Monday, March 9, 2009

Breakfast Bars - You Need to Make Them

I make these Breakfast Bars at least once a week. James takes them to work to eat for breakfast, I snack on them all day long, and Ella calls them oatmeal cookies. Peyton won't touch them, but that's just because he's Peyton. 

The recipe takes just a few minutes to mix together, but the bars do take an hour to bake. When they come out of the oven, do yourself a favor and eat one while it's still warm with a nice cup of hot tea. I have to do this every time I make them. 

The individual ingredients are pricey, but once you buy them, you'll be able to use each one (besides the condensed milk) to make several batches of the bars. I did the figuring, and they cost just about the same as the granola bars you buy at the store. For me, though, the most important thing is that I know exactly what's in them. And it's pure goodness, baby!

Here's the deal with the ingredients - put in whatever you want. The important thing is that you have the condensed milk, 4 cups of oatmeal, and 2 1/2 cups of other stuff. You can add chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, raisins, whatever makes you happy. If you don't like coconut, switch it out with something else. If you want 2 1/2 cups of M&Ms in yours, go for it. You get the idea. I wouldn't recommend using less than 4 cups of oatmeal, though, because then the bars get way too soft and don't hold their shape.

Breakfast Bars

1 14-fl-oz can condensed milk

4 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup sliced almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Spray a 9- x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

2. Microwave the condensed milk in a large bowl for 1 minute.

3. Mix all the other ingredients with the warmed condensed milk.

4. Spread the mixture into the baking pan. 
This part will sound weird, but it works: Wash your hands and leave them dripping wet. Use your wet hands to press the mixture down to make it as compact as possible. If you don't push it down hard, your bars will fall apart later. The mixture is super sticky, so work quickly before your hands dry. 

5. Bake for 1 hour, remove, and after about 15 minutes, cut into four across and four down, to make 16 bars. I like using a pizza cutter to cut the bars, it's a wonder tool. Let cool completely.

Makes 16

To give credit where credit is due, I adapted this recipe from Nigella Lawson. Her recipe has a ton more nuts in it. She's awesome, but I like my version better.


Ali Richardson said...

Mmmmmm. Make me some, k?! You know my address ;)

Ta-Dah Mom said...

You can also spray your hands with PAM or other non-stick spray to keep them from sticking to your fingers. I do this with Rice Krispie Treats. said...

Oh yum! I am totally trying this, thanks tons for sharing!

Susie said...

I'll have to try these as well.. your photo is screaming EAT ME!!


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