January 11, 2008

Ginger-Coconut Milk & Cereal Bars



Ingredients:
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
2 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup uncrystallized candied ginger
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250. Oil one 11x7 baking dish OR one 8x8 dish and one standard loaf pan. In a saucepan, heat the condensed milk. Add all of the dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly mix and evenly distribute all ingredients. Pour the mixture into the prepare pan(s) and flatten with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 65-70 minutes or until the mixture looks dry and is only slightly sticky to the touch, but not browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. Use a spatula to remove the entire contents of the pan to a cutting board and then cut into bars. Store in an air tight container.

Yield: approximately 15 small bars

My thoughts:

Breakfast bars seem to be big business these days. I honestly am not a breakfast person (bar or not) but I like the idea of having something solid and homemade to tuck in my bag as I go about my day. I had debated making straight up granola bars but couldn't find a recipe I liked. Everything called for lots of butter, sugar, honey or corn syrup and just seemed too sweet, sticky and possibly oily. Not to mention unnecessarily complicated. Then I saw mentions of homemade milk and cereal bars that used sweetened condensed milk (mixed with honey, sugar etc) and commercial cereals (like Cherrios). I didn't quite see the need to add extra ingredients and we don't eat boxed cereal so I went for a simpler approach. And you know what? It totally worked. Strangely, using sweetened condensed milk not kept the bars intact, and lent the bars a slightly caramel flavor, but the resulting bars were not overly sweet. They also had a richness to them (and a vanilla flavor) that belied the simplicity of the ingredients. And if you make them over the weekend, they will last all week.

13 comments:

  1. They're that easy to make? I'm sooo trying these. Thanks!

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  2. I'm not a candied ginger fan...what would be a tasty replacement? Love granola-type bars!

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  3. That is a really good idea to use condensed milk. So yummy.

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  4. as I said on your flickr account, these bars look so wholesome and delicious!!

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  5. They look yummy and so quick and easy.

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  6. They are so easy! And JEP- I would think any dried fruit would work instead of the ginger.

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  7. I've been on the lookout for something like this - I knew there had to be an alternative to what I had been seeing. And ANYTHING is better with sweetened condensed milk.

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  8. Yum, I don't know what else to say! They have something like this at the supermarket near my house (the hippie type one) and they're super good.

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  9. This looks great. I'm going to make some of these for my next winter camping trip.

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  10. that looks tasty! i would love to be able to make that for my breakfast... unfortuneatly i'm not much of a cook!

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  11. These look so perfect! Now that school has started I need something to get me through that midclass slump! :)

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  12. I just made these last night. They were so easy and so good - the best granola/breakfast bar I've ever had. I substituted chopped pecans for almonds as I had those on hand, and dried cranberries for the ginger, as I didn't see any at the store. I will definitely make these again and want to try the recipe as written.

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