Magic Cookie Bars – Magic Cookie Bars have been my favorite, go-to dessert since I was a child. I was first introduced to them on a family vacation to Disney World, and thought they were the absolute best thing ever!
A chewy crust base topped with ooey gooey layers of sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut flakes and chopped nuts…I simply can’t get enough! Too good to pass up, I created a Recipe for Magic Cookie Bars that’s totally gluten, dairy, and refined-sugar free! All of the flavor, without the inflammatory ingredients. Want to learn more? Keep reading!
Magic Cookie Bars
We love magic cookie bars around here. They’re simple, easy, and even double as a protein-rich dessert or snack option when that sweet tooth hits. They really do keep you full for hours!
The average conventional magic cookie bar ingredient list is quite simple. Most magic cookie bars recipes are built on a graham cracker crust, and topped with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, sweetened condensed milk, coconut flakes, and nuts. While it’s packed with dairy and refined-sugar, these ingredients are easily replaceable! That means that the cleaned up version can taste nearly identical to the unhealthy version. I LOVE recipes like this!
My Magic Cookies Bars Recipe seriously tastes bakery fresh. You’ll never be able to tell the difference!
Looking to maintain a clean diet without skipping out on desserts and crave worthy treats? Me too! Here is a rundown of the swaps needed to clean this recipe up!
Swap This for That
Like mentioned above, this Recipe for Magic Cookie Bars requires just a few simple swaps for a healthy, yet deliciously satisfying dessert. Here’s how I did it.
Swap Graham Crackers for a Grain-Free Cookie Crust
The base of most Magic Cookie Bars are a graham cracker and butter mix that create a crust. You could easily create a healthy version by switching this out for gluten-free graham crackers and coconut oil if preferred. However…I like to take it a step further, and swap it out for a grain-free sugar cookie recipe!
Personally, I think it’s even more delicious this way, and it requires only a few ingredients! Grab some almond flour, coconut flour, flax eggs, and maple, and you’re well on your way to a delicious and CLEAN sugar cookie!
Swap Conventional Chocolate Chips for HU Chocolate Gems
Conventional chocolate chips include dairy, refined sugar, and often added ingredients like soy lecithin and “natural flavors”. All you really need for delicious chocolate chips are cacao, a healthy oil, and unrefined sweetener. That’s why we love HU Chocolate Gems!
HU Chocolate Gems have an ingredient list of only 3 items: Cacao, Cacao Butter, and Coconut Sugar. Finally, a company that’s truly clean, honest, and really gets it!
Find their chocolate gems here.
As a side note, any chocolate chips work great in this recipe! HU is simply the only brand I’m currently aware of with totally clean ingredients free of cane sugar.
Swap Butterscotch Chips for Natural Peanut Butter
To my knowledge thus far, there’s not a clean swap for butterscotch. But when I find one, I promise I’ll let you know! However, peanut butter pairs perfectly with the chocolate, and is a delicious swap that will make you forget butterscotch was even a part of the original recipe!
This recipe uses unsweetened, organic peanut butter, that we will use to create our own drizzle with.
Swap Sweetened Condensed Milk for Sweetened Condensed Coconut Cream
Sweetened condensed milk is simply sugar and milk, condensed down to a thick, creamy sauce. This is incredibly easy to mimic simply by mixing and reducing coconut cream, and maple syrup (or healthy sweetener of choice)! Same effect and sweet delicious flavor, without the dairy or refined sugar!
And that’s it! Basically everything else can stay the same.
The Perfect Holiday Dessert
My Magic Cookie Bars Recipe is sweet, chewy, and perfect for the holidays! This is a great dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas that’s easy to whip up, and serve for all of your holiday guests to enjoy.
While you can enjoy these plated with a fork, they’re also the perfect grab-and-go finger food dessert, although a bit gooey.
If you do serve these at a holiday gathering, be sure to make extra! These sweet treats will disappear fast.
