Break the Fast Miracle Bars
*This was supposed to be posted on my sister's recipe blog but I'm lame and can't figure out how to post it there, so I figured why not see if I can remember how to post to this blog!
As a single 27 year old LDS woman I have ended my fair share of Fast Sundays with the big ward-wide dinner known as “Break the Fast.” Without fail, the handwritten sign-up sheet gets passed around Relief Society the last Sunday of the month asking people to bring some sort of side dish or a dessert for the next Sunday's meal. Every month as the sheet approaches me I momentarily consider passing it along to the person sitting next to me, but inevitably I pick up the pen and sign my name underneath the “dessert” heading and pray that those in charge call to remind me to bring a baked good the following Sunday.
A few years ago, after months and months of baking and bringing dessert to Break the Fast I noticed a sad trend. At the end of the evening (and yes, when your ward doesn’t start until 3pm, it is evening by the time Break the Fast is over) almost all of the deserts were gone—except mine. I took it personally (Seriously—after fasting all day shouldn’t ANYTHING with sugar be delicious?!) and when that next Saturday night text came reminding me that I’d kindly offered to bring a dessert for the Sabbath Dinner I decided then and there that was it—I wasn’t baking anymore and the ward would have to deal with it. I mean, it’s not like anyone would miss my apparently disgusting cookies anyway.
But later that evening my guilt got the better of me and I decided that I would make something this one last time (I had signed up, afterall). Since this would be my last time baking I decided to be adventurous and try something new –who cared if it tasted good! So I began flipping through a cookbook and found a recipe for “chocolate peanut butter bars.” I baked them, arranged them nicely on a plate and dropped them off in the Banquet Hall (yes, my building has a Banquet Hall) before church began. When I returned after church I went to take the saran wrap off the plate but realized that the Break the Fast Committee had already helped me with that one. And helped themselves to about half of the plate. The remaining half went quickly and went home with an empty plate. Truly miraculous. And thus these lovely, yummy, gooey bars became known as Break the Fast Miracle Bars.
Break the Fast Miracle Bars
2 C oats
1 ¾ C brown sugar
1 ½ C flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 C margarine or butter, softened
½ C chopped nuts (I usually never add these)
2 C chocolate chips (I think the Nestle Toll House ‘mini’ ones work perfectly)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 C creamy peanut butter
Mix oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and softened butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs (I use a pastry cutter or 2 knives)
For topping stir together 1 ¾ C of crumb mixture, nuts, and chocolate chips. Set aside.
For crust stir egg into remaining crumb mixture. Press into bottom of an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan (I just use a 9 x 13 inch pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes
For filling, stir together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter. Pour over partially baked crust and then sprinkle the topping mixture on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes more.
These taste DELICIOUS fresh from the oven, but only if you’re OK ‘scooping’ into a bowl, eating with a fork, and don’t care about beauty/presentation. If you’re actually serving these to someone else this is what you do (and while time consuming it’s totally worth it!):
- Let the pan cool completely and cut into bars or squares.
- Remove from the pan with a spatula and place separately onto a sheet of waxed paper so that the bars are not touching each other.
- Cover with a kitchen towel or another sheet of waxed paper and let sit overnight (or all day). This allows the bars to ‘solidify’ so that they won’t fall apart when eaten.