These are so good you'll have a hard time not eating the whole lot in one sitting. They are so simple and so quick to make. I first had this particular bar at a playdate near the end of the school year. That is to say, a playdate that involves us moms having just as good a time as the kids, and good, wholesome food before a admittedly sweet and decadant dessert such as this. I had to have the recipe. I was also sent home with more than a plateful worth to share. After trying one my husband stated "I want them all". Clearly, this was not going to happen.
Since, I've made them a few times, and each time they are a hit. Yes, there is a fair bit of sugar in them, and we all know sugar isn't good for us. But, they also have oats, which aren't all bad (fibre!), and cocoa (antioxidants!). If you are eating well most of the time, the odd treat like this can't hurt. Just don't go crazy.
Each time I make them I play around with the amounts just a little, more cocoa, less sugar, that sort of thing. Try less sugar for starters (as I have in this adaptation) and less butter too. The good thing is you know what all of the ingredients are and there is not a huge list.
Sweet and chewy and ideal for a lunch dessert, road trip or camping treat.
Adapted from the recipe my friend gave me, source unknown, but titled, Lynda's No-Bake Bars (which she got from one of the cooks at All the Best Fine Foods in Toronto, Ontario).
- 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) quick-cooking oats (not instant)
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) cocoa
- 1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup (250 ml) sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 cup (250 ml) dried cranberries or cherries (optional)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) or less, butter
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk (try almond milk)
- 1 cup (250 ml) sugar (try less)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
Combine oats, cocoa, cocnut, almonds and dried fruit (if using) in a large bowl.
Place butter, milk and sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Scape into a lightly greased 8" x 8" (20 cm x 20 cm) or 9" x 9" (23 cm x 23 cm) pan.
Refrigerate for at least half an hour to allow bars to harden. You can leave them in the refrigerator but it is not necessary.
Cut into squares and serve.
Makes about 20 squares.