Gooey, crunchy, and irresistibly easy to make.

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Bringing a dessert to a party requires some forethought. It needs to be easy to transport, easy to put on a platter, and easy to grab. Luckily for you, we have just the recipe. It’s sweet, buttery, and packed with decadent flavor. Oh, and did we mention that its main ingredient is just a can of sweetened condensed milk?

Somewhere between a gooey dessert square and an ultra flavorful cookie is the Hello Dolly Bar. These bars are packed with texture: crunchy pecans and crisp cooked coconut are suspended in soft sticky condensed milk with semisweet chocolate chips. All this goodness sits on top of a layer of crumbly graham cracker crust. In other words, they’re perfect. We’ve seen people pass by 7-layer cakes and homemade fruit pies to grab one of these bars, and if you’ve ever tasted one, you know why.

Our recipe for Hello Dolly Bars takes no more than 15 minutes to put together, and after they’ve finished baking and cooled completely, they’re easy to cut into squares and bring along to any soiree with friends.

If your sweet tooth isn’t very strong, here are a few things you can do to this recipe to make it a little less sweet and (dare we say) more delicious: (1) toast and cool the pecans before using them in the recipe, (2) use unsweetened shredded coconut instead of the sweetened coconut called for in the recipe, and (3) sprinkle the top of the bars with a little flaky salt right after they come out of the oven. These three simple alterations will cut down some of the sweetness and create more of that salty-sweet thing our palates love!

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The next time you’re invited to a gathering with friends or family, make these bars for surefire success. Or skip the party altogether and set them on your kitchen counter. They won’t last long.