Tradition is very important to me and especially so at Christmas. Case in point – Hello Dollies. As long as I can remember, my mom has always made them at Christmas. Now I make Hello Dollies at Christmas. The funny thing is that I hated them when I was kid…now it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without them.
I’m not exactly sure where she got the recipe, but I remember exactly the little scrap of steno pad paper she had it written on and how she kept it tucked in her old school Betty Crocker cookbook. A lot of people make something similar and call them “Dream Bars” or “Magic Bars”, but those are most definitely not Hello Dollies. Good news is that they are SUPER easy.
Here is all you need-
1 stick of butter
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1 cup of sweetened coconut
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
(Hmmm….notice how many times the word “sweet” appear in the recipe. This is most definitely an indication of how sweetly rich and decadent these bars are.)
OK, this is how it goes together.
In a 350 degree oven, melt one stick of butter in a 9×13 dish. (I don’t know why the butter has to be melted in the dish – I just follow the rules here.) Oh, and this ceramic type of dish works better than a glass or metal pan. They seem to bake more evenly and not get so crispy around the edges. But if you don’t have a ceramic dish, I’d go with glass over metal.
Next, evenly sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter.
Then layer the next four ingredients in this order and only this order – coconut, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, nuts. Otherwise they will be ruined and completely inedible!
Just teasing. It doesn’t really matter. This is just the way it was told to me and I’m not going to be the one to change it.
Anyway, once you get the yummy stuff layered on, pour the can of condensed milk over the whole thing.
Bake the bars at 350 for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
Look at that. Yum. You’ll want to cut into these right away, but don’t even think about it. Let them cool all the way before cutting them into squares. Trust me…it’s so much easier. And they are truly very rich and sweet so cut them small.
I smile to myself when my daughter goes on about how much she hates Hello Dollies. I can hardly wait for the call I get from her 5 or 10 years from now telling me that she’s made her first batch and all her friends are begging for the recipe. Until then, I’ll keep making them and cherishing this tradition.