You know when you buy a specific ingredient for a recipe that you wouldn’t normally have on hand, but then you don’t use it all for that recipe and you’re like, “Great, what the heck am I going to do with this now?” That’s been happening to me, except not just as a one-time occurrence, but in a cyclical manner.
I bought a box of Nilla Wafers about a month ago to use for my Nilla Wafer Truffles, and was left with extra. Then I used those Nilla Wafers for my Strawberry Sweetheart Bars, but there weren’t quite enough, so I had to buy more and was left with ANOTHER half-empty box. This happened once again when I made the Strawberry Sweetheart Bars a second time. So I basically had my thousandth box of Nilla Wafers hanging out in the pantry that I had no clue what to do with.
Don’t get me wrong; Nilla Wafers are delicious, and I would’ve loved to just inhale the rest of that vanilla-scented yellow box all by myself. However, I also enjoy not resembling a cow, so I decided against that. Instead, I needed another recipe to bake them into and get them the heck out of my pantry.
Nilla Wafers are commonly made into crusts for pies, so I was initially leaning in that direction, until I thought about my recipe for my Grandma’s Hello Dollies. Those beloved bars have a graham cracker crust; what if I did a variation with a Nilla Wafer crust instead?
Following that lead, I crafted these White-Out Hello Dollies. Like the original recipe, they’re composed of 5 layers that bake together like magic to form ooey gooey and chewy bars of bliss. Instead of the graham cracker crust, we’ve got a buttery Nilla Wafer crust. Instead of milk chocolate chips, we use white chocolate. And instead of walnuts, we use almonds. The coconut, since it’s white, stays the same.
Everything’s bound together by caramelized sweetened condensed milk to create an albino treat reminiscent of its relative, the traditional Hello Dolly, but delving into new, sweeter territory. It’s rich and buttery with that white chocolate and the Nilla Wafers, but balanced out by the salty nuts. Basically, it’s gooey heaven in a bar.
To make these thick white-out beauties, all you have to do is pile the ingredients in a pan and bake. Then, you’re only a few minutes of magic away from the dessert of your dreams. If you like regular Hello Dollies, then you’ll love these. Stop wasting time; get your butt in the kitchen asap!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Get my original Hello Dolly recipe here.
- Longing for more Hello Dolly heaven? Try my Hello Dolly Ice Cream!
- These bars freeze GREAT, probably better than any cookie/bar I’ve frozen before. They taste great right of the freezer too if you’re too impatient to let ‘em thaw. Just pack them in an airtight container, and they’ll last in the freezer for months.
- Also try macadamia nuts instead of the almonds.
White-Out Hello Dollies
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
- 2 cups Nilla Wafer crumbs (about ½ a box’s worth of Nilla Wafers, crushed in a food processor)
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- 2 cups chopped almonds
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- 2 15-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour melted butter into a 9×13 baking pan. Sprinkle Nilla Wafer crumbs over top in an even layer.
- Sprinkle coconut over top in an even layer, followed by the almonds, and finishing with the white chocolate chips. You may add more or less chips depending on how chocolatey you like things. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over top in an even layer and gently spread out.
- Bake for 15 minutes then turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees F and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown all over and bubbling. It should be nice and set in the middle.
- Let cool for at least an hour before cutting into squares. They’ll cut cleaner if you chill them in the fridge or freezer for a while first.