More Holiday Dessert Recipes
Looking for more holiday dessert recipes? We’ve got you covered! Here are our most-loved desserts!
Recipe for Gingerbread Loaf: Recipe for Gingerbread Loaf is healthy and delicious. Made with pureed pumpkin, naturally sweetened and a boost of Omega-3’s.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Shooters: A pumpkin cheesecake layer, topped with chocolate mousse pair together to make a delicious combo in this Pumpkin Cheesecake Shooters Recipe!
Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookie Recipe: Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies are perfect for the holiday season and allergy-friendly. No eggs, gluten, grains, refined sugar or nuts.
These Magic Cookie Bars are a recipe you’ll want to make again and again. Now let’s get into the instructions!
Magic Cookie Bars
Magic Cookie Bars are such a crowd pleaser. A chewy crust topped with gooey layers chocolate, peanut butter, and nuts..who wouldn’t love it?!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
- Total Time: 1 hr 45 min
- Yield: 9 servings 1x
- 1 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 flax egg (ingredients below)
- 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
- 2.5 tbsp water
SWEETENED CONDENSED “MILK”
- 3 cups coconut cream
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
MAGIC COOKIE BAR LAYERS (*SEE NOTES FOR DETAILS)
- 1+ cup chocolate chips
- 1+ cup nuts or seeds of choice, cut into halves or pieces
- 1/2+ cup coconut shreds
- 1/4 cup nut butter of choice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350º f. Line a 9×9 square cake pan with parchment paper.
- While oven is preheating, begin making sweetened condensed milk, as this takes the most time. Add all ingredients into a saucepan, and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately reduce to low heat, and allow to simmer, stirring every 5 minutes until mixture has thickened, and reduced to about half its original size (this takes mine 40-60 min.).
- Remove from heat, and let cool.
- While sweetened condensed milk is simmering, combine all dry ingredients for the cookie crust, and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients, including the flax egg.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients, and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Press dough into cake pan, forming around 1/3 inch crust. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until crust is beginning to reach a golden brown color. Remove from oven, and allow to cool most of the way. Keep the oven on.
- Mix peanut butter and 1 tbsp of maple syrup.
- Begin creating layers by drizzling sweetened condensed milk on cookie crust, and then layering chocolate chips, nuts, coconut shreds, and peanut butter mixture.
- Repeat this layering process (sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, nuts, coconut shreds, and peanut butter mixture) until you’ve reached desired thickness.
- Place back in the oven for 25-30 min., or until sides of the Magic Cookie Bars are beginning to brown. Remove from the oven, and allow to fully cool.
Last Step! If you loved our recipe, leave us a review below. This helps future recipe makers and ensures continued high-quality recipes for years to come!
Magic Cookie Bar Layers
Many of the ingredients used during the layering phase of this recipe do not require exact amounts, since these are totally up to personal preference, and how thick you’d like your Magic Cookie Bar to turn out. Feel free to be creative, and modify the recipe to your liking.
Keywords: Magic Cookie Bars
Sunday 27th of December 2020
Have you seen the cost of HU chocolate? Egads. How can you recommend something like this?
Tuesday 29th of December 2020
Thank you for your curiosity! For myself and many others with health issues, cane sugar and emulsifiers are not an option for our bodies. To the best of my knowledge, HU is the only brand currently on the market without cane sugar, emulsifiers, or other additives (besides the Thrive Market brand, which is limited to only members for purchase). If you know of another, I would love to be pointed in that direction! Although the cost is high, it's extremely exciting and life changing for those of us on limited diets for brands like this to finally offer easily accessible products we can enjoy, without spending hours in the kitchen on a single recipe.
With that in mind, this recipe works with any chocolate chips you'd like to use! If tolerated, a healthier brand of chocolate chips we recommend would be Enjoy Life! Although they include cane sugar, they have very basic, and clean ingredients.
I hope this helps! Madison