Not Yo’ Mama’s Seven-Layer Bars {seven layer bars with a cookie crust topped with bittersweet chocolate and sea salt}


Every year around Christmas time I go to town making my old favorites and trying out new Christmas cookie recipes. This year I was hopping around from temporary housing to hotel after hotel before moving into my condo, which made it difficult to bake or cook just about anything. And although I did use my new oven to make Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese on Christmas (and my mom used it to make Prime Rib and Baked French Onion Soup), I’ve been dying to try out something sweet.

This recipe was inspired by the bars my mom made for Christmas this year. She took our traditional Seven-Layer Bar and swapped out the graham cracker crust for a shortbread-type crust instead. I liked the idea of the crust swapping as I’ve never been a big fan of graham cracker anything. So I got to thinking… How would these bars taste on a crust made of chocolate chip cookie topped with chocolate and sea salt. The answer? Divine.


  • chocolate chip cookie dough, one recipe (just use the recipe on the back of your chocolate chip cookie package–I used mini chocolate chips; just one cup of them)
  • one 15 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 c. sweetened shredded or flaked coconut
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. peanut butter chips
  • 1 c. butterscotch chips
  • chocolate ganache (mix equal parts chocolate with warmed heavy cream, 8 ounces each, and let sit for 5 minutes; stir and let stand for 15 minutes)
  • sea salt, for garnish


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make chocolate chip cookie dough according to package directions. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper (just enough to peak over the bottom of the pan and creep up the sides). Spread the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan. You’ll likely need to use the back of a spoon and/or the palm of your hand for this step.
  3. Top with coconut and chips and then drizzle the condensed milk on top. (Note: use more chips if you think the recipe needs more; I didn’t measure.) Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Top with chocolate ganache, spreading the ganache across the pan to completely cover the bars. Sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Here’s to a new year full of baked goodness in a brand new kitchen and a brand new (but old) town. What’s in store for you in your new year? Happy New Year, everyone!

Recipe rating: 

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