It's a fact that I eat more dessert when I am on program (Weight Watcher' talk for following a sensible eating plan). That might seem counter-intuitive, but the fact is when I know I can have an indulgence without wrecking my eating plan, it makes the plan more of a lifestyle than a diet. This slimmed down version of a bakery treat is not low calorie by any means. One small bar has 171 calories (5g fat, 29 g carb, 1 g fiber, 3 g prot); but that small bar is so satisfying, you won't feel deprived or driven to overindulge. This recipe makes 30 bars; enjoy some now and freeze the rest.
2 c lowfat buttermilk baking mix
1/3 c packed brown sugar
2 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tbs fat free milk
1 (14 oz) can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tbs chopped pecans
1/3 c seedless raspberry preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X13 inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
Whisk baking mix, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl. Remove 1/4 cup of this mixture to use for topping. To the rest of the mixture, drizzle in the milk and stir until evenly moistened. Pat this mixture into the prepared pan, pressing evenly to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake until edges are browned, 15 minutes.
For filling, microwave condensed milk and 1 cup of the chips in a large, microwaveable bowl on high for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes. Stir until chips are melted. Spread evenly over hot crust. Stir pecans into reserved 1/4 cup of topping and sprinkle over chocolate mixture. Add preserves by 1/2 teaspoonful over topping, spacing 2 inches apart. Srpinkle remaining 1/4 cup of chips on top. Bake until filling is set, 25 minutes. Cool.
Lift from pan using the foil. Cool completely before cutting into 30 bars. (5 PP per bar)
As soon as I saw this recipe in WW Magazine, I had visions of a grown up version of the magic cookie bars we used to bake at Christmas. I had all the ingredients on hand and it took less than 20 minutes to get these in the oven. One bite of the crumbly shortbread cookie topped with rich, sweet chocolate tempered with tart flavor of raspberry jam and I was in heaven. With a glass of cold milk, I remembered why milk and cookies remain such a fond childhood memory.