Hello Dolly Bars

Coconut desserts are commonly served on Easter in the South.  Coconut desserts are also popular around Christmastime.  I’m not too sure why some desserts are associated with certain times of the year in the South, but all I know is: don’t mess with it.  If you make a fruit pie at Christmas, we’re gonna look at you funny and assume you’re from up north.  Along those same lines, it’s a sin if your 4th of July dessert doesn’t involve blueberries and strawberries (most commonly in the form of a flag cake).  This unspoken tradition of food pairing goes for meals, too.  If you really want to make my Mom raise her eyebrow, serve unconventional sides with barbecue.  Peas and brisket?  No thanks!  “Where’s the potato salad?,” she’ll ask.  Of course, my Mom is a true Southern belle and would never say a bad word about anybody, but she just might question your upbringing silently to herself.

Hello Dolly bars are great for Easter because they’re quick and easy to make.  It might seem odd to pour ingredients on top of a crust and bake without stirring, but go with it—you’ll be rewarded with rich cookie bars that will soon become your new favorite dessert.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Hello Dolly Bars
Yields 2 bars about 4.5" x 2.5" each. Scaled down from Southern Living.
  • 4 graham cracker sheets (or ½ cup crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup sweetened coconut
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and lightly grease a 9” x 5” x 3” bread loaf pan.
  2. Pulverize graham cracker sheets (if they aren’t already) and stir together with butter and sugar. Press this mixture into the bread loaf pan, packing firmly to create a flat crust. Bake for 8 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, sprinkle over pecans, chocolate and coconut. Slowly drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over top, return to the oven and bake for another 18-21 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and bubbling. Let cool completely before cutting.

*Tip:  To use up left-over sweetened condensed milk, see these recipes: Fantasy fudge, Tres Leches Cake, Blackberry Buttermilk Ice Cream Pie


  1. says

    I don’t like coconut so I usually make these bars without it. However, I have a huge issue because they are so dangerous in my kitchen. SO happy you made a smaller version of the recipe for me to try!

  2. says

    Gorgeous! I love coconut, and I’m getting ready to make up a batch of macaroons later this week. I think I’ll need another bag of it for these as well, though.

  3. says

    I have actually tried these before and LOVE them! Great recipe. And I love that you gave other recipes for using the sweetened condensed milk, so thoughtful. I love the thought of southern belles, I want to meet your Mom!

  4. says

    Would you believe I’ve never tried a Hello Dolly? Man, they look so good though! I’ve got everything but the graham crackers (seriously, life of a food blogger. I have condensed milk and coconut, but NOT graham crackers?) so I guess a trip to the store is in order.

    I laughed out loud at this line: “She might question your upbringing silently to herself”. My grandmother would do *exactly* the same thing. She might even whisper something to me about no hometraining. It reminded me of my favorite line from a Miranda Lambert song: I don’t have to be hateful, I can just say “Bless your heart!”. You know what I’m saying. SO southern.

  5. says

    “peas and brisket!!” love it!! OH goodness I love these bars..they are always a big hit aorund my house, so glad to have a smaller scale for my sweet cravings!! perfect for the american bake sale, don’t ya think?


  6. says

    I don’t do many desserts with coconut shreds, since I number of family members are strangely adverse to them… But I’d sure love to try this out, as a vegan version! Shouldn’t be too hard- I can imagine a thick, rich coconut milk could stand in for the condensed milk nicely…

  7. allie says

    i always thought that Hello Dolly’s were made up, the only time I had ever heard of them was in the movie DICK (with Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams, its about Richard Nixon and watergate, not about well never mind). I will definately have to give these a try

  8. Deeann says

    It was hard to wait for these to cool, they looked and smelled so good. But after eating a quarter of a pan, :-) I can add that they taste great too! I’m looking forward to trying the Tres Leches Cake with the left over condensed milk.

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