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Old Fashioned Graham Cookie Bars

Thanks for sharing!

Old fashioned graham cookie bars are easy to make and taste amazing. They are loaded with graham crackers, chocolate, butterscotch, pecans and condensed milk for a rich but simple treat.

Lifting square of gooey graham cookie bar out of pan showing crispy edge and gooey center.

This simple dessert bar only takes 5 ingredients and one bowl to make. You can have the pan in the oven in no time at all, but the best part is how good they taste when they are done.

These cookie bars are similar to magic bars or hello Dollies in a lot of ways, but don’t have coconut and all of the ingredients are mixed together. The resulting bar is almost a cross between a gooey chocolate chip cookie and a 7 layer bar.

Ingredients including graham cracker crumbs, chopped pecans, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and sweetened condensed milk ready to be made into cookie bars.

They are perfect for a simple treat when your sweet tooth needs a little something. Or bake some up for a party.

Heck, they would even be at home with your holiday baking if you want to make a few batches and cut them into small squares. They are sure to be a hit no matter the occasion.

Making Graham Cracker Cookie Bars

All it takes to put this simple dessert together is to mix some graham cracker crumbs with a can of sweetened condensed milk. You know how much we love that sweet sticky goodness, so it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise that a can of condensed milk is the secret ingredient that holds this recipe together.

You can make your own graham cracker crumbs by processing a sleeve of graham crackers in your food processor or using a rolling pin and a freezer bag. Or you can pick up a box of graham cracker crumbs from the grocery store, they are usually found in the baking aisle by the pie fillings.

Add some finely chopped pecans to the mix. You can use walnuts if you prefer to bake with them.

Honestly, cashews or almonds would probably be delicious too. So use whatever kind of nut you prefer or whichever you happen to have on hand.

Now add in some semi-sweet chocolate chips. Dark chocolate would work too. You could try using milk chocolate, but they might be a little too sweet in these bars.

Some butterscotch chips round out the recipe. We really like the butterscotch flavor in these bars, but you could use peanut butter chips or salted caramel chips if you can find them.

Pan of freshly baked graham cookie bars cooling before getting cut.

You could even substitute more chocolate chips if you prefer chocolate to the other flavors. These bars are very forgiving and are going to be good no matter what you decide to use.

I like to add a pinch of salt to help balance the flavors, but that is options. Just mix it all together and pat the dough out in a greased square baking dish.

That’s it! The condensed milk brings everything together as they bake and it comes out as a cohesive bar.

Tips and Tricks

Let the bars cool before you try to cut and serve them. While they will taste great warm, they will be very gooey and hard to serve.

If you want to garnish them with powdered sugar, you can. We thought they were wonderful on their own.

Because these bars are made with shelf stable ingredients, you can have them stocked in your pantry and ready to go all the time. When you need a treat, you can through everything together and have it in the oven in no time at all.

Hand holding cookie bar with melty chocolate chips inside.

How do I store vintage graham cookie bars?

These bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Just warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds to return it to it’s gooey glory.

Can I use something other than graham cracker crumbs?

Yes! You can crush animal crackers or vanilla wafers if you prefer. You are welcome to try other cookies as well. If you do, let me know what you tried and how it went!

More Easy Bar Recipes to Try

There is something really nice about making bars rather than individual cookies. It saves a lot of time not having to scoop the dough and rotate multiple trays through the oven.

Here are a few more recipes to try if you want something homemade but low fuss. They are perfect for when you are in a hurry.

Caramelitas would be another great option, they feature similar flavors but start with flour and butter rather than graham cracker crumbs and condensed milk.

Two graham cookie bars stacked on top of each other ready to eat.

Oatmeal cream pie bars are another wonderful option. They taste just like the kind in the box, but are homemade and baked in bars instead of individual sandwich cookies. The marshmallow fluff buttercream really makes it delicious.

Or make gooey pecan dream bars for something different. That recipe starts with a cake mix so it’s super simple. The toffee, pecans and condensed milk make it amazing.

Chocolate peanut butter revel bars would be another great option. They feature a fudgy center and cookie like crust.

Yield: 16 Servings

Old Fashioned Graham Cracker Cookie Bars

Lifting square of gooey graham cookie bar out of pan showing crispy edge and gooey center.

Old fashioned graham cookie bars are easy to make and taste amazing. They are loaded with graham crackers, chocolate, butterscotch, pecans and condensed milk for a rich but simple treat.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients. Spread mixture in prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden.
  4. Cool before cutting and serving.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 95mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 4g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

Old fashioned graham cookie bars are easy to make and taste amazing. They are loaded with graham crackers, chocolate, butterscotch, pecans and condensed milk for a rich but simple treat.

Thanks for sharing!

Jim

Monday 20th of March 2023

I made these this weekend. They are far too sweet for me.

Carlee

Monday 20th of March 2023

I'm sorry they weren't your favorite. Depending on the chips you use, they can definitely get sweet.

Kim Honeycutt

Friday 10th of March 2023

Hello Carlee, nice to meet you. This looks like something I couldn't stop eating except...I'm a diabetic. Now, that still wouldn't stop me from making them and sharing with someone😉 Of course I'd still eat some...I did say share😂😋 Thank You!

(I noticed the written recipe said semi-sweet chocolate cups. I feel like you meant chocolate chips) I'm just telling you in case you want to correct it, not criticizing.

Carlee

Friday 10th of March 2023

You are right, thank you for letting me know. It should be fixed now. This is a perfect take a bite or two and share the rest kind of recipe!

Teresa

Friday 10th of March 2023

What else can I use instead of butterscotch chips?

Carlee

Friday 10th of March 2023

Peanut butter chips would be delicious or salted caramel chips if you can find them. Otherwise just use a few extra chocolate chips.

Rose

Friday 10th of March 2023

Do I have to use sweetened condensed milk? It seems the finished product might be too sweet with all the other sweet ingredients?

Carlee

Friday 10th of March 2023

The condensed milk is what holds it all together. You could use darker or unsweetened chocolate to balance it out if you would like. They are sweet, but my family doesn't find them to be too sweet.

Andrea Nine

Friday 3rd of March 2023

I love bars like this! They are the perfect throw together bars of yumminess!

Carlee

Friday 3rd of March 2023

They are so easy to put together, so you can do it even when you don't feel like cooking!

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