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Published: Sunday, 5/6/2012

Dinner Tonight: Golden Oat Bars

Those oat-filled energy bars are all the rage these days, but you can save a bundle if you make them yourself. You also have the satisfaction of knowing you made them yourself, plus the extreme satisfaction of telling all your friends that you made them yourself. This recipe comes from Mystic Adams.

Golden Oat Bars

1 cup packed brown sugar

5 tablespoons low-fat margarine, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten (or egg substitute)

2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon it into measuring cups; do not pack)

2½ cups quick cooking, whole grain oats

½ teaspoon salt PLUS ⅛ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

Cooking spray

¾ cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1¼ cups butterscotch morsels (about 8 ounces)

½ cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°, with a rack in the center. Coat the bottom and sides of a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Mix sugar and margarine in a large bowl. Add vanilla and egg. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats,

½teaspoon salt, and baking soda. Add oat mixture to sugar mixture and stir with a fork until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Place 3 cups oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, pressing the mixture into bottom of pan. Set aside.Pour condensed milk, butterscotch morsels, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a heavy-bottom sauce pot over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until melted and combined (do not scorch). Stir in walnuts. Pour mixture into pan, spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle evenly with remaining oat mixture, gently pressing into butterscotch mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Place pan on a cooling rack; run a knife around outside edge. Cool completely. Cut into 12 bars.

— Mystic Adams

Got a recipe that is fast and healthy? Send it to food@theblade.com or Dinner Tonight, The Blade, 541 N. Superior St., Toledo, OH 43660.

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