These are some of our family's favorites (in fact, Maggie is sitting here while I write and she says to tell you that she loves them so much), and they come from Southern Living Incredible Cookies, a cookbook I bought at a Southern Living party years ago when those Southern Living parties were popular.
So, here we go! Get your ingredients together: Quick-cooking oats, flour, brown sugar, pecans, baking soda, salt, butter, M&Ms, and sweetened condensed milk.
Put the oats into a mixing bowl.
Add the flour.
Add the brown sugar.
And the pecans.
And finally, the baking soda and salt.
Mix these together.
Then add 1 cup melted butter.
When it's all mixed, it will look crumbly, like this.
Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture.
Press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased jelly roll pan and bake it at 375 for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 C. M&Ms in the microwave for 1 minute (stir, then put them in for another 30 seconds, if necessary).
Smash the M&Ms with the back of a spatula to break them up a bit, then add the can of sweetened condensed milk.
Yes, this looks kind of gross, but trust me . . . it's gooooood.
So now you'll have three elements to your cookies: the bottom crust, the gooey middle, and the crumbly topping (add the rest of the M&Ms to the reserved 1 1/2 cups crumble mixture).
After the bottom crust comes out of the oven, reduce the heat to 350.
Pour the melted M&Ms and condensed milk over the baked bottom crust.
Add the crumbly mixture to the top. (Side note: I have no idea why this picture keeps coming out sideways. It doesn't look like that in my photo group. Hmmm.)
Bake another 18 minutes, until slightly browned.
Cut into small squares and enjoy the ooey, gooey goodness.
I'm telling you, this is one you'll want to keep handy because your kids will be begging you to make them often. They don't last long around here!
Also, if you don't like nuts or are allergic to nuts, you can leave them out. Just add a little more oatmeal to the crumbly mixture.
So here's the "real" recipe. I'm going to write it out the way I do it because, quite honestly, the way it's written in the book is a little confusing. And we can't have my readers being confused now, can we?
M&M Oatmeal Bars
2 C. Quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1 C. chopped pecans
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 C butter, melted
1 1/2 C. M&Ms, divided (a medium sized package)
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1. Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well. Add butter, and stir together at low speed with an electric mixer until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture, press remaining crumb mixture into a lightly greased 15 x 10 inch jelly-roll pan. (It will be thin in the pan.)
Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Cool an a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350.
2. Place 1 C. M&Ms in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after 30 seconds. Press chocolate pieces with the back of a spoon to mash them. (The candies will almost be melted with pieces of color coating still visible.) Stir in condensed milk.
Spread mixture evenly over crust in pan, leaving a 1/2 inch border on all sides.
3. Combine reserved crumb mixture with remaining 1/2 C. M&Ms. Sprinkle over chocolate mixture; press lightly.
4. Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden; cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield 4 dozen.
Have yourself a yummy weekend!
Now tell me, what will YOU be cooking this weekend?