Seven Layer Bars… Magic Bars… Hello Dolly Bars… Chewy Delights… Washington Bars…
No matter what you call them, there’s one thing most people agree on: These crunchy, sweet and gooey layered bars are hard to resist!
With a history dating back to the 1960’s, seven-layer holiday dessert bars were traditionally made with a buttery graham-cracker crust. This is topped with a heaping helping of sweetened condensed milk, chocolate and butterscotch chips, a layer of coconut and sprinkled with chopped nuts. Riffs on the classic Magic Bars can include layers of raspberry jam, pudding, mini-marshmallows, peanut butter, pretzels, candies, raisins, and even rhubarb and pumpkin!
And while all of that certainly sounds delicious… if you’re watching your waistline or concerned about your health, the iconic Magic Bars just aren’t on the menu. In fact, a single small square can have up to 40 grams of sugar!
That is why we set out to recreate this classic bar using Paleo-friendly ingredients, while keeping a close eye on the carbohydrates and sugar.
Paleo Magic Bars: Seven Delicious Layers (Without Gluten, Dairy, Grains or Soy!)
You’ll find the step-by-step recipe below. But for now, here’s how we did it, layer by delicious layer:
Layer 1 – The Cookie Base: We use our Miracle Mix All-Purpose Paleo Baking Blend to create the “graham-cracker” base. This effectively eliminates gluten found in conventional graham crackers, along with the excess carbs and sugars.
And by the way, we encourage you to claim your free copy of our Miracle Mix BakeBook, including 40+ sweet and savory recipes – from Paleo Pound Cake… to Southern-Style Biscuits… Chocolate Chip Cookies… Paleo Banana Bread… Keto-Friendly Bagels… 2-Minute English Muffins and more! Grab your courtesy copy here and learn how this all-purpose Paleo baking blend earned its name!
Layer 2 – The Chocolate Ganache: Using our soy-free, dairy-free Dark Chocolate Chips and a little coconut milk, we created an antioxidant-rich chocolate layer with the perfect amount of sweetness.
Layer 3 – The Caramel Sauce: With a combination of zero-glycemic, zero-calorie Erythritol and low-glycemic Coconut Sugar, we created a golden, gooey caramel sauce. And the “magic” of this caramel is that it has a third of the sugar found in conventional caramel (Note: The blend we use in the recipe below is 3 Tbsp. Erythritol + 1 Tbsp. Coconut Sugar). If you want to slash the carbs even further, feel free to use all erythritol for this step. You can also use all coconut sugar, if you prefer (though this version would not be low in sugar). And be sure to use butter or palm shortening for this component – coconut oil doesn’t work as well.
Layer 4 – The Sweetened Condensed Milk: In lieu of the super-sweetened, dairy-based condensed milk, we used a simple combination of coconut butter and coconut milk. For more sweetness (without adding extra sugar or calories), feel free to add 10 drops of stevia or whisk in 2 Tbsp. erythritol.
Layers 5, 6 & 7 – Nuts, Coconut & Chips: Raw pecans, shredded unsweetened coconut and Dark Chocolate Chips create the crowning touch for our Paleo Seven-Layer Bars.
The result? A mouthwatering gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free and soy-free Seven Layer Bar that is richly sweet… and yet has just eight grams of sugar and 10 grams of net carbs per decadent serving.
So, without further ado, here’s the recipe…
- ⅔ cup Miracle Mix
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp. Erythritol or Coconut Sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 oz. Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 Tbsp. coconut milk
- 3 Tbsp. grass-fed butter or palm shortening
- 4 Tbsp. Erythritol or Coconut Palm Sugar (or a blend)
- ½ Tbsp. coconut milk
- 1 tsp. xanthan gum (optional, for “stretch”)
- 3 Tbsp. coconut butter
- 6 Tbsp. coconut milk (full-fat)
- 15 drops liquid stevia
- 2 Tbsp. Erythritol or Coconut Sugar (optional)
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line an 8"x 8" pan with unbleached parchment paper.
- To make the crust, add crust ingredients to a medium bowl and mix to form a dough.
- Press dough into prepared 8 x 8 pan and bake 10 minutes. Set aside to cool (but don’t turn off the oven).
- While the crust bakes, make the caramel.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter or shortening over low heat.
- Add the Erythritol and/or Coconut Palm Sugar and whisk to combine.
- Add coconut milk (and xanthan gum, if using).
- Continue to whisk over heat for 2 minutes, until caramel bubbles and turns golden. Remove from heat.
- To make the ganache, melt the chocolate chips with the coconut milk over a double boiler (or a saucepan with metal bowl on top).
- Once melted, spread the ganache over the pre-baked crust.
- Drizzle the caramel over the chocolate layer.
- Spread the chopped pecans over the caramel.
- To make the coconut cream layer, whisk the coconut butter and coconut milk until smooth
- Add the sweetener (if using).
- Pour coconut cream over the pecans.
- Sprinkle shredded coconut over the coconut cream
- Top with the chocolate chips.
- Transfer to the oven and bake 20 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack then transfer to the refrigerator or freezer to set before slicing.
Paleo Magic Bars Nutrition Information
259 calories, 23 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 5 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 16 mg cholesterol, 22 g carbohydrate, 10 grams NET carbs, 7 g sugar alcohols, 8 g sugar, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein
*Nutrition calculated using erythritol and butter
Were Magic Bars a baking tradition in your household? If so, what toppings did you include in the seven magical layers?