Wednesday, April 10, 2013

when recipes don't cut it

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.


  1. Oh I totally get you here and this post is timely. I am in the midst of baking macarons and it is a bit disaster. I guess the first time it was beginners' luck as they came out perfect. Or maybe it's the oven, as I scientifically followed the exact *same* process (using a scale, a candy thermometer, getting the italian meringue to perfection, carefully sieving and processing the almond meal with the sugar). I really don't understand. I blame it on the moisture of the weather (because even after almost an hour they won't properly dry) and on the oven temperature (I really need an oven thermometer).
    Honestly I kind of want to cry, mostly because I do not understand what went wrong and I am just trying to fault things that I can't control....

    Anyhow, good luck with the oatmeal bars. I have been wanting to make homemade granola for a while.

    1. I hate when that happens. Macarons though seem like they are a special beast and don't come easy. I think because of that when you do get them just right they're even more exciting.