Friday, May 20, 2011

Granola Bars a la Y. Maybe.

At the Y Cafe in Rockford, Illinois, there is a magical thing.

This magical thing is addictive. 

This magical thing is made by Crazy Michael, who thinks that assaulting a person with Bible verses will make them burn their UU t-shirt and beg to be immediately baptized in the smoothie machine.

This magical thing is a granola bar of such wondrous yumminess that I continue to patronize Crazy Michael's business, even though he assaulted my friend with Bible verses. Do not, however, imply to Crazy Michael that the granola bars - despite their addictive qualities, may have crack in them. He does not find this amusing. At least he didn't assault me with Bible verses when I implied it. I think he's afraid of my husband.

In an effort to break loose from my addiction to Crazy Michael (in part because of his emotionally abusive tendency to not always have my granola bars on hand every time I want them!!!!!!!) I'm going to attempt to recreate them. Hot Jill works at the Cafe, and has procured the broad strokes of what these bars entail. So with my palette (and hopefully with the help of Dawn of the Impeccable Taste) and a basic recipe, I hope to conquer my emotional dependency on Crazy Michael.

The one year old helped measure (not really, but don't tell him that).

And the four year old helped press them between two cookie sheets (this is Crazy Michael's trick. And really. Who can resist standing on food??).

The first attempt has a good flavor...but,'s not really in bar form. At all. Way to crumbly. I was drawing from a second recipe that said the mix would "still be crumbly" when you put it in to cool. I replaced the cup of coconut with a full cup of oats. I think I shouldn't have done that. So I'm going to up the nut butters and cut the oats with the next batch.

Secondly, it's a tad too sweet. I'm not sure if I can just cut back on the honey to fix that...I'm unsure how big a part the honey plays in the binding, of which I am so horribly short.

Also, my carob for the top is not melty. I don't know if I burned it or if there's a trick of which I am unaware. But it's gloppy.

I'm going to eat this batch with a spoon and try again. I'll let you know the measurements when I actually figure them out. But if you want to play with the recipe yourself, here's what I substituted in the original recipe:

3 cups of oats, since I omitted the coconut
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of almonds

HEY!!!!! I just realized what I did!!!! I subbed in both a cup of oats and a cup of almonds for one cup of coconut. SILLY!

1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup sunflower butter
Substitute dried cherries for chocolate chips (I think it could stand more than a 1/2 cup. I'm going to use a cup next time)

Then I added carob chips, melted and spread on top. The taste is right, even if I may or may not have burned the gloppy carob.