You’re lookin’ swell, Dollys.
These have caused a bit of confusion in that they also travel under the name “magic bars.” It’d be tempting to believe that magic bars was the original name and that the name of the 1964 musical hit “Hello, Dolly!” was adopted at some point thereafter, but as far as I can figure, the recipe shows up one year after the musical in under the name “Hello Dolly cookies” and doesn’t show up under the name magic bars until a 1968 advertisement for Eagle brand condensed milk.
Here’s a version from the February 28, 1973 edition of the Jefferson City, Missouri Daily Capital News:
Mrs. Terry Bradshaw
301 W. Ashley St.
1 stick butter
Melt butter in 8 inch cake pan. Sprinkle crumbs over it and stir to make a bottom crust. Sprinkle coconut over crust. Then add chocolate chips and pecans in separate lawyers. Drizzle milk over all and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool and cut into pieces.
Or if you prefer a recipe that doesn’t abuse apostrophes to imply possession where it isn’t intended (probably…) here’s a version from the March 20, 1968 edition of the Portsmouth (New Hampshire) Herald:
So far, the earliest mention I’ve found is under the name “Hello Dolly” cookies, in the July 6, 1965 edition of The Hutchinson (Kansas) News:
“Hello Dolly” Cookies
Mix melted margarine and graham cracker crumbs and shape into a 9×9 inch pan. Put in layers on top the chocolate, walnuts, coconut and finally the condensed milk. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cut only when cold.
Mrs. Don P. Miller
1307 North Forrest, Hutchinson
Send your best recipes to Favorite Recipe. The Hutchinson News, Hutchinson, Kan. The recipes are judged by Jane Savage, home service director of the Gas Service Company. Each one chosen for publication wins a $1 award.
From a box sold in River Forest, Illinois.
1/4 lb. butter
1 to 1-1/4 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut
1 cup pecans chopped
1 cup chocolate chips
1 can Eagle Brand Condensed milk
Melt butter in 11″ by 7″ or 13″ by 9″ baking pan.
Sprinkle crumbs over surface; follow with layers of coconut, nuts, chips. Finish by pouring milk over entire top. Bake 25-30 minutes in 350 deg. oven.