This is a family recipe I had to share with all of you! I’m sure most of you have had a version of this recipe before, but now it’s veganized and something I had to have on here!
Aunt Sharon was my Great-Aunt. She was always known for having candy and ice cream bars. So anytime we’d go and visit her in Brighton, Michigan, I was a happy camper! Not to mention as she got older and shockingly developed diabetes, she still had just as much candy, cookies, ice cream, and snacks as before – she just got use to hiding about 1/2 of it. She was a dreamer, always cheerful, always caring, and she always made you feel special.
So with knowing a little about my Great-Aunt Sharon, now you can see why these little cookie bars that are a diabetic’s dream were hers. Although there are a lot of recipes for Hello Dollies, I always associate them with her. She’d make them all the time, and since then when we get together my Mother and Aunt always make them. They are too easy not to! My Aunt Steph always lingers over my Mom to make sure she’s spreading everything evenly and making sure she does “miss a spot”.
Now, a while ago when I was going through the store I had posted on my Instagram that I had found condensed coconut milk! This was the only thing I couldn’t figure out how to veganize in this recipe, and there it was! The first batch I made (which was from memory) didn’t fully turn out right, but tasted delicious! So after that, I asked Mom for Aunt Sharon’s recipe and I veganized it. The results were what I remembered!
Since finding the sweetened condensed coconut milk, I’ve also found evaporated milk, which at that moment I realized I didn’t know the difference. So…
What is the difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk?
Both are condensed milk with about 60% of the water is evaporated out of it. The difference is that sweetened condensed milk has sugar added to it, and evaporated milk doesn’t. So there is your new fact for the day if you didn’t already know!
Since the recipe already has enough sugar in it, it made sense that it used just the evaporated milk and not the sweetened condensed milk. Now that I found they make both products plant based that I can easily obtain, I’ll be using these more and finding recipes and desserts to use them in.
Now for the recipe! Enjoy!
Aunt Sharon's Hello Dollies
- 1/2-3/4 c melted earth balance butter
- 9 graham crackers crumbled, use more if needed to spread across cookie sheet
- 1 c coconut shreds
- 1 c chocolate chips (I used “Enjoy Life” brand)
- 1 c pecans or walnuts, chopped
- 1 can Nature’s Charm sweetened condensed coconut milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Take the crumbled graham crackers and spread them on the cookie sheet. Melt the butter and pour on top and mix together with your hands. Press down into the bottom of the pan. Depending on the size of the pan you might need more graham crackers or butter. Make sure it’s pressed down so that the crust doesn’t crumble once baked.
- Sprinkle the coconut shreds, chocolate chips, and nuts on top.
- Top it off with the sweetened condensed coconut milk. It doesn’t have to be spread throughout everything just drizzle it from side to side until it’s all gone. When it’s cooking it will spread.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes in the oven. Let it cool for about 15-20 minutes and then cut into squares, serve, and eat!