Whilst trying to keep to a monthly food budget, I have recently been looking for cheaper and healthier alternatives to shop-bought cereal bars. Especially the kid-branded organic ones can cost an arm and a leg and I find that many of the ones aimed at adults are full of dodgy stuff. Also, you can pay anything up to £3 and still only get about 5 bars per pack- rip off!
I have therefore tried a few different recipes for granola bars and flapjacks but haven’t had great results. Either there were tons of golden syrup and butter involved or the bars just simply didn’t stick together very well.
I then came across a brilliant idea that I had to try out straight away…cereal bars made with special ingredient….sweetened condensed milk!! I have made several batches with different flavour combinations and I have tweaked the basic recipe a little bit each time. It really is genius…the sweetened consdensed milk magically transforms in the oven and makes all the oats and other goodies stick together perfectly. You don’t get greasy butter bars, no rock solid bricks either…just perfectly yummy, squidgy bars that are easy to cut and even easier to eat!
Per batch, I used
1 regular tin of sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp butter
75g dried cherries & berries mix
75g whole blanched almonds
75g cashew nuts
2 tbsp ground almonds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
You basically just need to warm up the condensed milk with the butter and honey in a pan and then stir in the other ingredients. (If using chocolate chips, these are best sprinkled on top before baking as they will otherwise melt in the warm condensed milk.) Transfer into a lined baking tin and bake at 160 °C for 35-40 minutes. Leave to set in the tin, turn out and cut into bars or squares.
Here is my last tray of goodness cooling on the hob:
Om nom nom!