A Healthy Snack?!

I don’t know about you but I always thought muesli bars were ridiculously healthy.  OK they have lots of nuts and dried fruit but that’s good energy, right?! A colleague from work requested I made something nutty and healthier than your average cupcake so I immediately went for this recipe.

I’ve finally managed to learn that you have to read the ingredients and the recipe before you start, as I normally would realise I was missing an ingredient or had to chop up everything in halfway through making the recipe!

I knew there would be lots of chopping with the muesli bars so I didn’t start until everything was prepared.  There is a LOT of different fruits and nuts in the recipe.  I put in desiccated coconut, dried apricots, cranberries and dates, cornflakes, sunflower seeds, walnuts and oats.  The recipe also called for raisins but I completely forgot about them – It’s not because I hate raisins … honest!

After what seemed like hours of chopping, I could start putting everything together.  I melted the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a large pan and set it aside to cool slightly.  There was a lot of butter in the recipe and I was starting to worry about how buttery the taste would be, but I figured there were so many other ingredients, the buttery taste would balance out.

Then, all you literally do is put everything in a big bowl, mix it, stir in the butter mixture and put it in the lined baking tray. Then I pressed the mixture down with the back of a tablespoon to compress it.

 

The most intriguing part of the recipe was to cover the mixture with greaseproof paper and cover with jam jars and tins so that it compresses even more. That definitely earned me some disapproving looks from the folks when they got home!

Once cooled, I put the mixture in the fridge overnight and cut it up in square slices to take to work.  My compression skills weren’t too great and the muesli bars tended to break apart quite easily.

The taste test came the next day with a cup of tea and a muesli slice for breakfast: it was a lot nicer than I expected. I’m not the biggest fan of dried fruit (why would you ruin perfectly tasty fruit?!) or coconuts but it came together well in the muesli bar.  Furthermore, it kept me going till lunch, which was great.  BUT… it was ridiculously buttery.  It was only bearable because there were so many other flavours going on.

Overall a good choice, albeit not the healthy choice I thought it was.  It’s a recipe I would make again, however surprised I am to admit it.  When I do make it again, however, I’ll definitely put a lot less butter in it.

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Time To Pretend To Be Healthy

I’ve gotten told off a lot lately for baking so much, even though it is somewhat inevitable because of this blog.  So, this week I decided to go for a recipe that actually looked (and sounded) healthy: Oat and Raisin cookies.  Now I’d normally run a mile from anything with raisins in (why would you ruin a grape by drying it out?!?) but I knew the family would love them so gave it a go.

The recipe was pretty simple to be honest,  firstly you mix up the butter and two different types of sugar, add the eggs; then mix the flour and oats and other bits and bobs and finally add them to the mix.  Et voilà , you have your batter.

Then its just a matter of scooping up equal portions and putting them onto baking trays and in the oven.  I would suggest rolling each cookie into a ball and flattening a bit before you put them on the baking tray, as it makes them look rounder, nicer, and generally neater (I’m a perfectionist I know!)

12 minutes later, I took out some very good smelling cookies.  I always get a bit worried when I’m baking cookies because they never seem completely cooked when they come out.  If you’re like that too then DON’T WORRY! That’s what makes them nice and gooey in the middle and as long as it passes the skewer test, you’re good.

For those who don’t know what a skewer test is (shame on you if you don’t); it’s simply when you put a skewer (a small knife also works) though the middle of the cake/cookie/anything and if it comes out clean then its cooked.

I got the official seal of approval a little later in the day; by seal of approval I do mean a series of grunts, yumms, and mmm’s from family members when they had a cookie each with tea.

I do really like these cookies despite the raisins; I really liked the taste of the oats in the cookie.  I am tempted however, to try them without raisins in them.  Now THAT would be amazing.  All in all I’d say there were a nice treat to have when you’re pretending to be healthy.