I’ve been adapting my Chocolate Chip Cookies 2.0 recipe into all sorts of fun flavors whenever I have friends stopping by, or just need a cookie fix. I have a great love for Seven Layer bars, and decided to morph the two recipes together, sort of. There is no sweetened condensed milk or graham crackers like Seven Layer Bars traditionally include, but still seven layers of goodness: chocolate, butterscotch, potato chips, corn flakes, dulcey pearls, cacao nibs, and marshmallows.
These cookies are simple to make and hit all the high notes. Gooey, crunchy, buttery, and delicious all at once. They’re versatile, too. I made this version with all of my favorite add-ins; I love the salty crunch of potato chips, the slight bitterness of the cacao nibs, and the nostalgia of butterscotch. But feel free to make them your own favorite version: swap out the butterscotch for white chocolate, or shredded coconut for the potato chips. M&Ms will work here, and toasted nuts, too.
Ingredient Notes for Seven Layer Bar Cookies:
- All-purpose flour: Make sure your all-purpose flour is not too high or low in protein; I like to use Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose for cookie baking. At 10.5 percent protein it is a good, moderate choice to keep baked goods tender.
- Unsalted butter: I use unsalted butter in my recipes so I can control the salt content. This recipe uses both salt in the dough and sprinkled on top before baking, so unsalted works well here in order to keep the cookies from getting too salty.
- Mix-in’s: I used corn flakes and potato chips for crunch. Pretzels could be swapped in, but I find they get soft much faster, which can be disappointing. The Dulcey crunchy pearls are delicious and add more crunch, but if you can’t track them down, they can be replaced with toasted nuts or omitted. If you omit some layers, note that the cookies will spread a little more as they bake. If the marshmallows are on the edges of the cookie when scooped, they can melt a little wonky. I like to try to tuck them into the dough for better baking.
- Pure vanilla extract: I prefer the flavor of pure vanilla extract over artificial, and recommend it here since this recipe includes a tablespoon of vanilla. However, if you love a brand of artificial and use it regularly, it will work fine.
To Freeze Cookie Dough:
Cookie dough can also be formed into balls and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Freeze them on a sheet pan without them touching, then move into a freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake, let the cookies sit out at room temperature until the oven preheats. The cookies will need an extra minute if baked frozen.
More Cookie Recipes:
Seven Layer Cookies
- 2 cups [284 g] all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 9 tablespoons [126 g] unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup [150 g] granulated sugar
- ¾ cup [150 g] brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup [35 g] kettle potato chips
- 1 cup [35 g] corn flakes cereal
- 1 cup [50 g] mini marshmallows
- ½ cup [71 g] butterscotch chips
- ½ cup [71 g] mini chocolate chips
- 2 oz [56 g] Dulcey crunchy pearls
- 2 tablespoons cacao nibs chopped
- Flaky salt if desired
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400F [200C]. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and brown sugars and salt and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add all potato chips, corn flakes, mini marshmallows, butterscotch chips, mini chocolate chips, white chocolate pearls, and cacao nibs and mix into the batter on low speed. Use a rubber spatula to give the dough a final mix and make sure it is completely combined.
- Form the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each [50 g], and place 8 cookies on each sheet pan. Sprinkle each cookie with a little flaky salt, if desired.
- Bake one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. Bake the cookies until the tops are golden brown and the cookies are slightly puffed and starting to crinkle, 10 to 11 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and use the back of a spatula to gently press the top of each cookie to flatten it. Let the cookies rest on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Cookies are best slightly warm but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Cookies will soften the longer they sit.
- Cookie dough can be formed and refrigerated overnight, then baked the next day; the cookies may need an extra minute if chilled. Cookie dough can also be formed into balls and frozen for up to 2 weeks; let the cookies sit out at room temperature until the oven preheats. The cookies will need an extra minute if baked frozen.
- Most people who have made this cookie haven’t had trouble with the bottoms browning too much, but a few have. If your bottoms are really dark/burnt after the 10 minute bake time, double check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer to make sure that your oven isn’t running too hot. You could also try baking the cookies with two pans stacked to help.
