“Oh-So-Sweet” Decadent Cookie Bars

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Yesterday there was the annual Christmas party in my husband’s office. I wanted to bake something special and not very time consuming also. Long time back I had preserved a recipe for cookie bars which came with a condensed milk can. I thought it should be perfect because it was simply layering of ingredients, baking and then cutting them into bars. But the only drawback, I gained 2 pounds simply reading the recipe! I’m not kidding here. The recipe had way too much sugar.

So I have made few changes to the original recipe, like using fat free condensed milk, reducing the amount of chocolate chips by using miniature chips, reducing the quantity of coconut flakes and adding some dried cranberries. Even then the cookie bars were very sweet. It was more like a caramel candy with nuts and dry fruits. They are so tasty and very addictive too. So bake these when you are having a lot of company only.

I got around 45 pieces and few scraps. I just retained the scraps and sent everything to the party. My husband told me that everybody in his office liked it very much.

Eggless Cookie Bars Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
15 Mins25 Mins + Cooling + 10 Min Freezing45 Small Pieces
“Oh-So-Sweet” Decadent Cookie Bars A very simple recipe to bake eggless cookie bars using graham cracker crumbs and condensed milk.
  • 1 And 1/2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Melted Butter/Margarine
  • 1 Can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk (I Used Fat Free)
  • 1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (I Used Mini)
  • 1/2 Cup Flaked Coconut
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped WalNuts
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (325F for glass baking dish) for 15 minutes.
  2. If not using ready to use graham cracker crumbs, place the crackers in a ziploc bag, seal it and use a rolling pin to powder it. Alternatively pulse it a few times in a food processor.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces, place it in a microwave safe bowl and melt it. First time it for 15 seconds, stir it once and keep increasing the time as needed. Mine took 1 minute to melt completely. Let it cool enough to handle with your hands.
  4. In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well.
  5. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13×9 inch baking pan.
  6. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumb mixture.
  7. First add 1/4 cup of the semi sweet chocolate chips evenly over the condensed milk layer. Next add the coconut similarly.
  8. Evenly spread the nuts over the coconut layer. Then top it off with the dried cranberries and the remaining 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips.
  9. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. I kept it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store the cookie bars covered.
My Notes:
  1. Always remember that miniature chocolate chips can be substituted for the regular ones and only half as much as the regular is required if using the mini chips. For instance, the original recipe mentions to use 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips, which is way too much sugar and calories. I substituted it with mere 1/2 cup of miniature chocolate chips.
  2. Dried cranberries was also not mentioned in the recipe. I added it to balance the sweetness of the bars.
  3. I think lining the pan with aluminum foil and then layering it with the crumbs and other toppings will make the clean up and cutting easier, because you just lift the entire bar with foil and cut it outside. I lined it with wax paper, the clean up was easy and I was able to lift it up, but the paper got stuck to the bars a little bit.
  4. During the Christmas season (or Diwali) if you plan to bake goodies and give it to friends and relatives preserve the plastic boxes which you get while buying strawberries, baby spinach, blueberries etc. You can use these boxes to gift your homemade cookies etc. Below I have used a box which came with baby spinach. On the cover there was a big sticker of the product. I was wondering what to do and I got this idea. Anyhow I had to write the ingredients used in the bars because of the food allergies prevalent here, so that people in the office can decide whether they can have it or not. So I cut the plain side of a greeting card which I had received, wrote the ingredients in that card and taped it on top of that sticker.
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Box of cookie bars

Cookie Bars

These cookie bars go to:
1. Sharmi’s Cookie Baking Event.
2. Happy Cook’s Homemade Christmas Gifts.
3. JZ’s Santa’s Holiday Challenge.
4. Vandana’s Baking for Beginners.
5. Susan’s Eat Christmas Cookies. Check here for cookies from around the world.

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  1. Lakshmi


    I loved the recipe, it is simple enough and I have the ingredients on hand 🙂 Loved your packaging idea also! You rock madam 🙂


    • Madhuram

      You’re welcome Lakshmi.

  2. rabiya

    Hi. I tried these with skor chips only on top (as my husband ate tht version and loved it) but unfortunately mine were no where close to bars. It was more like halwa. Anyidea whrere I went wrong??? It was tasty but not as I planned them tobe. I used a pie pan.

