This dense, buttery Shortbread Magic Bars Recipe is a must-have for entertaining! This recipe takes traditional magic bar ingredients like chocolate and coconut to a whole new level by making the crust from shortbread instead of graham crackers. It is the perfect mashup of cookie meets bar!
So I'll admit I'm late to the Magic Bar game. Growing up my mother made raspberry bars, which I guess would fall into the Magic Bar category.... kinda sorta.
As you probably know, the classic recipe for 7-layer bars uses graham cracker crumbs. While I've always enjoyed desserts of all varietites, graham cracker crumb crusts are not my favorite.
Shortbread, on the other hand; like these Homemade Twix Cookies is a whole other matter! Let's face it, I'm a sucker for anything with loads of butter and sugar!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe
These bars are absolutely, undeniably one of the most magical things I have ever put in my mouth. The shortbread with the decadence from the chocolate and the caramel is utterly amazing!
Now seven layer bars might be one of the easiest desserts, but these delicious bars are not far off. It's an easy recipe that's great for holiday parties, or just because!
- Unsalted butter
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Toffee chips
- Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Dark chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips
This is meant to be a brief overview of the magic bars recipe. For step-by-step instructions and a full printable recipe card with ingredients, please scroll down to the teal box below.
These shortbread magic bars are sure to be a new family favorite. I know I can't get enough of them!
- Preheat the oven to
350-degrees,line a 9×9 square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Add butter and brown sugar a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, mix to combine.
- Next, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the flour slowly, with the mixer set on the lowest speed.
- Press the mixture it into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- Sprinkle the crust with chopped nuts and coconut.
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top. Top with chocolate chips, toffee chips
anddark chocolate chips.
- Place the pan back in the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, cool completely.
- Refrigerate before using the parchment paper to remove the bars from the pan.
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💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions (and answers!) readers often ask about this magic cookie bar recipe.
No, these do not need to be refrigerated. If they had eggs, I'd say yes but they will keep well as long as they are well-sealed.
They freeze very nicely! If you decide to make a double batch and freeze half you'll be glad you did!
Technically they will last 2-3 weeks when well sealed BUT I've never had them last longer than a couple of days in our home! 😋
You can test them with a toothpick, or keep an eye on them. When they are done they will just begin to pull away from the side of the pan.
We recommend that you try our magic bar recipe for the first time just as it is written for the best results because that is how the recipe has been tested.
However, the next time you make it, you might consider one of these different ways of making this great recipe.
Swap out the toppings if you like. Here are some ideas:
- Chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts
- Love white chocolate? Use that instead of dark chocolate.
- Add butterscotch chips instead of toffee or peanut butter chips.
- Hate coconut? Leave it out.
- Add your favorite candies like chopped Rolo's or peanut butter cups.
- Sprinkle in dried cranberries (delicious with white chocolate chips).
- Add a sprinkle of sea salt to the top for a little salted caramel flavor.
- Drop on some pretzel pieces for a little crunch and salt.
If you love it, there's really no wrong combination for toppings!
To Store: Be sure to store them in an airtight container. (These are my favorite containers.) They do not need to be refrigerated but they are delicious when chilled.
To Freeze: Allow your magic bars to cool completely. Wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or freezer paper and store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
To Thaw: Remove the magic bars from the freezer and unwrap them. Place them into an airtight container and allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge.
😋 Similar Recipes
Next time, try one of these tasty recipes:
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars - this one is a family favorite
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake Balls - such a fun treat
- Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies - chocolate perfection
- Decadent Mocha Truffles - decadent and amazing
- Oatmeal Fig Bars - better than any store-bought fig cookie
Our delicious magic cookie bars, and all of the recipes above, would be a great addition to Christmas cookie trays!
📋 Magic Bars
Not ready to make this magic cookie bars recipe yet? Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later.
When you do make it, please comment and leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below; it totally makes my day!
Shortbread Magic Bars Recipe
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For the Crust:
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-¼ cups all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
For the Topping:
- 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cups chopped pecans
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup toffee chips
- 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Line a 9x9 square baking pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides. (This will make the bars easier to remove).
- Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.1 cup unsalted butter, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add in the flour and salt slowly, with the mixer set on the lowest speed.2-¼ cups all-purpose flour, pinch of salt
- Once the mixture is combined, press it into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes until the edges of the crust are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack.
- Sprinkle the crust with the chopped pecans and shredded coconut.1 cups chopped pecans, 1 cup shredded coconut
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top and then add the mini semisweet chocolate chips, toffee chips and dark chocolate chips.1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup toffee chips, 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
- Place the pan back in the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using the parchment paper to remove the bar from the pan. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
For best results, be sure to check our Tips and FAQs above with important tips and questions that can help your delicious recipe come out perfectly.