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There is nothing like a classic holiday dessert to get me in the mood for Christmas! These classic Easy Gluten-free Layered Cookie Bars will do the trick every time!
Layered Cookie bars have been made for forever. I mean, I can ask my grandmother, and she will tell me this kind of dessert has been made since she was a little girl.
In fact, these are so classic over the years of baking for soldiers my husband has worked with; this dessert has been requested many times from soldiers who weren't going home for the holidays. So clearly, this has a place in the heart of many people this time of year. Think about it, do you have that one recipe that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about the holidays?
These classic little festive squares of deliciousness will surprise you with just how easy they are to make. This is a classic recipe that is worth hanging on to.
What is a Layered Cookie Bar?
This super simple recipe is made up of a graham cracker base, topped with all the ooey-gooey goodness of shredded coconut, chocolates, and nuts. The whole thing comes together with the help of sweetened condensed milk. How does it all work? If I'm honest, I'm not totally sure, but the result is totally magical.
Layers of Magic - What's Inside
- Gluten-free Graham Crackers - You can easily use your favorite brand here, or if you want, you can make your own graham crackers. See below for my favorite gluten-free graham cracker recipe.
- Chocolate Chips - Use what you like dark, milk, semi-sweet, butterscotch, or even white chocolate.
- Shredded Coconut - See notes below if you don't like coconut.
- Nut, Candies etc. - optional
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The Best Grain-free Graham Crackers
- ¾ C Butter
- ½ C Brown Sugar
- ¼ C Molasses
- 2 TBS Honey
- 1 ¾ C Cassava Flour (245 g)
- ¼ C Arrowroot Starch (9 g)
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 TBS Vanilla
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- Cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, honey, and vanilla until completely combined and slightly fluffy.
- Measure and add the dry ingredients until the dough comes together. The dough will be thick.
- Transfer the dough to some plastic wrap. Wrap the ball of dough and form a disc shape.
- Place the dough in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to bake the graham crackers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- On a lightly floured (I use arrowroot or cassava), roll the dough out to about ⅛ in thick.
- Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the unbaked dough into desired shapes. For a classic look, pierce the dough with a fork. Sprinkle the tops with a little sugar if desired.
- Bake the graham cracker dough for 12-15 minutes, or the edges, are slightly golden brown.
- Let the crackers cool completely before breaking them apart.
Place the cookies into an airtight container or bag and store at room temperature. They will stay slightly tender-crisp for up to a week. You can also turn them into graham cracker crumbs and store them in the freezer for up to three months.
How to Make Layered Cookie Bars
These might sound like they would be complicated, but I promise they aren't hard at all. A few simple steps and it's ready to be eaten
- Make the graham cracker base.
- Layer the remaining toppings of choice
- Bake, Cool, and Enjoy!
It's truly magic how these come together, and it might seem like something so magical tasting should be so much harder to make, but they aren't, and they taste like you've been transported into heaven when you eat them. Fair warning, though, they are addicting, so don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to eat more than one. Sorry, not sorry!
Tips and Tricks
While similar in the final product of taste and texture, these bars start slightly different when baking. Let them cool completely before trying to cut them into squares.
You really can layer in all your favorites here. Pick a few or add more to completely customize how you want your layered cookie bars to be so they can be exactly what you want and nothing that you don't.
Note: When using fewer ingredients, add more of the ones you want: chocolate chips. If you don't, your bars will end up thinner, and a good layered cookie bar is a little on the thicker side.
More Sweet Treats
Easy Gluten-free Magic Layered Cookie Bars
- 3 C Gluten-free Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 1 C Butter melted
- 2 - 14 OZ Cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 C Chcolate Chips or combination of choice
- 2 ½ C Shredded Coconut
- 1 C Chopped Nuts / Cabdies ect. optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter and mix until it resembles wet sand.
- Spread the graham cracker mixture over the bottom of the pan in an even layer.
- Spread the sweetened condensed milk over the graham cracker layer.
- Sprinkle with the coconut, chocolate chips and any other desired toppings.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until it starts to turn slightly golden around the edges.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool. You can place it in the fridge to let it fully solidify before slicing.