White Chocolate, Macadamia Nut & Caramel Cookie Bars

These freezing days have kept me in the holiday baking season a bit too long longer than usual. As I still have hundreds of graham crackers leftover from the wedding and the failed s’mores bar, I decided to go full-on Christmas cookie with this recipe. 

I’m not sure what the actual name is for these graham cracker-crust based cookies topped with sweetened condensed milk and layer after layer of chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut. We called them “seven layer cookies” growing up, and I’ve heard them referred to as “magic bars” too. To skirt the “proper” name, I’ve just called them “cookie bars.” 

I think it was time to make something indulgent; Mops has resorted to stealing scraps of kale, with the evidence clearly visible in her lady-beard. 

It actually isn’t weird that she would want kale. Her taste buds are just as warped as her facial features. Her favorite treat in the world is the tops of mini bell peppers. I’m not joking. I like to snack on them or have them with guacamole. When the bag of bell peppers comes out, she starts wagging her tail and dancing like crazy. I usually just eat around the stem and put the stems on a paper towel. She will shake around and then get up the courage to dart in and steal a bell pepper top. I don’t know why she plays the sneaky game, though. It’s not like I’d object to her taking the stem of a bell pepper. She is my strange little produce-loving dog.  I’m happy to leave her the bell pepper tops while we have something a lot more delicious. 

White Chocolate, Macadamia Nut & Caramel Cookie Bars
Makes 24 Bars

You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes 
  • 1 cup toasted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 24 caramel squares
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or grease with butter. 
  • Stir together melted butter and graham cracker crumbs into a medium-sized bowl until all of the crumbs are buttery. 
  • Press the mixture into the baking dish to form a crust. 

  • Pour sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker crust, spreading evenly. 

  • Sprinkle white chocolate chips on top of the condensed milk. Top with coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. 
  • Place the caramel squares evenly over the mixture, so that each cookie bar will have one melted caramel. 

  • Sprinkle sea salt over the caramel squares.
  • Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.  
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