Cranberry Hello Dolly Bars

Cranberry Hello Dolly Bars

I can remember the exact moment I first tried a Hello Dolly Bar. I had just finish a Thanksgiving dinner at our friends that we call family The Cihra’s. After the most ideal day of catching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, a long walk through Central Park, brunch at the sweetest French boulagnerie and a day of board games, biting into the heaven of my girlfriend’s gooey and sticky Hello Dolly seemed the like the perfect end. “What is this thing?” I asked my friend Alison. It was her mother’s recipe. A long-time family favorite. Have you never had one? It’s name was Hello Dolly.

Cute name aside, it was everything I love in a bar. Dolly’s had a graham crust and layers of coconut, chocolate and pecans. Alison said they freeze amazingly and that was all I needed to hear.

These are my version of Alison’s beloved family bar. I added dried cranberries because they add a bit of tartness to sea of sweetness. If you have small children, this is a great baking project to do together. These bars are shaggy and rustic and should never look like a pastry chef fashioned them together. They also bake up every time perfect no matter the order of things you throw in the baking dish making little hands the best friend of the Cranberry Hello Dolly Bars. And whatever day you choose to enjoy them will be the best day ever. It’s just how it goes with a Hello Dolly.

Photo by Ashley van der Laan

Cranberry Hello Dolly Bars

Makes: 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper leaving a 1 inch edge hanging over the side.
  • Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a bowl until evenly moistened; press into the bottom of the baking dish making sure you fill the corners.
  • Drizzle 1/4 of the can of sweetened over the graham cracker crust. Sprinkle pecans, then chocolate chips, dried cranberries and coconut. Pour the rest of the condensed milk over top.
  • Bake until coconut is golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before lifting parchment from baking dish and cutting into bars.

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