    • Madhuram

      I’m guessing it was not baked enough.

  3. Talia

    Is it possible to use oats instead of graham cracker crumbs? or what else would you use as a substitute? I live in a small town where even wholewheat flour is difficult to find… thanks.

    • Madhuram

      Oats would’nt work Talia. How but using crushed cookies (any flavor should be fine)?

  4. LCK

    I want to make these for my 19 month old son, who has an egg allergy, so that he can have a special treat during the holidays. I am wondering if there is something I can subsititue for the walnuts (he can’t have nuts at the moment either)? Would this recipe work as well if I omitted the walnuts altogether and didn’t use anything else in their place and perhaps added more cranberries or chocloate chips instead?

    • Madhuram

      Hi LCK, this recipe has lot of room for changes. Keeping the measurements same you could literally use anything you want. Have fun!

  5. Kara

    Three years after you wrote this, I don’t know if you’ll ever see this comment (unless you get notified when any comment comes in on any post), but I just have to say, for anyone making this recipe. . .no on except the author would be silly enough to think that a 1/2 cup of MINI chocolate chips is actually less sugar than a 1/2 cup of REGULAR chocolate chips, right??? Please tell me we are not all this dumb. Because a half cup of chocolate is a half cup of chocolate. Being smaller doesn’t make them less sugar, it just means there are more of them in the 1/2 cup than there would have been of the regular size. Seriously. The mind reels.

    • Madhuram

      Hi Kara, thanks for visiting. If I remember right the original recipe used 1 cup of regular size chocolate chips or maybe even more, which I have substituted with 1/2 cup of mini. So I guess this version has less sugar than the original. If you have gone through some other recipes here you would know that I have mentioned that I usually cut back half the measurement of the regular chocolate chips with mini.

      • Madhuram

        I traced down the original recipe and found that the original recipe used 2 cups of regular sized semisweet chocolate chips, which I have substituted with 1/2 cup mini chips. So I think you are smart enough to agree that it’s definitely less sugar than the original recipe. Check the link:

  6. Rajee

    Looks so rich and inviting.

  7. Sucharitha

    Hello Madhuram,
    I have visited your site secretly many times but never posted a comment. This recipe as well as the others are such an inspiration to me. Your tips and notes give so much of ideas and I have no words to tell more. Thank you very much for the beautiful and yummy recipes.

    Thank you very much Sucharitha.

  8. PG

    these look delicious! wonderful pictures!

  9. Usha

    These look so perfect and yum, would love to have one of them right now 🙂

    Sure Usha!

  10. Sunshinemom

    Perfect as always, Madhuram! They are calling out to me to dig in!

  11. Siri

    The recipe sounds so simple 😀 and they look so yummy
    Madhu. Good one dear. 🙂

    Happy Holidays!


  12. Bharti

    Nice and festive, I like the addition of the cranberries….my bhabhi often makes these kind and I just like to eat them! Perfect for office parties and potlucks.

  13. Priya

    Sure ur betterhalf will be very proud of u Madhu…looks lovely n fabulous bars…

  14. Uma

    wow, lovely cookie bars. looks so colorful with those cranberries and ccs. Mouth-watering too! No wonder everyone at your hubby’s office liked those. 🙂

  15. rekha

    hi I tried your piza recipe it came out so well I made little changes but we loved it thanks for the recipe will post it soon wow these cookie bars are so tempting and color full to

    Thanks for trying the pizza and giving me the feedback. I’m glad you liked it Rekha.

  16. Sukanya Ramkumr

    Cookie bars look so perfect. Loved the specks of cranberries on those bars. Nice recipe. Bookmarked it. YUM!

  17. Cham

    What an elegant bar u ve sent. He should be proud of his wife creation 😛 Great healthy substitute 😉

    Thanks Cham.

  18. DK

    Some of these recipes in the product labels can be overly sweet! Tell me about it!

    Your substitutions make it much better – health, taste and lookwise from the look of it. Good One Madhu!

  19. mahimaa

    oh my! looks delicious and rich. i would have these all day 🙂

    It’s very addictive indeed Mahima.

  20. Sweatha

    Perfect coookie bars.I too have collected recipes from condensed milk can,but never ever used them.These look perfect for Christmas.Your gift-box pic is also nice.

    Thanks Sweatha, I have collected so many plastic boxes now.