In Julius, Baby of the World, before Lilly understands the charms of her new baby brother, she compares him to a raisin. As much as I love dried cranberries, apricots, and cherries, I agree with Lilly that “a raisin tastes like dirt [my emphasis].”
Over the summer, Julie at dinnerwithjulie.com posted a recipe for chewy granola bars made with sweetened condensed milk. Hers look lovely and wholesome, but my kids would never eat them. I saved the recipe to make lunchbox treats.
I adapted the recipe (which Julie adapted from the folks at Highwood Crossing grain farm) by replacing the dried fruits and seeds with a smaller quantity of Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips. I kept the sliced almonds, unsalted dry-roasted ones from Trader Joe’s. Yum.
Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans, or a combination, toasted
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9″x13″ pan with foil or parchment paper, overlapping the sides for easy removal of bars.
Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Stir in oats and mix-ins. Press evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until golden. Cool slightly, then remove bars on parchment to wire rack and cool 10-15 minutes. Cut into 2”x2” squares. When completely cooled, pack in an air-tight container with waxed paper between each layer.