Sunday, 8 January 2012

Magic Bars from the Loveless Cafe, Tennessee

If I ever find myself in Nashville, Tennessee...I know exactly where I'm headed - The Loveless Cafe.

My sister got their amazing recipe book for Christmas and we spent many days paging through recipe after recipe of true Southern dessert deliciousness! It was just too hard to pick one recipe!

In the end we settled on these magic bars, and baked them together - isn't baking so much more fun with two! 

These bars have been around forever, you may have seen them called 7 layer bars or Hello Dolly's but most commonly they are referred to as magic bars, and The Loveless Cafe call them by this name because they say they disappear off the plates so quick that they must be magic! and in our house when we made them the same thing happened! 

We all know about my love of coconut, so in true obsessive style I had to make them over the top with coconut which included using romany creams for the biscuit base.  They are a South African biscuit that is coconut flavour (I had received some in my stocking from Santa and decided they would provide added yumminess to our bars) and then instead of using just regular white chocolate chips I chopped up my last slab of Lindt white chocolate with coconut, and with the toasted shredded coconut it took the dessert to new heights of coconut deliciousness!

You can choose to go coconut crazy too, or you can just follow the standard recipe below - either way they will be a mouth watering treat enjoyed by all.  

Magic Bars:
Makes Sixteen 2 inch bars

2 cups cookie crumbs (I used coconut romany creams)
1 stick (4oz) plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter melted
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (I used Lindt white chocolate with coconut)
14oz can sweetened condensed milk

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C.
 Grease an 8" square baking dish.
In a bowl toss the cookie crumbs and butter together.  Press the mix evenly over the bottom of the baking dish
Place the walnuts, coconut & chocolate chips in a bowl and toss to combine.  Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and mix to combine.  Scrape the mixture over the crumb crust.  Press into an even layer.
Bake for 20 mins or until edges are slightly browned.  Remove and let cool on a rack.  When completely set cut into 2" squares with a sharp knife.

Baking tips: to intensify flavour toast the coconut and walnuts for 7-10 mins until lightly browned and leave to cool before proceeding with recipe.
Also be careful not to let bars darken excessively or they will be dry rather than gooey as they should be...and trust me, you want them gooey!

P.S You may have noticed me experimenting with some Christmas Tree Bokeh in the top picture! I was excited to try it after learning how from Kevin and Amanda - you can learn this cool photography trick by following their easy tutorial as well!


  1. Some of the ingredients can also be purchased at :

    That's were I got mines! :)

  2. I just bought this book! Next time I visit my parents in Knoxville I'm so making a trip to Nashville!

  3. I have had Magic Bars bookmarked in the Magnolia cookbook for ages. Think this is a sign, it's time to actually make them!

  4. These look amazing!! I've never heard of magic bars but I like the name. Baking is definitely so much more fun with two :)

  5. they were so tasty! i was going to make the rootbeer cake tonight but didn't have enough plain flour :( love the festive bokeh

  6. Wow i've never heard of magic bars! I wanna try these though!!! :) You're so lucky to have someone to bake with! I'm always baking at home by myself late at night hehe

  7. These sound delicious - must give this recipe a try!Thanks.

  8. Ooh, you are a hoot!! I loved your comment on my site today...thanks for leaving it! I am your newest follower! :)



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