Grown-Up Magic Cookie Bars


A Note from Feedfeed

Want to know the best kept secret of pregnancy? Cravings can lead to some pretty delicious recipes.  Magic cookie bars are something I grew up on.  When I was feeling fancy (or just really hungover) in college my roommates and I would make a batch to chase away the Sunday scaries.

Thinking about those sickly bars with the fluffy sweetened coconut makes me feel a bit green these days, so I decided to give everyone’s favorite childhood treat a grown-up makeover.  By starting with a base of brown butter and espresso powder, you’ll start to develop layers of flavor. I brought in those classic toffee flavors with Valrhona Dulcey, which adds epic buttery sweetness.

Semi-sweet chocolate chips are swapped for Valrhona Guanaja 70% Dark Chocolate (because, duh) and that cloying sweetened coconut gets replaced with unsweetened flaked coconut. And Voila! Your favorite treat is all grown up!  Now, if you are not with child, I’d suggest having one or two with a nice glass of bourbon. Cheers! 


Recipe and Headnote Molly Adams

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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 20mins
Cook time 35mins
Serves or Makes: 12

Recipe Card

For the Bars


  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cultured butter
  • 9 whole graham crackers
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup roasted hazelnuts, skin removed, chopped
  • 1 cup Valrhona Guanaja 70% Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Valrhona Dulcey, chopped
  • flaky salt, to taste


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350˚F and line an 8-inch square pan with with parchment paper. Add the butter to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until melted. Once butter has melted, it will begin to foam. Move the pan around a bit to keep it from burning, and allow it to cook until foaming stops and brown bits form on the bottom of the pan and it smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.

  • Step 2

    Add graham crackers, flour, brown sugar, espresso powder, baking powder and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add egg and brown butter and process until the mixture holds together when pressed between your finger tips.

  • Step 3

    Transfer the graham cracker crumbs to the prepared baking pan and press them into an even layer with the back of a measuring cup. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, then top with half of the can of sweetened condensed milk, half the coconut, half the hazelnuts, half the Valrhona Guanaja 70% Dark Chocolate and half the Valrhona Dulcey. Repeat with remaining sweetened condensed milk and toppings.

  • Step 4

    Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the coconut is golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with flaky salt. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars and serving.