If you like Seven Layer Bars, Hello Dollies and Magic Cookie Bars, but are out of graham crackers, here’s an alternative. Oatmeal Seven Layer Bars or Oatmeal Magic Bars are made with oats instead of graham crackers. I wouldn't call them a "healthy" twist on an old favorite, but they're a good stand in for the original. Plus graham crackers are more expensive these days!
How to Make Oatmeal Magic Bars
Traditional Seven Layer Bars and Magic Bars have a crust made with 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs and a half cup of melted butter, whereas the crust on Oatmeal Magic Bars bars is made with a mixture of quick oats, flour, brown sugar and butter. To make it, you pulse flour, oats, sugar and butter together in a food processor as you would for pie dough. You then layer most of the oat mixture on the bottom and save the remaining for a crumb topping.
In the past I've made these with a food processor because grinding those oats gives you a finer crust. If you don't have a food processor and want to try it with quick oats, it will work. With old fashioned oats, it should work but you'll have a much crumblier bottom. But the bars are doable without the processor.
Do Magic Cookie Bars Freeze Well?
These types of bars freezer perfectly! Whether you use the graham crackers or make Oatmeal Magic Bars, just bake, cool and wrap tightly. They should be good in the freezer for at least a month.
Oatmeal Seven Layer Bars
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (135 grams)
- 1 cup oats, quick or old fashioned (80 grams)
- ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar (150 grams)
- ⅜ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks (114 grams)
- 1 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 cup extra dark chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup butterscotch chips
- ⅓ cup flaked sweetened coconut optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick foil or line with regular foil and spray with baking spray.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and salt. Pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until mixture is dry and sandy. Reserve ⅔ cup oat mixture and press remainder on bottom of the pan. Bake 10 minutes.
- Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crust. Mix together the nuts, chips and coconut and sprinkle in an even layer across the condensed milk. Sprinkle the reserved oat mixture over the chips and press down slightly.
- Bake on center rack for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle a few more chocolate and butterscotch chips on top. Let cool completely, and then cut into bars.