Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Frugalizing of a recipe {Hip hugger bars}

Okay, so I rather doubt that frugalizing is a word (I just checked- no it isn't in the dictionary) but I like the way it sounds so I thought I would use it.

 My definition: To make something more frugal.

One thing that I often like to make more frugal is recipes. Often times cookbooks like to call for expensive ingredients, ones that I prefer not to buy. So I find things that I can substitute for them. I look for cheaper things, thereby frugalizing it. :-)

One bar recipe that I really like are Chocolate Revel Bars or as we like to call them (as they are called by the lady that first made them for us): Hip huggers. I will share the original recipe and then I will share how I substituted to make it less expensive.

   Hip Hugger Bars
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups flour (I use mostly whole wheat flour)
2 cups brown sugar (actually I use more like 1 1/4 cups)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces (This is one of the things I substitute)
1 14 ounce can (1 1/4 cups) Sweetened condensed milk (another one that I use a sub for)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cups walnuts (these can by omitted- or forgotten like I did today- but they are yummy!)
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large mixing bowl beat 1 cup margarine until soft. Add about half of the flour and mix. Then add brown sugar, eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla and baking soda. Beat well. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in the oats. Set this mixture aside.

For the filling: This is where I really change things. If you follow the recipe as written  you would heat the chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk  along with the 2 T. butter over low heat until the chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the walnuts and 2 t. vanilla.

For a more frugal recipe I use 1/3 cup cocoa. 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup oil in place of the chocolate pieces and instead of the sweetened condensed milk I use 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water and then mixed with 1 cup = 2 T. dry milk beaten well. I still cook it a little together. It works just fine.

The you take the oats mixture and press two thirds of the dough into an ungreased 10 x 15 inch pan. (though tonight I used 2 cake pans instead.) Spread the chocolate mixture on top of the crust. Drop the remaining oat mixture on top of the chocolate layer.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or till top is light golden (chocolate will look slightly moist). Cut into bars. Makes 64. These are really yummy and moist.

I hope you enjoy these!
Do you have any favorite substitutions that save you money? I would love to hear about them! Here are some other substitutions for cooking and baking.

For more frugal tips visit Life as MOM.


All in a Day said...

Yummy! Are they for Jackpine? I made banana muffins, and Tracy made no-bake cookies.

All in a Day said...

Oh, are you by chance bringing tomatoes? I know you have had extras in the past so was wondering.

Abbi said...

I made one pan to bring to Jackpine and one I took to baseball last night.

I would be happy to bring up some tomatoes. I have a bunch sitting on my counter right now.

All in a Day said...

Thank you! I only have about six tiny ones from my garden. They were on sale at our little store this week for 99 cents, but they were out.

Pei-Lin said...

Hey, Abbi!

How are you all doing? I've been busy busy over here, and hence my inactivity online.

I've been thinking of Ula, and, of course, her Hip Huggers! This recipe looks familiar. Is this the one from her?

I might just halve the recipe and whip some up to cure my "U.S./Minnesota homesickness" and share with my boyfriend (and the fussy eaters in this house I'm living in). My only prob is REAL sweetened condensed milk is expensive here. In most local supermarkets you can find only the shams, i.e., sweetened creamer or sweetened filled "milk." (I think this is also partly due to the fact that Asian-Asians aren't big dairy consumers. My dad is a good example. I might just be one of the few odd ones here. Argh.)

With much thought,

Abbi said...

Great to hear from you Pei-Lin!
Yes this is Ula's recipe. I really need to make it again. I haven't for some time but it sounds yummy! Maybe I will make it for our Victory Party on Tuesday.


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