A variation on a recipe by Nigella Lawson,whom I think is genius.
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk, warmed
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (almond extract would be good here also)
- 2 1/2 cups rolled/old fashioned oats (not instant)
- 1 cup shredded coconut (toasted coconut is optional)
- 1 cup dried cranberries, golden raisins, chopped dates, or a combination of dried fruits (I like the cranberries)
- 1 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, flax)
- 1 cup unsalted cashews, sliced almonds, peanuts or any combination of nuts you prefer (almonds for me)
- 1/4 cup milled flax seeds and/or 1/4 cup wheat germ
- Warm the condensed milk in a small saucepan, add the vanilla and mix well.
- Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well before combining with the milk.
- Add the milk, stirring well to incorporate it evenly in the mixture - it will become very clumpy and bind together.
- Spray a 9" X 13" pan with nonstick cooking spray. Press the mixture evenly into the pan, smoothing out the top. I recommend putting some of the spray on your hands as well to keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers.
- Bake at 250 for 1 hour, allow to cool for 15 minutes and then cut 4 slices lengthwise and 4 slices crosswise to yield 16 bars.