I have guilt about a lot of things.  Some are rational, many are not.  I’m Catholic, you see… I’ve come to understand guilt is just part of the way I’m wired.

One of the items at the top of the guilt list is that I haven’t volunteered enough at my son’s high school.  Never mind that I spend my days with other people’s children working as a school librarian/tech teacher – and I do drop off an occasional baked good when asked.  Still the guilt lurks.   Seems I should have found time to take part in PTA meetings or run a fundraiser or something along the way.

I’ve sort of run out of time.

He graduates next month.

Where did the time go?


So for the Teacher Appreciation luncheon, I thought I’d try to compensate by dropping off something particularly fabulous in the form of these Magic Cookie Bars… (and a batch those crazy Cowboy Compost cookies for good measure.)


I couldn’t possibly go with the classic Magic Cookie Bars recipe, though it is divine. I just have to tinker with such things.

I started with the graham cracker crust (I like to make mine with Cinnamon-Sugar graham crackers.)  And then added some crushed pretzels to add to that sweet/salty/crunchy combo I adore.  I swapped the sweetened condensed milk with dulce de leche (quite possibly my favorite food), thus dropping the butterscotch chips.  Then I topped it off with with the awesome trio of chocolate chunks, coconut, and chopped toasted, salted pecans.


These, my friends, were quite simply the best Seven-Layer Magic Cookie bars I have ever made.


So, dear teachers of my youngest son,

Thanks for all you have done for him.  I can’t possibly express how much truly appreciate all the hours you have put into inspiring and educating this young man. But I can humbly offer you some awesome baked goods.

(Though I do still feel a bit guilty…sigh.)

Happy Monday all,



5.0 from 4 reviews
Dulce de Leche Magic Cookie Bars
Serves: 30
  • 1½ cups cinnamon sugar graham crackers (I used Trader Joe's brand, and used 8 oz, or half a container)
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • about 1 cup slightly crushed pretzels
  • 1 14 oz can or jar of dulce de leche
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips
  • 1½ cups coconut
  • 1 cup roughly chopped salted pecans
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place the graham crackers in a food processor, and pulse until they become fine crumbs (you should have about 1½ cups). Slowly pour the melted butter into the graham cracker mixture.
  3. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper.
  4. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  5. Spread the crushed pretzels evenly over the graham crackers.
  6. Pour the dulce de leche over the crumb/pretzel mixture. If necessary, spread it out so that it covers the entire crust.
  7. Layer the chocolate chips, coconut and chopped pecans over the dulce de leche.
  8. Press down firmly with a fork.
  9. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool in the pan.
  10. Once the bars have cooled, lift the the bars up by the edges of the parchment to remove from the pan.
  11. Cut into individual bars.


I’m going to share this recipe with the crew at Fiesta Friday this week!


22 Responses to "Dulce de Leche Magic Cookie Bars"
  1. Fiona says:

    All of my favorite ingredients in one slice. I will try them and won’t feel even slightly guilty about it.

  2. Jess says:

    These look like pure magic (pun kinda intended lol) I’m sure the teachers were VERY appreciative of these 😉

  3. These are positively swoon worthy. Seriously. Could you deliver?

    • mb says:

      Gosh Rebecca, I’m afraid if FedExed them to California they’d be a terrible sticky mess… The good news is they’re so easy that I’m sure one of your kids could whip up a batch. I have to wonder if we could figure out a way to add muscavado sugar to them? 🙂

  4. Michelle says:

    You know, I think I’ve liked every single variation of those bars that’s appeared over my lifetime. But you may have surpassed them all.

  5. Beth says:

    As a person who helped out with that lunch, and watched food disappear, let me assure you, you should have NO GUILT! The bars and cookies were fantastic, and all the teachers and staff appreciated them. Thanks for your many delicious contributions over the years.

    • mb says:

      Thanks so much Beth! Your note helped me set a little of that guilt aside… 🙂

  6. Steve says:

    Hey MB! I made these last night and they were fantastic! However, I forgot to add the crushed pretzel pieces and I realize now it’s because they were left out in the directions. You may want to add them in your directions as well as the ingredients list, I’m sure the bars are even better with them!!!!!

  7. linda says:

    I’m a huge fan of Magic Cookie Bars too! I love your cinnamon graham cracker addition! What a great idea!
    Thanks for bringing these to Fiesta Friday 🙂
    Fabulous Fare Sisters

  8. Ahila says:

    The cookie bars look so scrumptious! I have bookmarked this under my cookie recipe folder to try it out sometime. Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

  9. What lucky teachers!
    We do not get Dulce de Leche in France, would you suggest the sweetened condensed milk or a caramel sauce?

  10. Julie says:

    I was born into the same guilt club. What a trip right? These bars would absolve many a sins in my book!

  11. Ooh wow, I know I’d struggle not to eat a couple of these at a time if I made them!

    • mb says:

      So true! I have taken to not cutting brownies and bars until just before I serve them so I don’t snack on them when I shouldn’t!

  12. Liz says:

    Wow! I don’t “do” desserts but I would take these to a pot luck or school event any day. They sound delicious and would be a big hit. I’ve pinned your recipe just in case such an event crosses by doorstep.

    Congratulations on being featured on FF.

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