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Magic Cookie Bars

These Magic Cookie Bars start with a thick graham cracker crust and are loaded with milk and white chocolate chips, M&M's, caramel bits, and oats. Sweetened condensed milk makes the "magic" happen by holding everything together and making these bars ultra gooey, sweet, and tasty!
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Magic Cookie Bars
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 36 bars
Calories 180kcal
Cost $6.12

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (12 tbsp; 170g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-1/2 cups (288g) graham cracker crumbs (measure when crushed into crumbs; about 20-22 crackers)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt)
  • 1 can (14 oz.; 396g) full-fat sweetened condensed milk Note 1
  • 1/2 cup (48g) quick oats
  • 2 cups (325g) chocolate chips Note 2
  • 1/2 cup (90g) white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup caramel bits Note 3
  • 1 cup (215g) M&M's

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176C). Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang for easy bar removal. Don't line the pan with wax paper or foil. Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to return to room temperature -- using hot butter makes the crust greasy.
  • GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST: Coarsely break up graham crackers and add to a powerful blender (you may need to do this in batches). Pulse/blend until all crackers are fine crumbs. Measure a level 2 and 1/2 cups (288g) of the crumbs and add to a large bowl, along with the salt. Stir in the melted-but-cooled butter and stir to create a thick mixture. Press this mixture into the prepared pan and use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to firmly press the crust into an even layer.
  • TOPPINGS: Pour the entire can of sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker crust. Spread it into an even layer with the back of a spoon. Evenly top the condensed milk with quick oats, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, caramel bits, and finally the M&M's. Gently press everything into an even layer.
  • BAKE: Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, about 23-28 minutes. In my oven, the bars are done right at 25 minutes.
  • LET COOL AND ENJOY: Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely-- about 1-2 hours. Speed up the cooling process by putting them in the fridge after they've cooled for about 20 minutes at room temperature. Using the overhang of parchment paper, remove the bars and use a sharp knife to make decisive cuts in the bars. Run the knife under warm water, dry on a kitchen towel, and repeat for each cut.
  • STORAGE: Store any leftover cookie bars in an airtight container separated by layers of parchment or wax paper. Store in the fridge if the temperature is warm where you're at or on the counter for cooler temperatures. (There is nothing about these bars that requires refrigeration, but if you prefer them to be less gooey and more firm, store them in the fridge.) These bars are best enjoyed within 3-5 days.

Video

Notes

Note 1: We love the richness and sweetness of milk chocolate, but any type of chocolate works here. If you like dark chocolate best, use dark chocolate. If you want to cut down on sweetness, use semi-sweet chocolate.
Note 2: It’s easy to pick evaporated milk or a similar product by mistake, but only sweetened condensed milk works in this recipe. Be sure to get the full-fat variety and avoid sugar-free cans. I personally use and love Eagle Brand® (not sponsored).
Note 3: Caramel bits are typically found on the baking aisle among other baking chips or caramels. They can also sometimes be found in the candy aisle with similar caramel candies. You can replace these with 1/2 cup additional white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips.

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg