Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shape - Shifting

You would never be able to guess that our street was just a hop, skip and a jump away from one of the most child-packed areas in town. Truth is, we do live in a fairly "new" housing area, but a segregated one, so most of the kids are actually on the streets on the other side of the forest - you see them coming over to their friends' places after school, but come Hallowe'en? Good luck getting rid of even one box of candy (hence the birth of things like this in November). Even though I can't see the kids in the area, I still know they're around when I'm outside and hear the school bells during the day and the hubbub of young voices during recess. It makes me pine for the good old days of my elementary school, filled with friends, fun, and the highlight of our week - the bake sale!

Though I didn't make this particular treat when it was my turn for the Friday fundraising adventure, I do recall making it's "kissing cousin" with my mom once or twice. I had half a bag of organic puffed millet in our pantry which almost screamed "crispy squares", but no marshmallows to make the classic recipe (and I wasn't about to go and buy any - I was trying to use what excess I had, not make more!). Googling around didn't yield much other than a few vegan recipes which all used brown rice syrup and agave (which I also didn't have, being a broke student in the boonies of Ontario!). After a while, I kind of gave up and put it on the "back burner" of my mind.

Then I was flipping through my old church cookbook (my all time favourite, by the way!) for a totally different idea and came across one of the ladies' entries for "Golden Puff Squares" that used puffed wheat stirred into a corn syrup, sugar and butter caramel, without a marshmallow in sight. The lightbulb went on, and I abandoned my previous quest (which I now can't remember!) and got right into the kitchen. The recipe struck me as being quite brilliant, actually, since while I do have an everlasting (and some might say irrational) fear of boiling sugar, for some reason the addition of already cooked corn syrup made it "safe" to me. For a more complex, "ooh la la" flavour, I opted for a partial honey swap rather than use only corn syrup. Even if it isn't the maligned HFCS, corn syrup can be a bit... boring. And honey caramel? Yum! For a little bit of visual appeal, I topped the warm pan of squares with a few "dots" of chocolate chips and popped it into a hot oven for a minute just to melt them onto the surface a bit. Cooled and cut (I made triangles, because I can't do anything by the book!), they made for a delicious snack, and I have it on good authority that some young foodies nearby had a pretty delicious dessert too!

Dotty Golden Squares
Adapted from "Recipes for Young and Old" by St. Peter's Catholic Women's League in Port Hood, N.S.
Makes 8
3 tbsp golden corn syrup
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salted butter, cold
3 oz millet puffs
2 tbsp miniature chocolate chips
  1. Line an 8" pan with parchment and heavily grease.
  2. Heat syrup, honey, and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed pan until bubbling.
  3. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat, stir in the butter until melted and add the puffs.
  4. Mix well and press into the pan.
  5. Sprinkle chocolate chips immediately onto squares and place in a hot oven for 1 minute to melt (I heat the broiler, turn it off and then put the pan in).
  6. Cool 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cut into
    squares (or triangles, whatever!).
  7. Cool completely before indulging!
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 109.5
Total Fat: 2.7 g
Cholesterol: 3.8 mg
Sodium: 20.9 mg
Total Carbs: 21.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 1.7 g

1 comment :

Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen said...

Always happy to swap out corn syrup for honey. Good move. Excellent Hallowe'en candy treat!