Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Batch #3: Granola… bars?

I made another variation on the granola bar recipe last week, without quite as much success. They were delicious (and I would definitely include coconut in the mix as often as possible, as well as pepitas), but they did not hold together (as evidenced in the above photo). The recipe calls for:

1/4 c corn syrup, honey, or maple syrup

and then later calls for another 2 Tbs corn syrup. I’ve been keeping the 2 Tbs of corn syrup constant as I work with this recipe (apparently this is part of making “sticky bun sugar”), and varying the other parts. In the first batch I used all corn syrup. As I’ve mentioned to many of you, this was a mistake. Not because they weren’t the most delicious bars you’ve ever eaten, no, no, because nothing, I’m convinced, makes granola bars as delicious and chewy as corn syrup. This is why our country is obese – it’s like a drug. In order to avoid obesity myself, the second batch used honey instead of corn syrup. This was not nearly as amazing texturally, but was tasty and is probably a good compromise. This time, I decided to use maple syrup (still keeping the 2 Tbs of corn syrup). Enter the granola… bars?

These tasted delicious, but only the edges of the pan maintained their shape long enough to be considered bars, and even those fell apart as soon as they were moved. Maybe I need a different grade of maple syrup? My next plan: mixture of honey and molasses to see if I can achieve something chewier…

An aside: In the first batch I used the lower end of the recommended added sugar (above and beyond the corn syrup… I know…) and they were really, really sweet. In the second batch I cut out most of the sugar, and they were still really sweet. Apparently honey is pretty sweet… In this last batch I cut out the sugar completely and they were still delicious. I know I shouldn’t have varied several things at once, as I’ll never be sure that it wasn’t the added sugar that made them so chewy and amazing, but I don’t think so.

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