A few years ago I had seen a recipe for home made chewy granola bars made with sweetened condensed milk. I never wrote it down even though I made it several times. The last time I made it I had used a package of granola and did not like the results at all. So I am restless one afternoon. There are plenty of projects to do but nothing is striking my fancy. I really really wanted to make chocolate cupcakes but am determined not to bake any more sweets until Easter. But you all have posted some absolutely wonderful chocolate cupcakes and I am craving them! But I paw through my pantry to see what is there and decide to make granola bars. I figure these will be handy to walk out the door with in the mornings for work. And perhaps don’t really count as a sweet.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
I start with 3 cups of oats. I add enough other ingredients to make just over 4 cups. I have a sneaky suspicion that the total amount of stuff should be closer to 5 cups. One can add seeds, nuts, dried fruits and just about anything granola-ish. To this batch I add coconut, banana chips, sliced almonds, golden raisins, dried cranberries, and just a few chocolate chips. Actually I use approximately 1/4 cup of each. Gently heat one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk to thin. Pour over the ingredients and mix to coat everything.
I line a 13 x 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Pour the “batter” into this pan. I pat it down evenly with another piece of parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes. At this point I do not remember if I’m supposed to let cool before cutting or not. I lift it out of the pan and let it cool on a wire rack. When I tried to cut it warm it started falling apart.
I let them cool a little bit and then I cut them into bars. The outer ones hold together better than the middle but they will firm up as they cool more.
I love parchment paper. It is a wonderful invention. Growing up my mother used waxed paper or just greased the pan with Crisco. There was always a small hand sized square of waxed paper in the Crisco can for this purpose. The second greatest invention is cooking spray.
The granola bars are a hit. Hubby says “I like the taste”. They taste like honey and oats. These will be good for Hubby to grab and go in the morning when leaving for work along with a piece of fruit. That goes for me too!