- *The flattening with a spatula is inspired by both the Mokonuts’ Rye-Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies by Dorie Greenspan and the Perfectly Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies by Jessie Sheenan; both these recipes require the cookies to be baked in balls and then flattened slightly to give them a gooey center and a crackly top.
SusanThursday, December 22, 2022 at 8:41 am
ChristieMonday, December 12, 2022 at 8:27 pm
Wow, I just made these and they are A-mazing! Thank you so much for this one and all the other recipes you create and share. I followed this almost exactly but left out the cacao nibs and subbed in some chocolate chips instead. So yummy! This will be a repeat for sure!
SarahSaturday, December 10, 2022 at 12:16 pm
Just made these and left out the pearls and nibs as I didn’t have them on hand. My kids say these are the best cookies I have made, and I make a lot of cookies! High praise 🙂
I noticed your note about them browning too much for some, so I decreased the oven temp to 375 and they turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!
Sarah KiefferSaturday, December 10, 2022 at 1:29 pm
So glad you liked them!
BetsySaturday, October 15, 2022 at 4:30 pm
Just made these cookies and they are delicious. These will definitely become a staple. I made a few substitutions based on what I had at home. I substituted cherries for marshmallows, coconut for corn flakes, and malt powder for cacao nibs. The cookies browned nicely and are crispy on the outside but decadent in the inside.
Donna VaughnFriday, September 23, 2022 at 8:46 pm
I just baked these cookies and my husband and I loved them!
All the different flavors and textures in one cookie really works so well. I can’t wait to bake some for our family and friends!
The Dulcey crunchy pearls are so delicious – I also love the blond Dulcey and wonder how that would work in place of the butterscotch chips? Maybe not enough flavor contrast?
I’ve used White Lily flour for alot of my cookies (and sometimes bread flour) but I really liked the texture using the Gold Medal – thanks for all the tips!
Mike SrFriday, September 9, 2022 at 9:27 am
I love baking all types of cookies and would like to try these out as written but at over $48.00 for a pound of Dulcey crunchy pearls just to use 2 ounces for this recipe is way out of my budget. I’ll sub out something else in it’s place. Hopefully i’ll keep hunting around for someone the sells a lesser quantity that would be more reasonable (affordable). It’s a ingredient i’ve never heard of and by the description it sounds like something i’d like to try using one day but for now they are in the same category as lobster and wagyu beef for me! Thank you for the recipe.
Sarah KiefferFriday, September 9, 2022 at 9:34 am
Hi! I know they are pricey, I’m sorry about that. I received some as gift and now I’m addicted. 🙂 You could sub finely chopped white chocolate, or caramelized white chocolate and toasted pecans.
judeFriday, September 9, 2022 at 9:23 am
what a hit these were, sarah. as soon as i saw the recipe yesterday i wanted to make them. so many fun ingredients. your suggestions for subs were very helpful as there were three things i didn’t have in my pantry. i subbed in coconut flakes for the corn flakes, tortilla chips for the potato chips and toasted walnuts for the dulcey pearls. the cookies were easy to work with and baked beautifully. the feedback coming in is 5 stars. everyone wants the recipe. thank you!
Sarah KiefferFriday, September 9, 2022 at 9:33 am
so glad you liked them!
Dianna KThursday, September 8, 2022 at 10:51 am
We just devoured a batch of your Kitchen Sink Cookies. I was sure they would be weird, but my wise 11-year-old insisted. Delicious! These look similar and will be the next we try!
CamiThursday, September 8, 2022 at 10:22 am
I can’t wait to make these but the dulcey pearls are “whack” expensive. The recipe says I can use toasted nuts. What do the dulcey pearls taste like? Are they nutty or sweet?
Sarah KiefferFriday, September 9, 2022 at 9:34 am
Hi! They are caramelized white chocolate. I know they are pricey, I’m sorry about that. I received some as gift and now I’m addicted. 🙂 You could sub finely chopped white chocolate, or caramelized white chocolate and toasted pecans.