Baking days often begin with ingredient inspiration for me, or a desire to reinvent the wheel. My brother in law constantly requests my blondies and I don't like to always make the same thing so I'll take a look into the pantry and see what different ingredients I have to play with.
Last week the answer was cooking grade maple syrup, pecan and rolled oats. Should have been easy, as recipes for maple pecan oatmeal bars abound online. I settled on one from the Quaker website out of sheer practicality: usually websites from brands like Quaker are good ones.
I was disappointed. Maybe it tells a little of some growing skill in the kitchen? Eating these bars I had very specific things I wanted to change. They were way to sweet, and I'll be cutting back on the sugar. There's not enough moisture and they could use an extra egg for binding. They needed something else chewy and clearly the idea of raisins was just necessary.
Of course now I'm out of maple syrup, and will have to play with molasses or honey instead. Luckily I'm itching to go and can't wait to figure out how to improve. A year ago if this had happened I'd be throwing the recipe in the garbage. Now I just want to fix it and I have an actual idea how. There are concrete ideas on what I need to do to fix it. And I'm excited.