Wednesday, August 31, 2011

M&M Fudge Bars

I'm currently hearing little footsteps upstairs... any bets on how far I'll get on this post before I have to go put someone back in bed?
So as I was making these bars the other day, I felt like I was having a bit of déjà vu - the steps to make these are eerily similar to those from the Caramel Krispies I made the day before. And yet with different ingredients, they make something completely different. You start with a crust - this time made with oatmeal, brown sugar, flour and butter.
Then you melt together the filling - this time with semi-sweet chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and a little bit of shortening. (This step can easily be done in the microwave - I happen to like melting chocolate on the stove.)
(You can see that I ran out of semi-sweet chips and had to add in a few milk chocolate chips - although this turned out ok, the milk chocolate ones didn't melt at the same speed as the semi-sweet and the filling wasn't nearly as smooth as I would have liked.)
Now for the really good part - M&M's. The original recipe says to use 1 cup. I use somewhere between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup, depending on how "colorful" I feel that day.
Then crumble, crumble, crumble - the rest of the crust  mixture gets sprinkled over the top. I gently press it down a little just so the finished bars aren't quite so crumbly. Then off to the oven - when some of the M&Ms start to crack open a bit it's done!
Sooo easy. (And what's that I hear? Nothing? *smile* The footsteps have stopped!)

M&M Fudge Bars
adapted from Westside Nazarene Church Cookbook

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 to 1 cup plain M&M candies

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar and salt. Add butter and mix together with a fork until crumbly. Set aside 1 heaping cup of the mixture for the topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into a greased 9x13" pan.

In a saucepan, combine milk, chocolate chips and shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted. Stir until smooth. Spread over crust. Sprinkle with M&Ms, then with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

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