Friday, August 04, 2006

Revised Blueberry Breakfast Bars

About 3 weeks ago I posted my attempt at making Farmgirl's Blueberry Breakfast Bars and my concomitant review. Of particular note, I mentioned that I felt guilty eating them for breakfast, due to their richness. So I threw together a list of what I would change and left it until the weather cooled long enough to cajole me back into the kitchen.

Here, again, are my changes:
1. substitute unbleached organic white whole wheat flour for all purpose flour
2. substitute turbinado sugar for white and brown sugar
3. use half a stick of butter in the topping, rather than one full stick
4. sprinkle top with oats

Upon tasting them I was impressed with the changes. I could distinguish a healthy/grainy flavor. I believe this was not just the whole wheat flour talking, but also the raw cane sugar, because it offered a gritty texture which contributes to the illusion of "granola" food. The oat flavor was much more predominant. This was not just due to the inclusion of oats on top, but I think a synergy of the oats with the whole wheat flour. The richness was subdued. The only major difference in this version, which could be construed as being negative, was that the topping was drier (and easily knocked off). I actually appreciated the new dry texture over the original, greasier one.

My inhibitions set free by the illusion of a healthy breakfast, I have to admit to eating two bars for breakfast, instead of just one.

So for those of you who would like a documentation of the recipe with it's changes (effectively one-stop shopping), here it is:

Blueberry Breakfast Bars (revised from Farmgirl's original recipe)

Easily cut into 12 large bars

2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup organic unbleached white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup organic unbleached white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

3-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
3 Tablespoons organic unbleached white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For the Bottom Layer:
Grease a 9" x 13" pan and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium to large bowl, combine oats through salt. Gradually stir in melted butter and then vanilla, until well combined. Press evenly into the bottom of your pan.

For the Top Layer:
In a medium bowl, combine ingredients with a pastry blender, until the butter is well incorporated in small, evenly distributed pieces.

For the Middle Layer:
In the same bowl that you used for the bottom layer, combine the blueberries with the almond extract. Mix the sugar and flour in a small bowl. Spread the blueberries evenly over the top of the bottom layer, and then sprinkle with the sugar and flour.

On top of the middle layer, evenly sprinkle the top layer. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for at least 20-25 minutes or more, until the top begins to brown. Let cool. Cut evenly into bars. Bars will freeze well in plastic bags.


At September 12, 2006 2:27 AM, Blogger pendlerpiken said...

I felt a bit guilty as well, so I will definitly try this. Thank you!

At September 12, 2006 7:11 PM, Blogger Connie said...

I also made a healthier version and cut the butter of the bottom layer with no real difference in taste. I also substituted some Splenda for some of the sugar since I'm trying to lose weight. I used whole wheat pastry flour and I thought it was very good.

At September 13, 2006 3:50 PM, Blogger Jade said...

Happy to help, pendlerpiken. :) I'm still enjoying these for breakfast now and again (after de-frosting them), so I'll need to bake another batch soon.

Glad you had similar success, connie! I have to state for the record, however, that I'm 100% against using Splenda EVER, and that I cannot state that loudly enough. Splenda is triple chlorinated sugar. Organohalogens tend to be persistent chemicals, meaning that neither animal bodies nor the environment have any way of cleaning them up once they have deposited themselves somewhere. Studies have shown that while most Splenda will pass through you, not all of it will. Which begs the question of where the rest of it goes . . . .


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