By Kevin Williams
I have seen “Hello Dollies” in Amish cookbooks since at least the mid-80s. Not sure how they became such a staple. Well, yes,I do know how…the recipe has very basic ingredients, yet still makes a decadent sweet. (As a grammarian, I want to write “Hello, Dolly”, but when the “Hello” modifies a plural, I think the recipe title is correct as is: Hello Dollies)
Reader Penny in Ontario, Canada made some of these and shared the photo with us. Her recipe is pretty much identical to the one that appeared in our 1993 Original Amish Cook Cookbook by Elizabeth Coblentz.
This recipe is apparently sometimes known by other names, like Seven Layer Bars. The recipe, according to some online sources, has its distinctive name from, you guessed it, the Broadway musical of the same name. Apparently there is a restaurant scene in the play that inspired this now iconic treat.
This dessert has caught on among the Amish because it is simple, yet festive and fun and with a name like “Hello Dollies”, well, that just makes it all the more fun. I’m picturing a line of black cloak-clad Amish ladies singing “Hello Dolly” as they serve these!
- 1 stick of oleo or margarine
- 1 1 /2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
- 1 1 /2 cups of chocolate chips
- 1½ cups of flaked coconut
- 15 ounces of sweetened, condensed milk
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- Melt butter in 13X9X2 pan. Sprinkle crumbs, coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts on top of the butter. Pour milk over all. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
- Cool and cut into squares.