Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kate's Granola Bars

La Fenice is a commedia del arte troupe based in Austin, TX. We have been performing with them for several shows now - the current show is called "Sloop of the Damned", and is about true love, pirates, and zombies on the high seas. The gal currently in charge is Kate, and she was nice enough to give me her very awesome recipe for granola bars. I modified it to be vegan, and it is absolutely delicious!

Kate's Granola Bars
(vegan subs by April)

1/2 stick Earth Balance (or 1/4 cup oil)
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of peanut butter
2 cups of rolled oats
1 1/2 cups of other stuff (like sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cranberries, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.)

Melt Earth Balance (or oil) with brown sugar and maple syrup. When it just starts to boil, toss in peanut butter. Toss with rolled oats and other stuff. Make sure to coat everything.

Press well into a 9 x 9 pan lined with wax paper. When they're cool, cut them up.

Homemade Vegan Granola Bars

For this particular batch, I used chocolate peanut butter, raisins, sunflower seeds, and vegan chocolate chips. It's very important that you wait for the liquidy part to boil before you add the oats and stuff, or otherwise it won't stick together as well.

Bikram Scones, Take 3

Mark's parents took us to lunch at Whole Foods yesterday, and I got a good selection from the hot and cold bars, as well as a vegan fruit & nut scone and some soup. Mark's dad had never heard of scones before, and was fascinated. After trying a small bite of mine, he decided that he'd love to have some, and I thought that was an excellent reason to make another batch of the PPK Bikram Scones that I've tried making twice before.

The last time I blogged about making scones, I mentioned that both my first and second batches, while having very different textures, were both a bit underdone in the centers (actually, the second batch was a bit too moist overall). My boyfriend Mark also mentioned that 2 tablespoons of baking soda seemed like too much. This time, I used 1 TBSP + 1 tsp of baking soda, and was going to use just 1 cup of soy milk, but after mixing, discovered that it seemed too dry. I added another 1/4 cup of soy milk (bringing the liquid to the specified 1 1/4 cups), and added raisins instead of chocolate (not my choice, exactly; Mark's dad isn't a big chocolate fan, but he likes fruit). Other than that, I followed the recipe ingredients exactly. In order to hopefully get the scones a bit more done, overall, I increased the baking time from 15 to 17 minutes.

PPK Vegan Bikram Scones Baking

This ended up being just right. The scones had a very scone-like texture: uniformly done throughout, dry, but not too dry, and a bit crumbly.

PPK Vegan Bikram Scones

My one complaint was that they didn't seem sweet enough, though I'm betting that putting chocolate chips in them instead of raisins would have probably fixed that problem. Also, most of the fruit scones I've had at other places (Whole Foods and the Steeping Room in Austin) seem to have nuts in them as well. The next time I make these, I'm going to mix up the dough, split it into two bowls, and mix fruit and nuts into one and chocolate chips into the other. I'm also thinking I might go back to applesauce instead of oil, since it will be healthier and possibly sweeter as well.