“Oh-So-Sweet” Decadent Cookie Bars

Yesterday there was the annual Christmas party in my husband’s office. I wanted to bake something special and not very time consuming also. Long time back I had preserved a recipe for cookie bars which came with a condensed milk can. I thought it should be perfect because it was simply layering of ingredients, baking and then cutting them into bars. But the only drawback, I gained 2 pounds simply reading the recipe! I’m not kidding here. The recipe had way too much sugar.

So I have made few changes to the original recipe, like using fat free condensed milk, reducing the amount of chocolate chips by using miniature chips, reducing the quantity of coconut flakes and adding some dried cranberries. Even then the cookie bars were very sweet. It was more like a caramel candy with nuts and dry fruits. They are so tasty and very addictive too. So bake these when you are having a lot of company only.

I got around 45 pieces and few scraps. I just retained the scraps and sent everything to the party. My husband told me that everybody in his office liked it very much.

Eggless Cookie Bars Recipe
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Prep time: 15 Mins
Cook time: 25 Mins + Cooling + 10 Min Freezing
Yields: 45 Small Pieces
A very simple recipe to bake eggless cookie bars using graham cracker crumbs and condensed milk.
Ingredients:
  • 1 And 1/2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Melted Butter/Margarine
  • 1 Can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk (I Used Fat Free)
  • 1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (I Used Mini)
  • 1/2 Cup Flaked Coconut
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped WalNuts
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
Procedure:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (325F for glass baking dish) for 15 minutes.
  2. If not using ready to use graham cracker crumbs, place the crackers in a ziploc bag, seal it and use a rolling pin to powder it. Alternatively pulse it a few times in a food processor.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces, place it in a microwave safe bowl and melt it. First time it for 15 seconds, stir it once and keep increasing the time as needed. Mine took 1 minute to melt completely. Let it cool enough to handle with your hands.
  4. In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well.
  5. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13×9 inch baking pan.
  6. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumb mixture.
  7. First add 1/4 cup of the semi sweet chocolate chips evenly over the condensed milk layer. Next add the coconut similarly.
  8. Evenly spread the nuts over the coconut layer. Then top it off with the dried cranberries and the remaining 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips.
  9. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. I kept it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store the cookie bars covered.
My Notes:
  1. Always remember that miniature chocolate chips can be substituted for the regular ones and only half as much as the regular is required if using the mini chips. For instance, the original recipe mentions to use 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips, which is way too much sugar and calories. I substituted it with mere 1/2 cup of miniature chocolate chips.
  2. Dried cranberries was also not mentioned in the recipe. I added it to balance the sweetness of the bars.
  3. I think lining the pan with aluminum foil and then layering it with the crumbs and other toppings will make the clean up and cutting easier, because you just lift the entire bar with foil and cut it outside. I lined it with wax paper, the clean up was easy and I was able to lift it up, but the paper got stuck to the bars a little bit.
  4. During the Christmas season (or Diwali) if you plan to bake goodies and give it to friends and relatives preserve the plastic boxes which you get while buying strawberries, baby spinach, blueberries etc. You can use these boxes to gift your homemade cookies etc. Below I have used a box which came with baby spinach. On the cover there was a big sticker of the product. I was wondering what to do and I got this idea. Anyhow I had to write the ingredients used in the bars because of the food allergies prevalent here, so that people in the office can decide whether they can have it or not. So I cut the plain side of a greeting card which I had received, wrote the ingredients in that card and taped it on top of that sticker.

Box of cookie bars

Cookie Bars

These cookie bars go to:
1. Sharmi’s Cookie Baking Event.
2. Happy Cook’s Homemade Christmas Gifts.
3. JZ’s Santa’s Holiday Challenge.
4. Vandana’s Baking for Beginners.
5. Susan’s Eat Christmas Cookies. Check here for cookies from around the world.


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27 Responses to ““Oh-So-Sweet” Decadent Cookie Bars”

  1. Sweatha says:

    Perfect coookie bars.I too have collected recipes from condensed milk can,but never ever used them.These look perfect for Christmas.Your gift-box pic is also nice.

    Thanks Sweatha, I have collected so many plastic boxes now.

  2. mahimaa says:

    oh my! looks delicious and rich. i would have these all day :)

    It’s very addictive indeed Mahima.

  3. DK says:

    Some of these recipes in the product labels can be overly sweet! Tell me about it!

    Your substitutions make it much better – health, taste and lookwise from the look of it. Good One Madhu!

  4. Cham says:

    What an elegant bar u ve sent. He should be proud of his wife creation :razz: Great healthy substitute :wink:

    Thanks Cham.

  5. Cookie bars look so perfect. Loved the specks of cranberries on those bars. Nice recipe. Bookmarked it. YUM!

  6. rekha says:

    hi I tried your piza recipe it came out so well I made little changes but we loved it thanks for the recipe will post it soon wow these cookie bars are so tempting and color full to

    Thanks for trying the pizza and giving me the feedback. I’m glad you liked it Rekha.

  7. Uma says:

    wow, lovely cookie bars. looks so colorful with those cranberries and ccs. Mouth-watering too! No wonder everyone at your hubby’s office liked those. :smile:

  8. Priya says:

    Sure ur betterhalf will be very proud of u Madhu…looks lovely n fabulous bars…

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