Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Last week some of my quilting friends and I went to Hamilton, MO to experience the Missouri Star Quilt Co. The brother and sister who started the company recently received recognition for small businesses in the United States. The story of the company and how it saved the town of Hamilton is amazing. 

When our group went earlier this summer, I wasn't able to go. So I was really looking forward to this trip. We all had so much fun visiting and revisiting the shops. Everyone seemed to have a different project in the works but also enjoyed helping and giving opinions when selections were being made. I did purchase some 30's prints to make a new shower curtain. I still have to add some more prints, but I hope to get it done by the end of the summer.

Janice noticed a non-quilt shop she wanted to go in. It was an Amish Country store that is also in Jamesport that we love, The The Farm House Collection. I hadn't purchased any material yet so when I saw the cookbook Farmhouse Kitchen, I decided to splurge and buy it. Many of the recipes in it uses ingredients I will need to buy in an Amish grocery store so it will be a while before I can make some of the things that sound really good.

I could make these Gooey Chocolate Bars contributed by Stevie & Rebecca Swarey though. I even made the homemade sweetened condensed milk that they indicated they used in the recipe.

I have seen recipes for homemade sweetened condensed milk but just never got around to trying it. I didn't take the time to see if my other recipes are different or not. I originally wanted to try it with Splenda when I first saw it about 8 years ago. I now cook with stevia so that is what I used in place of the sugar. 

Since the powdered milk is nonfat, my homemade sweetened condensed milk was fat - free and sugar - free. How exciting! And it tasted good and did work well in the recipe for the bars. Of course the bars aren't fat - free and sugar - free but I did end up reducing the total calories which I feel is always good.

The Hillcrest Thrift Shop volunteers will get to sample them later this morning but my husband and I did an early taste test last night. Yummy.


1 - 3/4    cups flour
3/4         cup powdered sugar
1/4         cup cocoa
1             cup margarine (I did use butter), 2 sticks


1             cup chocolate chips
1             (14 - oz) can condensed milk (I used the homemade sweetened condensed milk below.)
1             teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to  350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 - inch pan. (I used my homemade Pan Grease.)

Soften the butter in the microwave in a large bowl on High for 30 seconds.

In another bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa. 

Then add to the softened butter and work with a fork until it is well combined.

Sprinkle out over the bottom of the pan and
then press the mixture to evenly cover the bottom.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Prepare the filling while it is baking.


1       cup instant dry milk (I used nonfat)
2/3   cup sugar (I used stevia)
1/3   cup boiling water
3      tablespoons butter

Combine the dry milk and stevia with a whisk in a mixing bowl. In a glass measuring cup bring the water and butter to a boil (about a minute on High in the microwave or longer if necessary for the water to be boiling.)

Add the boiling water mixture to the dry mixture and beat with a whisk until smooth.

Use in recipes that ask for 1 can of sweetened condensed milk.

Add the vanilla and the chocolate chips to the bowl of prepared sweetened condensed milk while it is still warm and stir til chips melt and the mixture is smooth. My mixture was still warm enough that the chips melted without too much trouble.

Pour over the baked bars after you remove them from the oven. Spread to cover.

Sprinkle about 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans) over top and return to oven to bake for 15 more minutes.

Remove and cool on wire rack.

Cut into bars/squares when cooled. 

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