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These Lemon Raspberry Magic Cookie Bars start with a buttery shortbread crust and are layered with lemon zest, macadamia nuts, white chocolate, shredded coconut and raspberry jam. A modern twist on a classic seven-layer bar.
In high school seven layer bars were one of my favorite desserts to make. I made them every Christmas for our cookie stash as they were relatively easy to throw together and held up nicely. I also love taking that first bite into the sweet and salty bars. Those bars had a graham cracker crumbs crust layered with sweetened condensed milk, nuts, coconut and chocolate chips.
For these Lemon Raspberry Magic Bars, I took the classic seven-layer bars and gave them a more modern twist.
What Makes These Magic Bars So Good?
I originally made these bars back in 2013, but I felt these needed a little bit of updating, and quite honestly, I forgot just how good these are.
It starts with a buttery shortbread cookie crust and sweetened condensed milk, which is the glue that holds these bars together.
I like to add a little lemon zest over this, because the more lemon the better.
Next, these bars are loaded with macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips and shredded coconut, which gets all nice and toasty once these bars go into the oven.
A layer of raspberry jam is added after these bars are baked. I love the way the tart raspberry jam contrasts the sweet and salty layers below.
The final layer is a white chocolate ganache drizzle and more lemon zest over the top.
A White Chocolate Ganache Tops it All Off
The white chocolate ganache can be a little finicky. You might notice my first layer was too thin, so I came back over top with a thicker layer.
To make the ganache, heat some heavy cream in the microwave for about 30 seconds. It will bubble quickly, so keep an eye on it.
Then add your chocolate chips and allow them to melt a little bit in the cream before stirring until smooth. If the chocolate is still too thick, add some additional heavy cream 1 teaspoon at a time.
Or, if you feel the chocolate is too thin, simply add additional chocolate chips. You may need to throw it back in the microwave for another 15 or so seconds to make sure the last of the chocolate gets melted.
I prefer to keep these bars refrigerated, especially since the raspberry jam doesn’t get very firm. I also don’t recommend actually stacking these bars because they will get messy.
After one bite of these bars, I know you’ll be hooked!
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Lemon Raspberry Magic Bars
- Prep Time: 90 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
- Yield: 12-15 bars
These Lemon Raspberry Magic Bars start with a buttery shortbread crust and are layered with lemon zest, macadamia nuts, white chocolate, shredded coconut and raspberry jam. A modern twist on a classic seven-layer bar.
- 1 Box (10oz) shortbread cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 large lemon, zested
- ¾ cup macadamia nuts, chopped
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- For the topping
- 1 jar (13 oz or 1 cup) raspberry jam
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup white chocolate chips
- 1 large lemon, zested
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9”by13” pan with parchment paper
- Grind the package of shortbread cookies into a fine crumb using a food processor or blender.
- In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Pour the melted butter over the cookie crumbs and stir until the crumbs are well coated. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over cookie crumbs; use the back of a spatula to spread if necessary. Then zest the lemon over top.
- Next, pour the chopped macadamia nuts, shredded coconut and white chocolate chips over top of the sweetened condensed milk to cover evenly.
- Bake the bars at 350° for 22-25 minutes. Remove the bars from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Then place the bars in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the bars to harden. Remove when ready to serve.
- One cooled, gently spread the raspberry jam on top of your bars.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the heavy whipping cream for 20-30 seconds until bubbling.
- Remove the hot cream from the microwave and pour in the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. The ganache should be thick enough to pipe but thin enough to slowly run off the spoon. Use a spoon or piping bag to drizzle ganache on top of the bars and top with additional lemon zest. Slice before the ganache sets. I suggest keeping the bars refrigerated so the crust stays firm.
- Category: Bars
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: magic cookie bars, raspberry dessert, easy dessert bars
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Wondered if you would recommend something that could be a substitute for the coconut?
I wish I liked coconut but just cannot do it!! ;0)
Hi Deneen, I don’t specifically but really it can be anything, like another dried fruit or nuts, or just leave it off
We have a nut allergy, is there a replacement you would recommend for the macadamia nuts? Thank you
If there isn’t another nut to swap out with you could just omit them or add another type of chocolate chip if you’d like. T