This recipe is highly versatile, so adjust the additions to your liking. This version is made with oats, coconut, almonds, chocolate chips and cranberries. They are the perfect on-the-go snack.
This recipe is SO easy, versatile, and FAST. I’ve made them so often that I have this memorized! My husband loves these. I mix in 3½-4 cups of whatever he wants (even a ½ cup of Optimum Nutrition’s plain cooking whey to create ‘power’ bars) and a pinch of spice. He usually goes for nuts and raisins. I use a 15×10-inch jelly roll pan (JRP-a cookie sheet with edges) to create commercial-sized snack bars. (If you make this in a 9×13, consider dusting the pan with oat flour.) When I use a 17×15-inch JRP, I add an extra cup of oats. I oil the JRP pretty heavily to prevent sticking. I've skipped the butter and also used fat-free sweetened condensed milk successfully. Stir for about 4 minutes to dampen the dry ingredients. I use wax paper to press the mix to the edges and corners. When it comes out of the oven 20 minutes later, I immediately use a pizza wheel to cut the bars. Then I seal the JRP with tin foil and (very quickly) flip it onto the table and remove the JRP to cool. This creates a crisp bar that he can run with. We store them in zip lock snack bags—unless we’re traveling, then a gallon freezer bag works. I love the hint from BEVERLYS55 dated 1/15/2006 (put the unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a bowl of hot water while you mix the dry stuff, open it and add the melted butter and it will be easier to mix). Thank you, Aliceyn, for contributing this recipe. My husband, his co-workers, and our friends appreciate it! - 06 Mar 2006 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I don't actually want to rate my recipe, just offer some changes. This is the original recipe that I put in, but what I actually do is use 3 cups oats and 3-4 cups of mixed'whatever'. The more you experiment, the more you come up with your own preferred recipe. I've used Reeces' Pieces instead of choc. chips for a different flavour. Trail mix usually makes up at least 1 cup of my recipes. - 31 Aug 2005 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
On my first attempt to make these I used regular rolled oats instead of quick and they had a raw oat taste because the oats were too thick to cook in that amount of time, without burning the condensed milk. So on my second attempt, because I could see the potential, I doubled the recipe and poured it on to a jelly roll pan that was lined with a non-stick silpat mat. These little mats are so slick. Nothing sticks to them. My kids loved these chewy type of granola bars and they are truly easy to make in minutes. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool. I have used fat-free condensed milk also, but I think they taste better with the regular condensed milk. - 17 Aug 2006 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)