176: White House Fruit and Oat Bars

Whenever I say I need to make something, Alex always refers back to the Power Bars that I made in January. I came across the recipe for White House Fruit and Oat Bars in the New York Times food section in May, and I finally got all the stuff to make them for Alex.

Now, my original power bars were an Eating Well recipe – which meant that they were relatively healthy. Those had almond butter (could substitute peanut butter), dried fruit, and nuts, and had some (but not a lot of) added sugar but no added oil.

Not this recipe. No way could these be healthy. It seemed to me that it had a lot of added oil (6 tablespoons), and a fair amount of sugar (between 1 and 1.3 cups). I didn’t mind trying them, but I would certainly be cautious in eating a lot of them.

I used only sunflower seeds. My fruits were raisins, apricots, and mango (which I got since it was on sale). I didn’t have a 9×9 pan so I used an 8×8 pan instead. My thought was that it shouldn’t matter much what pan these went into, since my previous recipe could have gone into any size pan. I can’t remember how much extra I baked these (it was about 3 weeks ago) to compensate for the smaller pan, but my guess would be 5 minutes over the maximum baking time.

I am incredibly glad that I lined this pan with foil, since I don’t every time. I left them in the pan to cool a little bit, but I did pull them out before they were completely cool. I wanted to have them while my guest was here, and I didn’t think that cutting them warm would be a problem. However, these bars were still very sticky. We tried prying them from the foil as best we could.

They tasted good, but I thought they were oily. They were sweet, but I didn’t get to experience the maple syrup or honey tastes through the rest of the ingredients. Later, we turned the foil upside-down on the plate in the hopes that it would help loosen the bars from the foil. It didn’t. We ate them, slowly, through the week, but we couldn’t take them with us, or eat much of them at once since we had to pull each bite from the foil.

The combination of fruit was good, but this recipe is flawed. I’m not sure that using the proper pan would have made a difference at all. [I’m not the only one who thinks so. Others have said that it didn’t turn out for them either.] Don’t make this recipe. Instead, make the Almond-Honey Power Bars again and substitute in your preferred nuts, fruit, and kinds of sugar.

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