The Basics: How to Make Seven-Layer Bars

Shockingly easy

From the store to the kitchen to the table: We outline the steps that get you from something raw to something cooked using simple ingredients, free of measurements and complicated techniques. A method that you can have in your back pocket and whip out whenever you like. We call it recipe-free cooking.


  • a 13-by-9-inch baking dish
  • a knife
  • a stick of unsalted butter
  • eight crushed graham crackers
  • two generous handfuls of sweetened shredded coconut
  • three handfuls (a half bag) of chocolate chips
  • two generous handfuls of coarsely chopped nuts (any kind)
  • one can of sweetened condensed milk


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (it will take at least 20 minutes to warm up), and put the stick of butter in the baking dish.

  2. Transfer the dish to the oven to melt the butter; it’ll take about 10 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle the graham crackers evenly over the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the coconut over the graham crackers. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the coconut. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate chips.

  4. Evenly drizzle the condensed milk over everything.

  5. Bake 20 to 30 minutes in the oven or until golden brown around the edges.

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