A few weeks ago my brother had a little party at his house. Even though I wasn’t asked to bring anything, I always follow the rule of “never arrive at someone’s home empty handed.” Earlier that week I had stumbled across a recipe for chocolate-coconut bars (I was later informed they were also known as Hello Dollies) and thought they would be perfect. I can’t say I ever really had these growing up, so while they are a popular dessert down South, they were totally new me. I’m so glad I gave them a try! They turned out to be quite delicious and pretty simple to put together.

Hello Dollies

First, take out some aggression by smashing graham crackers into finely ground pieces in a plastic bag. (Full ingredient list and recipe below). Then mix in sugar, cocoa powder, and melted butter.

Pour the crust mixture into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Do as I say, not as I do. I’m clearly using a silicone mat in my pictures because I was completely out of parchment paper. It worked, but wasn’t ideal.)

Then, bake the crust.

After the crust has cooled, top it with some yummy chocolate chips, pecans, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut.

Then, place it back in the oven to melt and toast all of that goodness.

Once it’s cooled, remove it from the pan.

This step isn’t necessary, but I wanted to make my Hello Dollies extra decadent and beautiful so I simply melted about a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and added a chocolate drizzle to top things off.

And that’s it. Once everything is cool and firm, slice them up, stack them, and serve them.

 

I can see why these are a Southern favorite!  They are a “Michael favorite” now! I just love the combination of toasted coconut and chocolate! If you have yet to make these, stop what you are doing and get baking!

Hello Dollies

Here's what you'll need:
3 cups finely ground graham crackers (12 ounces)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed mik
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Optional:  1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (melted) for drizzling at the end

Let's get baking:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly splash a 10-by-15" rimmed baking sheet evenly with water, then line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, sugar, and butter until combined. Press evenly onto bottom and up sides of prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating halfway through, until firm (about 10 minutes). Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle cooled crust evenly with pecans and chocolate. Pour condensed milk over the top, spreading to cover completely (Do not let it drip over the edges.). Sprinkle with coconut.

Bake until coconut is toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Place on wire rack and let cool completely. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate. Allow to cool and harden.

Trim edges, if needed, and cut into equal-size bars.

Print

Have you ever made Hello Dollies? How does your recipe compare to this one? Any special tips?

Comments

  • Linda@With A Blast at

    I am from another South much further down {South-Africa} so, no, I have never heard of Hello Dollies, but they sure do look great and I love the ingredients – pinning this!

  • Anonymous at

    My Mom makes these only she calls it the 7-layer cookie. She uses walnuts instead of pecans and does an extra layer of nuts and chips to get to 7 layers. This and girl scout Samoa cookies are the only things I eat with coconut. I love them!

    Elena

  • Maureen at

    Have heard of them Michael, but never came across a recipe. Will try them now! Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous at

    I am from the Midwest, and everyone I know has made these since I was a child. We also call them Hello Dollies. The only difference is we do not add cocoa or sugar to the graham cracker crust, and we put the remaining ingredients on top of the crust, and bake it all at the same time. Do not bake the crust first. Try them that way – think you will really like them.

  • Lori at

    oops. Yes, I ate a lot of hello dollies growing up in Louisiana! Yum, yours look great.

  • Sharon at

    Me too, Lori (grew up eating these in Louisiana)… and they are just yummy. They are a little like Girl Scout Samoa’s, but much better. After Lent, I’m indulging and making some!

  • Anonymous at

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to make these!

  • MadAnne at

    Seven layer bars here too with no added sugar or cocoa. I put the everything in a rectangle baking dish at the same time and bake. It’s good with chocolate and peanut butter chips or cinnamon chips. Yum! The sweetened condensed milk website has lots of these recipes.

  • kelly at

    Hi! Haven’t commented before, but have been following alog for a long time now. Had to offer up our family’s addition to these bars….a layer of mini marshmallows on top…yum….
    Hope you are enjoying the sun!

  • Jane S. at

    My grandma always called them 7 Layer Bars (no chocolate in the crust though), and she added butterscotch chips on top as well. They are so good, and so sweet that my teeth itch at the thought of eating them. yummmm

  • Sue V. at

    Mom called them Easy Layer Bars… Graham cracker and butter crust, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, walnuts, and sweetened condensed milk.
    These were our candy bars growing up. 🙂
    I still make them to this day, and give them away.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Oooo! Those sound wonderful. I think everyone has their own version of this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

      xo Michael

  • Saja Montague at

    Michael,
    These were a staple for any potluck or visiting or school cookie for me. Though I grew up in “southern” California, I was first generation Californian born to a southerner, so we had many southern staples. We also called them 7 layer bars, but Hello Dollies sounds much more fun! Now, back in the South, I make these a lot. Thanks for posting such a beautiful photo of them! One difference, I actually use a pyrex baking dish so that I can make all the goodie layers a little thicker. All about decadent!
    Saja

  • Melissa at

    Would these turn out just as delicious if I subbed the butter for coconut oil?

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