Hello Dolly Cookies are a new twist on a favorite holiday classic treat. All the deliciousness of a Hello Dolly Cookie bar now in the form of a cookie!
Depending on your family, there are some traditions that are saved just for the holidays. Whether it be driving around looking at lights (which would be weird to do in July, let’s be honest), shopping trips to the city with ‘just the girls’ or certain food treats, December is the time of year when the special memories are made and the traditions hold true. In our house, it’s mandatory that Mike and I load up in the car, stop for coffee …even it’s 75 degrees outside .. and he drives me around to OOOHHH and AAAHHH over the decorated houses lit up with thousands of lights, blow up lawn decorations and the occasional waving Santa. He doesn’t do it because he is thrilled at the idea of fighting traffic and turning the wrong way down dead end streets. He does it because it’s the one thing that makes me happiest during Christmas and it’s our ‘thing’ to do together. He does it because it’s tradition, our tradition.
It also doesn’t hurt that he knows that I know which wrapped box under the tree holds his latest FSU jersey and if there were to be no lights … hmmm .. maybe that fate of that gift would remain a mystery for many years to come … #hedgingbets
All joking aside, tradition is what holds families together and what makes the holidays extra special. That carries over to dinners feeding thirty, family breakfasts with kids hopped up on no sleep and new toys and it especially carries over to the treats.
Mike runs a line at an industrial plant and every year I send him to work with enough homemade Christmas cookies to feed a medium sized country. And while there are always the favorites like Snickerdoodles, Peanut Blossoms and Magic Bars, every year I try to throw in a few new options, just to keep things fresh. This year I added in two new sweets, Baklava Cups and Hello Dolly Cookies.
The first cookie to be wiped clean this year??? Yup, the Hello Dolly Cookies!
Hello Dollys, also known as Magic Bars, are the one sweet treat that opened up the Christmas holiday for me when I was a kid. I had no idea what they were, how they were made or what their name was but I knew when those deliciously sweet, complicated bar of happiness found their way into my kitchen, Christmas was close…. at least, close enough for me to start searching the house for my presents when the coast was clear.
Oh. Wait… I never did that. Forget I said that …. moving on …..
They were a favorite then and they still are today. Then I started thinking was there a way to take them from a bar and transform them into a cookie with less mess and more portability? With Hello Dolly Bars, if you load up and walk away from the pan with three of them in your hand, people will notice, people will talk. Bars are meant to satisfy as one compact item but what if you have a huge cup of two o’clock in the afternoon coffee? One bar cannot sustain one large cup of coffee… but three cookies could. They could go the distance and everyone knows you can’t have just ONE cookie.
So the wheels started turning and the recipe started to be built. The first pass at writing this recipe.. it did not go well. Let’s just say the word ‘DISASTER’ doesn’t even adequately describe the horror that those poor wanna be cookies ended up being… tsk.. tsk.. tsk … I’m sorry, little ugly, dry mutant cookies. I’m so sorry.
The second pass was a success, a huge success and that is what I am sharing with you here today. Now, I’m not suggesting you stop making Magic Bars. No, no, no, no, no…. what I am suggesting is that you add these into you list of holiday baking. I mean really, Hello Dolly / Magic Bars served up two different yet equally delicious ways?
How is that a bad thing?
Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think… or just say Hi! I love hearing from you!!
- 1/2 cup butter , softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs , crushed fine
- 1 1/4 cup AP flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 small can condensed milk (you will not use very much of this)
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
- 1/2 cup pecans , chopped
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or favorite chocolate topping
Start by preheating oven to 325 degrees
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda and graham crackers. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet and mix to combine.
Using a spoon, roll dough into 1 inch balls and drop onto a cooking pan lined with parchment paper.
Using your thumb or a round bottomed object (I used the bottom of a lime juicer) make a small impression into the cookie. This will be the well that holds the toppings when cooked.
Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes
Remove from oven and using the same object as before, lightly tamp down the imprinted middle of the cookie. The cookie will have naturally risen in the middle so you want to create that well again.
Add a sprinkling of coconut into the cookie well followed by 1/8 of a teaspoon of condensed milk. Cook for another 2 minutes
While cookies are baking, add butterscotch chips to a microwave safe bowl and cook on High for 2 minutes, stirring after each minute. When done, do the same with the chocolate chips (in a different bowl)
When cookies are removed from oven, spoon in 1/2 teaspoon of butterscotch on top of the coconut, followed by a spoonfull of melted chocolate and finally drizzle pecans on top.
Using a spoon or fork dipped in the melted chocolate, drizzle more chocolate over the entire cookie or use your favorite ice cream topping if you are short on time or are like me and can never get chocolate to the right consistancy 🙂
Move to an air-tight container when cool