White Chocolate Hello Dollies--A Classic Dessert With a Modern Twist

by BrookeVanBeek

Squares and slices make a simple holiday dessert or teatime snack. Hello Dollies are quick, versatile and never fail to impress even the pickiest guest.

Visiting friends and family on weekends or holidays often means bringing a dish--next time, be sure to pick "dessert" and you can bring these amazing squares. Always a favourite at Christmas and Easter, Hello Dollies are a classic square with a crumb crust and nuts, dried fruit and milk chocolate chunks sprinkled on top. I've developed a new version using white chocolate and to date, they are still the number one requested treat from all of my friends.

Why Are They Called "Hello Dollies?"

It's a cute name--but where did it come from?

Why are these delicious treats called Hello Dollies? Most likely, it is from a recipe published in a food column around 1965 while the musical Hello, Dolly! was enjoying its reign as the longest running musical in history. Following the practice of naming cakes after British monarchy, food columnist Clementine Paddleford named this recipe, submitted by a reader, after the popular musical.

The original recipe called for a graham cracker base topped with chocolate chips, chopped walnuts and shredded coconut.  My recipe keeps the chocolate, nut, and dried fruit topping with some slight flavour changes.  Both versions are incredibly decadent in this baker's opinion, but others seem to prefer the white chocolate version.

Some Useful Pans for Making Hello Dollies!

Chicago Metallic Non-Stick Slice Solutions Brownie Pan with Lid, 13 by 9 by 1-1/2-Inch

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Wilton Recipe Right Square 9 by 9 Inch Covered Pan

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Ingredients for White Chocolate Hello Dollies

Ingredients for White Chocolate Hello Dollies

Some of these ingredients may have a regular place in your pantry; others, not so much. Grab chocolate and packets of nuts and fruit when they are on sale--everything keeps just fine in the pantry.

Prep time 10 min  -  Total time 35 min
Ingredients for 16 servings
1/2 cup butter, melted  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or digestive cookie finely crumbed)  • 1 cup dried cranberries (sweetened or unsweetened)  • 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts  • 1 cup white chocolate chips  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (about 300 ml)
Recipe  3.0/5 Stars (1 Votes)

Baking Directions

Get out the suacepan and brownie tin--time to make the best dessert ever!

If you can't get your hands on graham cracker crumbs--I know they were hard to come by in the United Kingdom and here in Australia--just use a packet of digestives or similar cookie.  Pop about fifteen cookies into a food processor and process until the cookies are a finely crumbed.  As for the nuts and chocolate, just chop coarsely with a knife.


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a square 8x8 pan with baking paper.
  2. In a saucepan, gently melt the butter over low heat. Be careful not to let it boil.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in graham cracker crumbs until well blended.
  4. Press crumb mixture firmly into pan and chill for at least 20 minutes to help set the base.
  5. Sprinkle cranberries, then macadamias and then the chocolate evenly on top of crumb base.
  6. Pour condensed milk over everything and let it settle evenly throughout.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the milk is golden brown on top.
  8. Let cool before cutting into squares.

It is crucial to layer the toppings is the above order to allow the condensed milk to seep through--otherwise, it may fail to spread throughout the toppings and the square will crumble when cut. Allowing the butter to boil will likely cause the base to crumble instead of being hard and crunchy. These squares freeze very well so you can take a few out when company drops by unexpectedly.

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Updated: 03/08/2013, BrookeVanBeek
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BrookeVanBeek on 02/21/2013

Hope you enjoy these--truly my husband's absolute fav--always top on his request list!

katiem2 on 02/21/2013

We love white chocolate thanks for the great homemade recipe. )K

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