Guest Post: Magic Cookie Bars

by zesty on June 3, 2009 · 13 comments

Hi everyone! I’m Brandi, from Bran Appetit (, and I’m so happy to be doing a guest post for Zesty!

If you’re anything like me, you love sweets. Who doesn’t, right? We may not all like the same sweets, but sometimes, you just have to have a decadent treat.

I recently made one of my husband’s favorite sweet treats: 7 – Layer Bars (or Hello Dollies or Magic Cookie Bars or whatever you call them)



  • 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 14 oz. can fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup nuts of your choice (we usually use pecans or walnuts)


  1. Mix melted butter and graham cracker crumbs and press into greased 9×13 pan.
  2. Pour condensed milk over crust.
  3. Sprinkle toppings all over and
  4. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

While these are delicious, I don’t eat them very often because they’re not the healthiest things for me. Once in a while, definitely. You just can’t beat the buttery, gooey crust topped with all that chocolate, butterscotch, and coconut.

Lately, I’ve been trying to find and/or make up my own healthier recipes for baked goods. I love to have desserts, but I also want to still feel good about what I’m eating most of the time. Don’t get me wrong – I eat onion rings probably every couple of weeks!  I just know that I feel best when I’m eating healthy and balanced the majority of the time, with fun treats thrown in, too.

One of the best “healthier” recipes I made up a few months ago were my Cookie Bars (!


That’s right – healthy cookie bars! I didn’t think it could be done, either, but these turned out great. These are the perfect balance – sweet and chocolaty, but still pretty good for you.


  • 2 cups oats (I used 1.5 cups quick oats, .5 cup old fashioned)
  • 3/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips


  1. Mix oats, wheat bran, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. Add in applesauce and eggs.
  3. Fold in chips.
  4. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.


I liked these right out of the pan, room temperature the next day…and my favorite way? Heated up in a bowl and topped with some ice cream



Whether it’s a total indulgence or a healthy alternative, I say – indulge your sweet tooth.  It knows what it needs, and most of the time, our bodies do a good job of balancing themselves – it’s our heads that get in the way.

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you try these recipes!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 meg

I have always loved Magic Cookie Bars, but I have never used butterscotch chips in them! I need to try that. I will have to try the healthy cookie bars. They look delicious!


2 brandi

Thanks so much for letting me guest post, Zesty!!! I hope everything is going well this week :)


3 Sara

Yum! They look great!


4 Rose

Brandi’s come up with another classic! Looks terrific.


5 K

Brandi! Those look awesome!! Great guest post!


6 HoneyB

I made the same cookie bars last night! Theses are really sweet but oh so yummy!


7 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)



8 Kelsey

hooooooooly deliciousness!!!!!!!


9 fitforfree

Awesome post, Brandi!! Hello Dollies are one of my absolute favorite desserts, and it’s nice to see a healthy cookie option :-)


10 Erica

I JUST heard about these bars for the first time yesterday. They look incredible!


11 Nicole (dishin')

Oh wow..these look great. I’m going to have to make them very soon!


12 Sherri

I made the healthy cookie bars. My kids love them – they’re like chewy granola bars. They are really tasty but quite crumbly. Any recommendations to stick them together a bit better?


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