Say a big “Hello” to the quickest and easiest dessert recipe you’ll ever need in your life: Hello Dolly Bars! These delicious Hello Dolly Bars are the saving grace to all your last-minute I-forgot-to-make-a-dessert fears! Atop a buttery graham crumb crust sits layers of sweet coconut flakes, crunchy walnuts, chocolate chips, and the best part: sweetened condensed milk poured over the whole thing! Um, YUM!
The Easiest Dessert!
I wasn’t much of a baker when I was younger. Believe it or not, I did not like to be in the kitchen. Cooking and baking wasn’t anywhere on my radar of hobbies I thought worth pursuing. But these bars were one of the first desserts I ever learned to make, aside from the Betty Crocker cupcakes that came from a box. And if childhood-Jennifer-with-absolutely-no-baking-skills- whatsoever can make these bars, then you can too! Yes, they’re that easy.
Since then, I’ve been making these Hello Dolly Bars several times a year. I LOVE these bars not only because of their ease, but the mouthfeel is an incredible experience. Is that a weird thing to love? I learned all about mouthfeel in culinary school and it’s such an important characteristic of food to me. Mouthfeel is just as it sounds: how a food feels in your mouth.
I’m talkin’ TEXTURE. Texture is everything. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t like raw tomatoes, and how I loathe overcooked pasta. Or how a pizza with a soggy crust is just unbearable. But these Hello Dolly Bars are at the top of their texture game!
The butter graham crust offers a fine crumb-feeling and the sweetened coconut flakes after being baked taste like you’re biting into a Bounty Bar (yum!). The walnuts are super crunchy and even get a little toasty while baking, and the chocolate chips balance out the sweetness from the coconut and the sweetened condensed milk that holds everything together.
And speaking of sweetened condensed milk: that 14 oz can of sweet deliciousness is GOLD. My oh my, I just love it so much. I think I need to start making more desserts with that stuff. Who’s with me?!
How To Make Hello Dolly Bars:
- Combine melted butter and graham crumbs and press into the bottom of a baking dish.
- Spread coconut over the crust layer.
- Spread chopped walnuts over the coconut layer.
- Spread chocolate chips over the walnut layer.
- Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the whole thaaang. (Get that spatula out because you don’t want to miss a drop of this stuff!)
- Bake for 30 minutes, allow time to cool and set, cut into bars and ENJOY!
Food Photography Tips:
Before we close, can we just take a moment to gaze upon what my Hello Dolly Bars looked like on my OLD blog from 2016? (That’s 3 years ago y’all!) Here goes:
The BEFORE photo on the left was before I learned about the importance of a tripod, it was before I knew about food styling and composition, and before I learned how to achieve that perfect white balance using Lightroom. (Without that white balance, you end up with blue-tinted coconut. Haha, yikes!)
I’ve come SO so so far and if you’re interested in how I did it, check out my How To Improve Your Food Photography in 5 Steps blog post; It’s where I’ve shared EVERYTHING I’ve learned along the way of my food photography journey. I also have a How To Style Food for Food Photography post that provides step-by-step instructions on how to style food to achieve the perfect photo!
Do you love Hello Dolly Bars too? Let me know if you make these squares of deliciousness in the comments below or tag me on Instagram! Have a beautiful day, friends! 🙂
Hello Dolly Bars
These delicious Hello Dolly Bars are the saving grace to all your last-minute I-forgot-to-make-a-dessert fears! Atop a buttery graham crumb crust sits layers of sweet coconut flakes, crunchy walnuts, chocolate chips, and the best part: sweetened condensed milk poured over the whole thing! Um, YUM!
- 3 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 1 cup Salted Butter melted
- 3 cups Sweetened Shredded/Flaked Coconut
- 2 cups Walnuts chopped
- 2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees C.
Melt butter in the microwave and in a bowl and combine it with the graham cracker crumbs until evenly mixed.
Using your fingers, press this mixture into an even layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish.
Spread coconut evenly over the graham layer.
Roughly chop the walnuts and spread evenly on top.
Spread the chocolate chips evenly on top of that.
Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the whole thing.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool completely and then cut into 15 bars. (Refrigerating the bars helps for easier cutting.) Enjoy!