Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #278: Open Arms Magic Bars

By Stephanie Mork, Open Arms Photojournalism Intern

Photo credit: VeganBaking/Flickr

These buddies are called “magic bars” for a reason. Made by the Open Arms bakery team to perfection every time, who can refuse a flaky graham cracker crust topped with the dreamy combo of chocolate, coconut and almonds? With the toppings held in place with some creamy sweetened condensed milk, you’ll have a winner on your hands.

These can be made in a variety of ways with limitless topping options, so essentially you can bring the same bar to every party – just put something new on top 🙂 Bake away and enjoy!

Open Arms Magic Bars

(Yields 24 bars)


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • One 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch or 11 x 11 inch pan.
  2. For the crust: Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes, until set.
  3. Stir coconut, chocolate chips and almonds together in a bowl. Pour evenly on top of cooled crust.
  4. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the whole pan to cover the chocolate chip mixture.
  5. Bake the bars for 20-25 minutes, until the edges bubble a bit and the center is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.


  • Additional topping ideas: raisins, chopped dates, dried cranberries, mini marshmallows, rice krispies, peanut butter chips, pecans, walnuts, crumbled graham crackers
  • Interesting combination ideas: white chocolate chips, craisins and pecans; dried apricots, coconut and macadamia nuts; or M&M’s, peanuts and chocolate chips.

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