It was Loni’s, my sister’s boyfriend’s mom, first Thanksgiving with us.  I’m not sure if every family operates this way, but for us, every person has a dish.  My mom does the turkey and stuffing, Erica does yams,  Rachel does Brussels sprouts, Pam does potatoes, Tina does her pies, and I sort of expedite, running around on the day and making the dishes that fall through the cracks (gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, that kind of thing). 

There is a strong sense of ownership over which dish is yours.  No take backs, no switches. I don’t know how Erica ended up with yams or Rachel with Brussels sprouts. It’s not like a vacancy opened that everyone filled.  There wasn’t a draft or a vote.  It just sort of happened.

So when Loni brought her seven layer bars, our family had a bit of a freak out. Two types of desserts!  Wha-?? It was like someone bringing another yam dish, or there being two types of mashed potatoes. Rocking the boat, Loni! The bars were a hit, and so delicious. Everything was, actually.  Tina’s pies were amazing, as usual; my gravy turned out exactly as luxurious and flavorful as I wanted it; and our family battle of “left, right, center” was rousing but not too competitive.  It was an amazing night, and Loni’s bars were the perfect addition to our family’s spread. Inspired by her recipe, here’s my version, with the kitchen sink thrown in. Potato chips, pretzels, corn flakes, and all kinds of goodies are layered into the sweet and salty bars.  Enjoy!





1 1/2 cup pretzel crumbs

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup white sugar

9 ounces unsalted butter, softened


1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cups butterscotch chips

1 1/2 cups mini pretzels

1 1/2 cup roughly chopped salted potato chips

1 cup salted caramel sauce (recipe below)

1 1/2 cup crumbled shortbread

1 1/2 cup roughly chopped corn flakes

1 cup melted semi sweet chocolate

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk


Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Line the pan parchment paper, leaving overhang to act as handles for lifting the bars out of the pan. Spray with non-stick spray.

To make crumbs for the crust, just pulse some pretzels in the food processor until fine.  Remove, and pulse the graham crackers. Measure and combine crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, and butter in the food processor until one event texture; press on bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish.

Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake until the outer flakes just begin to brown, about 4 minutes. (Keep a close eye on it – coconut can go from slightly browned to burnt in a matter of seconds.) Set aside.

In order, sprinkle the pecans, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, pretzels, potato chips, salted caramel sauce, shortbread, cornflakes, melted chocolate, and coconut over the graham crumbs. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the entire dish.

Bake until the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.

Remove the bars from the pan using the foil or parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife or bench cutter, cut into 2 by 3-inch bars.


Makes 2 cups

1 cup white sugar

4 ounces unsalted butter

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


For the caramel sauce, heat the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar turns golden.  Stir until all of the sugar is dissolved and just starting to turn a lovely amber color.

Turn heat to low, add the butter, and stir to combine.  Careful, it’ll foam up. Then add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt stirring to combine.  You’ll cook the sauce for about 5-10 minutes, until it comes together. It’ll take quite a bit of stirring!

Pour the caramel into a glass jar, let it come to room temperature, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.  Pour over everything and anything!

  • these look INSANE. I want like 5. Lovely photos!

  • Thank you for posting this amazing recipe this is two more layers then I make I’m going to try it soon!

  • These look so freaking good!! Sooooo many delicious layers!

  • Sarella

    They look wonderful!
    And how good is it that family can come together and bring their special recipe.
    This one I have to try.

  • Chavah

    Hi, I am making these right now and am having some challenges. First of all, the sugar totally seized when I put in the butter–it became hard as a rock. I was confused, b/c I did everything right. I read elsewhere on the web and all of the caramel recipes call for 1/4 cup water to be added with the sugar and then you let that get to an amber color. So, just a note for all those making this—maybe it will help! Also, I am putting the crust in the 9×13 and am realizing there is no way that all of those ingredients are going to fit into a 9×13. The crust almost takes up half of the space in the 9×13 and I still have 13 more cups worth of stuff to add. Any suggestions???

    • TheKitchyKitchen

      Hey Chavah, Candy making is definitely something that can go wrong at a moments notice, even the humidity in the air can effect it. I add the butter all at once and keep whisking until it comes together. If it’s seizing, adding a little water or even lemon juice can help it loosen back up.

      I made the bars in the 9 x 13 x 3 inch pan pictured. The crust makes about 4 cups of dough (3 cups crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup (ish) butter), which should spread out to about a 1/4 inch across the whole thing. For the additional ingredients, everything is getting crushed and melted, so it will get compacted and take up a lot less space (I know that bowl of potato chips probably looks massive, LOL). You can also press down a little bit over each dry layer to compact it more.

      Hope this helps! xoxo

  • Chavah

    Okay…just made these! And yes, you can fit 13 cups of stuff in there, with the crust. It almost overflows….almost. But, it works! Amazing. I think these are delicious! They are not a cheap treat to make by any means, but worth the splurge on special occasions. I didn’t see the need to toast the coconut before I put it together, and I’m glad I didn’t, b/c it ends up getting toasted by the time you take it out. Definitely a keeper!

    • TheKitchyKitchen

      Yay! I was white knuckling it for a minute there 😉

  • Brenda

    Every week my daughter and I bake a batch of goodies for her afterschool club. Last night we baked these bars for the first time. I had to have a taste this morning as I cut them. I could not get over how freaking amazing they were. I kept repeating over and over to my daughter as we sliced and packed them, “this is the best thing I ever made, this is the best thing I ever made.” I cannot wait to hear of her friends’ reaction once they taste these bars of pure deliciousness!

    • TheKitchyKitchen

      Brenda, that’s awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I hope your daughter’s friends like them too. And just so you know, the last time I made a batch of these I’m pretty sure half of them were eaten before they fully cooled ;). xoxo

  • Allyson

    Making this now and is coming along beautifully! Is it ok to pour caramel sauce on it still warm? I let it cool but is not room temp. I’m kinda short on time!

    • TheKitchyKitchen

      Oh yeah, you’re good! You’re baking it anyway, so I wouldn’t worry about it 😉

  • Allyson


  • Sophie

    I just watched your challenge on Tastemade; congratulations! I can’t wait to make these!

  • Simi

    Wow these are amazing! Just saw this on tastemade and just subbed to your YT channel. I am going to attempt to make these, any recipes for the shortbread? or is there pre-made shortbread to use? Thankyou!!!

    • TheKitchyKitchen

      Hi! Any shortbread cookie works 🙂