. Approximately how many cups did 16 crackers make for you?

  10. says

    Charmy, the graham crackers were “whole” which means 2 squares attached to each other. Did you count a “whole” graham cracker as one square or one rectangle?

  11. Camila says

    (Sorry because of my poor English) I know this recipe!!! But I use 28 oz of condense milk (2 cans). The result is much more rich, tall and gooey! Delicious! (I use a 13×9 inch baking pan too, but without the foil, because the bars are too sticky. I only grease the pan very well)
    I cook them about 30-40 minutes, depending of the heat (medium-low), until the top is golden at the sides.
    The I wait until it’s cold and I put it in the refrigerator almost 6 hours. If you cut them before, the crust will be a mess.

  12. says

    Camila, thanks for the tip! I’m definitely going to try making your version with two cans of milk.

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