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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