I have mentioned before how much I like streusel; and, of course, I like chocolate, so what could be better than a layer of chocolate and nuts wedged between two layers of streusel? Not much, I think.
This is an easy recipe. You just make the streusel, pat half of it in the baking pan, melt the chips and milk together, pour over the base, add the other half of the streusel and bake. The hardest part is waiting for the cookies to cool.
I make my own sweetened condensed milk most of the time, but if I am feeling lazy, I purchase it at the store. A hint for those of you who live where there is a large Hispanic population. Look in the Hispanic aisle for Nestle La Lechera. It usually is less expensive than the Eagle Brand.
Although I used milk chocolate chips and sunflower seeds for the cookies in the photos, I consider this a basic recipe and have used other chip flavors and other nuts. Some combinations I have made are butterscotch chips and pecans, white chocolate chips and almonds, peanut butter chips and peanuts, mint chips and walnuts. You can mix and match till your heart is content.
The cookies tend to be a bit crumbly. It is streusel after all. When serving these on a cookie platter, I just shake them gently over the pan, before I add them to the platter.
The recipe is adapted from a Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe from many years ago.
Chocolate Streusel Bars
2 1/2 c. flour
2 c. quick rolled oats
1 1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. soft butter or margarine
1/2 to 1 pkg. cooking chips, semi-sweet or other flavor
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 T. butter or margarine
1/2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts of your choice (or sunflower seeds)
In a large mixer bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. (I do this I with my electric mixer using the whisk attachment on low to medium speed.) Pat half (about 3 1/2 cups.) of the mixture into a foil-lined 10x15-inch baking pan, crumbling any large pieces of butter with your fingers. Set remaining mixture aside. In a medium saucepan combine cooking chips, sweetened condensed milk, butter and salt. Heat, stirring constantly until chips are melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla and nuts. Carefully pour chip mixture over the crumb crust spreading out from the center in an even layer. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over the chocolate mixture, again crumbling any large pieces of butter with your fingers. Pat crumbs mixture down firmly with the palm of you hand. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack and cut into bars. Makes about 48
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