Saturday, February 13, 2010

Waste Naught

I know it shouldn't anymore, but it never fails to amaze me that Western society, in general, has this insane tendency to waste things. Food. Money. Gas. Electricity. Water. Brain cells... the list goes on and on. Not only do we lack the ability to use the gifts and benefits that we have as gifted nations, but instead we continue demanding more of everything we already have. Why else would warehouse supply companies such as Costco, who used to only supply retail outlets, now be doing a roaring trade in the consumer world? Do the majority of 4-5 person households really need to buy 20 tins of sardines at a time? Or huge 3-packs of Tabasco sauce? And what about the ubiquitous Super Wal-Marts that have taken over every town from gigantic Toronto to tiny, hick Ajax? Oshawa has two of them - in fact, a brand new (and already large) "regular" Wal-Mart down the street from me was demolished and re-built into a supercentre, even though the demographics of my area are as stagnant as ever. I don't understand it, and I don't really know if anyone will really be able to. We're in a land and age of excess, and somehow I doubt there's really an end in sight. Thank goodness for our family's three freezers, 2 fridges, huge pantry and well-shelved basement... that's all I can say.

It's obvious that our family, like many out there, is often left with a bevy of random items that have just begun to pass their prime, or are so close to being stale that the "picky" *cough* lazy *cough* ones won't touch them anymore. Usually our overages tend to be in the produce department, leaving me with bananas and apples to play with at will, but occasionally I'll poke my head into the pantry and come up with a host of other things to cobble together, recipe or no.

Such was the birth of these chewy, brown sugary morsels. I can't assign a real "definition" to them, as they are far more than a simple blondie, nor are they a brownie, cookie bar or quickbread. Rather, they are essentially a mixture of all the end "bits" of our pantry - chocolate chip cookie crumbs, broken pretzel rods, butterscotch morsels and a handful of roasted soy nuts - mixed with a leftover knob of butter and some silken tofu from the fridge and just enough flour to stick everything together before being baked into a more or less cohesive mass. Intensely sweet, but with a hint of salty "bite" from the coarse rock salt on the pretzels and a touch of bitterness from the molasses in the dark brown sugar, they're best given out in small portions - but that doesn't mean you have to stop at one.

Really. I promise I won't tell.

Miser Bars
Serves 16
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp canola oil
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
150 g silken tofu, pureed
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate chip cookies
2/3 cup broken, salted pretzel pieces
1/4 cup roasted soynuts (or peanuts)
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
  1. Heat oven to 350F° and grease a 9" square pan.
  2. Beat together melted butter, oil, brown sugar, tofu, milk and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Slowly stir in the flour and salt, then add the cookie crumbs, pretzels, soynuts and butterscotch chips.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set in the center but still soft.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 220.6
Total Fat: 8.0 g
Cholesterol: 8.2 mg
Sodium: 120.9 mg
Total Carbs: 33.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 3.8 g


  1. Great idea! And they look good. I use stale cereal in the same way. And everyone is always so surprised when I tell them. Love the name you gave them too. Well done!

  2. Glad I found you! This recipe sounds great, I like how you used the tofu in it! ~Nancy


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