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Black Forest Bars

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1 (14.3 ounce) package Oreo cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup chopped pecans
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)

Black Forest Bars

You've heard of Magic Cookie Bars? This recipe amps up the flavor with dried cherries and Oreo cookies.

  • Serves 24
  • Easy

About This Recipe

You know about Magic Cookie Bars, of course. That bar cookie recipe consists of graham crackers topped with coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, and then sweetened condensed milk. The whole thing is baked until the milk caramelizes and turns everything into a wonderful bar cookie. That’s a great recipe, of course, but I turned up the volume and created Black Forest Bars.

In baking, “Black Forest” means a combination of cherries and chocolate. There is Black Forest Cake and Black Forest Cookies and even Black Forest Truffles! But these bars start with an Oreo cookie crust. The crust is topped with dried cherries, pecans, and two kinds of chocolate. Then the whole thing gets the obligatory topping of sweetened condensed milk.

These bars are rich and dark and delicious. They are very simple to make, but look like a very complicated treat from a bakery. They look fabulous on a cookie tray.

A few tips: When you crush the Oreo cookies, it’s best to use a heavy duty resealable freezer bag. Those cookies take some strength to crush, even with a rolling pin, and a plain old plastic bag will rip and tear, which will cause lots of anxiety. And take some time to make sure the cookies are crushed fairly finely. The crumbs can’t be in big chunks, or the bars will never hold together when you cut them.

You can cut these bars in squares or rectangles or diamonds. They look beautiful on a cookie tray and are the perfect dessert after a Bavarian or German meal. Enjoy every bite of these rich bar cookies.

Why this recipe for Black Forest Bars works:

  • The sweetened condensed milk caramelizes in the oven’s heat, forming a structure when combined with the cookie crumbs that holds the bars together.
  • Do not try using low fat sweetened condensed milk or low sugar products, since they may not work.
  • And don’t use evaporated milk! Sweetened condensed milk is a specific product that is made of milk cooked with sugar for a long time. It is sweet and rich and thick.
  • You can use any number of ingredients for toppings: try crushed or chopped candy, any type of nuts, or dried fruit.

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9" x 13" pan with nonstick baking spray containing flour and set aside.


Put the cookies in a heavy duty resealable plastic bag and seal the bag. Crush the cookies using a rolling pin or the smooth side of a meat mallet. Occasionally pick up the bag and shake it so the cookies are distributed evenly, then keep crushing. The cookies should be crushed fairly finely.


Put the cookie crumbs into a large bowl and stir in the melted butter until the crumbs are coated. Put the coated crumbs into the prepared pan and press down lightly using the back of a spoon.


Evenly scatter the cherries, pecans, semisweet chocolate chips, and milk chocolate chips over the cookie crust. Then slowly drizzle the entire pan with the sweetened condensed milk. Make sure that the milk is coating all of the topping ingredients.


Bake the bars for 23 to 28 minutes or until the edges bubble and start to turn brown. You want the milk to caramelize so it holds all of the ingredients together.


Let the bar cookies cool on a wire rack for at least 3 hours before cutting into squares. Store, covered, at room temperature up to 4 days.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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