Recipes are everywhere – magazines, cookbooks, online, etc. However I just can’t turn them away. And there’s always some reason for another book – even if it’s just to discover one great recipe. I received a review copy of The 250 Best Brownies, Bars and Squares by Esther Brody and I’ve already found my one favorite new recipe – Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. If I only try 1 of the 250 in this book I am satisfied.
This book certainly has a variety of brownies, bars and squares. Everything from quick dress ups for store bought mixes to layered and frosted homemade treats. There are just enough full color photos in a center spread to make your mouth water. And tips about baking, storing, cooling and cutting are always appreciated. This is a good one to have for a holiday gift for someone that likes to bake or to use as inspiration to get yourself baking and gifting. Yesterday I gave some of these yummy bars to my daughter’s teacher on her birthday (yes, she’s 40 and fabulous), and she’s already asking for the recipe.
Warning that while these granola bars have healthy stuff like nuts, seeds and oatmeal they also have sweetened condensed milk (aka milk with 40% sugar) and butter. However there are some healthy and low-fat recipes in here too.
What I like about this recipe is that it can be easily changed and customized to your family’s tastes. Cranberries or dried cherries could be substituted for raisins. And various nuts could be substituted for peanuts. I think next time I’ll make these nut-free by substituting some dry cereal for the peanuts so my kids can take them in their lunchbox or to a playdate.
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars,
page 131, Specialty Bars & Squares
Makes 36 bars
Preheat oven to 325° F (160° C)
13- by 9-inch (3.5 L) cake pan, lined with greased foil
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 750 ml
1 cup raisins 250 mL
1 cup sunflower seeds 250 mL
1 cup chopped peanuts 250 mL
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 250 mL
1 can (14 oz [398 mL]) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted 125 mL
1. In a bowl mix together oats, raisins, sunflower seeds, peanuts and chocolate chips. Add condensed milk and mix thoroughly. Stir in melted butter until blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
2. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Place pan on a rack to cool slightly, then transfer cake, with foil, to a cutting board and cut into bars.