Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bar Hopping

These past couple days have been non-stop energy... bordering on insanity! My last two exams came and went this week with so little fuss and fanfare (on my end, anyway) that I didn't even bother mentioning them - in all honesty it took me longer to drive to the school than write the darn things. Even though I've been waiting on it for what seems like eons, I can't believe that the school year is actually over now! I'm kind of sad about it in a way, though... it means saying goodbye (for the most part) to my best friends for the Summer since they're either working full-time or traveling back home. A couple of us have talked about a trip downtown before Johana leaves, so with luck we'll have one last hurrah. If we can get my stomach et al to quiet down for all of 30 minutes, that is!

Speaking of hurrahs, I have had a fair few of those this week too! I'll let you in on more details in my next post (hey, I have to keep you all reading, right?) but the two biggest ones involved copious amounts of sugar, butter and flour (and if you really want, you can check out Flickr for a couple hints). The other big one is I finally figured out the beast that is Twitter (yes, I'm a tad behind the times!). So now, I'll be able to update even if I don't have time for a full-out blog! Just don't hold out for any Twecipes... I'm too verbose for that kind of junk!

For now, I'll talk about a subject near and dear to college students' hearts everywhere, especially come post exam party time - bars! Of course, I don't mean the alkiehol-type (the booze on this blog is all in baked form!)... I mean the rich, dense cookie-type bars - in this case, banana-rich! I'm going to kill two birds with one stone here, since if I don't they'll NEVER be written about!

These first bars are fudgy and dense, made with a touch of yellow corn flour (this isn't cornmeal or cornstarch, mind you!), only 1/4 cup of margarine and a single egg white! Definitely a lighter indulgence for lunchbox or after school noshing too... I added banana chips and Craisins for texture, and I definitely wouldn't leave out the chips. You could add chocolate chips or nuts instead of the Craisins, or leave those out entirely!

Banana Chip Blondies
12 bars
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup corn flour (not cornstarch!)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp custard powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg white
3 tbsp water
1/4 cup craisins
1/2 cup (slightly crushed before measuring) banana chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375F, grease or line a 9" square baking pan.
  2. Whisk together flours, custard powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl, set aside.
  3. Cream together sugars and margarine.
  4. Beat in vanilla, egg white and water until smooth.
  5. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until well incorporated, the fold in the craisins and banana chips.
  6. Scrape into the prepared pan and bake 13-15 minutes. Cool completely in pan before slicing.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 174.3
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 51.6 mg
Total Carbs: 32.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 2.5 g

I'm actually surprised at the outcome of these other bars - since they had copious amounts of sour cream, heavy bananas and tofu in them (without an egg or butter) I thought they would be heavier and thicker-textured than they were. The pans (I modified the 9x13" recipe to make two 9" square pans instead, topping one with walnuts... it works the same!) came out comparatively fluffy, with a light crumb that makes me think they'd work out well as a layer cake. Maybe a layer of peanut butter in between? Or strawberry preserves?? The possibilities are endless!

Tarzan Ape - Man Bars
24 pieces
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (old-fashioned or "quick", not instant)
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves)
2 tbsp canola oil
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sour cream (light's fine, NI is for 14% M.F.)
1 tbsp vanilla
6 oz silken tofu (I use Mori-Nu lite), pureed
3 medium-large bananas, mashed
Walnuts or chocolate chips for topping (optional, not included in NI)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease and line a 9x13" pan or two 8" pans.
  2. Whisk together flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda and pie spice in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat together oil, brown sugar, honey and applesauce until smooth.
  4. Add sour cream, vanilla and tofu puree and again beat smooth.
  5. Add flour and bananas in alternate batches, starting and ending with dry.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan(s), top if desired.
  7. Bake 25 minutes, rotating pans after 15 minutes.
  8. Cool completely in pans (or chill if possible) before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 110.2
Total Fat: 3.5 g
Cholesterol: 4.2 mg
Sodium: 30.8 mg
Total Carbs: 18.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
Protein: 2.1 g

1 comment :

Sharon said...

Mmmm, everything looks great - awesome recipes!!!! I totally want to bake now! LOL!